Lunch with Coach O: LSU vs. Ole Miss Preview

Lunch with Coach O: LSU vs. Ole Miss Preview
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU head coach Ed Orgeron met with sports journalists Monday afternoon to preview LSU vs. Ole Miss and recap Saturday’s victory.

The No. 1 Tigers (9-0, 5-0 SEC) are coming off a huge 46-41 win against then No. 2 Alabama. This was the Tide’s first home loss since 2015. It was a 31-game home winning streak.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was 31-of-39 for 393 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran the ball 14 times for another 64 yards. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran the ball 20 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught nine passes for 77 yards and another touchdown.

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The Rebels (4-6, 2-4 SEC) are coming into this weekend’s matchup after a 41-3 win over New Mexico St. Ole Miss rushed for 447 yards on the ground, the most since 1962. Freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee ran for two scores. They were the sixth and seventh rushing scores of the season for Plumlee, breaking Joe Gunn’s 1998 freshman rushing touchdown record.

“I’ll tell you a little bit about them [Ole Miss],” said Orgeron. “First of all, they put this game on their calendar. This is a game that they want to win. This is rivalry game, for them, they want to beat LSU, this is a team they would like to beat, along with Mississippi State, and we know we’re going to get their best shot. They play great at home, it’s going to be a great crowd, it’s going to be a great challenge for our football team.”

Orgeron said the victory over Alabama was a total team win. He noted he thought the play of the offensive line was phenomenal, especially the leadership by center Lloyd Cushenberry. He said he thought the performance by Edwards-Helaire was possibly the best he has seen in 35 years of coaching. He also talked about the play of Burrow. K’Lavon Chaisson played his best game of the season, according to Orgeron. Chaisson had 10 tackles, with 3.5 tackles for loss. Orgeron added he thinks Chaisson is coming into his own right now.

Orgeron said Ole Miss is now the biggest game of the season because it is the next one on the schedule. He added after watching the film against Alabama, he saw some things that need improvement. Orgeron said recruiting is going well and there are lots of good players who want to come to LSU right now. According to Orgeron, offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger has been phenomenal. He added the coaching staff calls him “The General.”

Orgeron took the blame for the play in which cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. was beaten on a 64-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DeVonta Smith. According to Orgeron, Stingley looked to the sideline for a play like he was coached to do and it is something the coaches will work with Stingley on for similar situations in the future.

Orgeron said he wished the live streaming of the locker room after the game would not have happened. He said he spoke with the player who did it and that guy felt bad about it. He said the team is his family and he gets emotional. He said it was a fiery and emotional moment with his team. He added it was not meant to hurt anyone.

Orgeron said the team is about as healthy as it has been this season. He noted offensive right tackle Austin Deculus is doubtful for this week. He said he thinks Badara Traore will be put at right tackle and experiment with Adrian Magee at left tackle. He said Ed Ingram will play guard. He added Dare Rosenthal will not be available for the game.

Ole Miss leads the SEC in rushing and Orgeron talked about the defensive plan to try to stop the Rebel running attack.

“We have to play well, especially the front seven. They’re not as strong as they have been in the past up there. There’s three of their receivers on NFL rosters right now. I’m sure they’re good receivers but they’re not as strong as they were in the past. But they can run the football. So, we are going to have to play well in the box; we’re going to have to tackle. This No. 10 [Plumlee] is a fast, fast running quarterback. It’s like a wildcat. So, we’re going to have to play well in the box," Orgeron explained.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Fans not traveling to the game will be able to watch on ESPN.

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