EYE ON THE TITLE: LSU players, coaches explain the challenge of defending against Jalen Hurts
ATLANTA (WAFB) - Senior Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts is no stranger to LSU.
LSU has faced Hurts in 2016, 2017, 2018 when he played for Alabama.
“Jalen has lead this team and this offense and has been a great leader for us. He’s been a part of a lot of success this year for our football team. Another conference championship, there’s still more out there to accomplish,” Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Cale Gundy told reporters ahead of the Peach Bowl.
“Yeah, He (Hurts) has done a great job here, especially coming in January and the spring with a lot on his plate and obviously it wasn’t enough for him. So, he came in and did his things and here we are in the playoffs,” Oklahoma wide receiver Ceedee Lamb said.
“You know it’s been very easy for people to make it about me, or try to make it about me. But none of this is done by one person, a lone soldier. These guys next to me, all of the coaches, all of the players they contributed to everything and all of our success,” Hurts told reporters.
“We’re excited to be here, we fully understand the challenge that is ahead of us. The offense that we’re facing is a whole bunch for us to digest. We’re trying to take that bite by bite,” LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said.
“Jalen is a great quarterback. Ceedee Lamb is a great wide receiver. They do a lot of (big) plays like coach said. So we’re just looking at the film. Everybody has just got to do their job. We’re going to stick to the game plan. We trust coach (Aranda) with his game plan. I think it’s a great one,” LSU linebacker Patrick Queen said.
“They got playmakers all in that room. Ceedee was a Biletnikoff finalist for a reason. He’s probably the second-best receiver in the country besides Ja’Marr. They try to get him the ball a lot, he’s truly a playmaker. They got other speed guys and guys that can catch the ball in that room. So it’s going to be definitely hard to stop,” LSU safety Grant Delpit said.
“I feel like the running game is probably more underrated than what it is. People think they’re more of a passing team but they run the ball in tremendous ways. I feel like they take over the BIG XII by running the ball. I mean they’re definitely a top team for a reason. I mean when you have a quarterback who is leading, I think the conference in rushing yards with almost 1,300 rushing yards That’s a lethal weapon man. That’s something you don’t see often in the game of football at this age but I mean it’s going to be a task, a challenge that we put up to. But I feel we’re well prepared for it thanks to Coach Aranda.
“I think the biggest thing is, he can sit back three and throw it. You know, they’ve got a lot of designed runs for him but he’ll sit back there and throw it. So, it’s going to be tough, you know with all the different things they can do. And then Lincoln Riley, I knew about him before I even got into College Football. He’s a good offensive coach, so he’ll have some things dialed. Jalen he can throw it, he can run it, and he’s also the heart and soul of that team,” LSU defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence said.
“But obviously with this team, you got to tackle. You have to tackle one-on-one, in space, you got to tackle Jalen, you got to cover Ceedee. And if you do cover them you gotta tackle them. So it’s going to come down to winning your one-on-ones and tackling,” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said.
Kickoff for the CFP Semifinal at Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta featuring LSU against Oklahoma is set for Saturday, Dec. 28 at 3 p.m. (Central).
The game will be shown on ESPN.
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