October 16, 2019

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WAY TOO EARLY EXPECTATIONS: LSU VS UTAH STATE

The Tigers will be coming off a bye week and getting themselves healthy. Having worked on things that they haven’t been doing well this season, particularly tackling. Head Coach Ed Orgeron said in a conference call on Wednesday “we go back and look at our cut-ups, and see where we’re not really doing this very well, or we should be doing this better. One thing that is obvious on defense is tackling. I spent all of Monday studying it, missed tackles. On Tuesday, we spent from 8am-12pm talking about tackling. We went out yesterday afternoon and did different tackling drills.”

The open date comes at a well needed time for the Tigers too, as they have a walking wounded clinic along the defensive front. Defensive starters Rashard Lawrence, Glen Logan, and K’Lavon Chassion have all missed significant playing time for LSU. Although Chaisson was suited up for the road game against Vanderbilt he did not play. Orgeron says that “Michael Divinity will be close, Rashard (Lawrence) will be close, I don’t think he plays against Utah State, he will play the game after that though. Glen Logan will not be ready.”

The Tigers are preparing heavily for next week’s matchup against Utah State and junior quarterback Jordan Love, a preseason Heisman watch list nominee. After an 11-2 campaign last season the Aggies are trying to get back to their up tempo passing attack. “The speed in which they run their plays is the fastest we’ve seen. The guy (Love) is very accurate, he has good protection, it is going to be a challenge.” Ed Orgeron says of the Aggies. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has been working tirelessly so far this week to put the Tigers in better position to win this game. “I left last night a little late, and Dave Aranda’s truck was there, I got here really, really early and Dave Aranda’s truck was still here. So, I know Jordan Love has got our attention, he is a very good quarterback.” Orgeron says.

LSU continues to play fast on offense, and with Stephen Sullivan moving back out to wide receiver from tight end look for him to make an immediate impact inside the red zone. The 6’5 receiver from Donaldsonville has a massive catch radius and presents mismatch nightmares for defenders. He too fast for a linebacker and can outjump defensive backs on 50/50 balls. The addition of offensive lineman Ed Ingram helps the Tigers as well. “We need to run the ball better, I think that having Ed Ingram back will help us upfront at doing a better job at running the football.” Coach Orgeron states.

LSU has been missing the run game that they have been so dominant with in previous decades, however, this is a new era of Tiger football. The Tigers do have eight rushing touchdowns through four games. Including one by quarterback Joe Burrow, and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire did rush for over 100 yards against Vanderbilt on Saturday. Head Coach Ed Orgeron said earlier this week “sometimes we have to run to set up the pass, other times we pass to set up the run, it depends on what the situation dictates.”

With the early start time, and Utah State traveling east this works in favor for the Tigers. They will be at this weekend versus Colorado State for a 7:30 kick off in Utah. Not only will they have a late game this weekend, they also have to travel two time zones to face the Tigers in Death Valley for an early kick off. Expect them to look somewhat sluggish in the first half.