Coach O previews Fiesta Bowl against No. 8 UCF

RAW: Coach O previews Fiesta Bowl

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU head coach Ed Orgeron met with sports journalists Tuesday morning to preview the Tigers' Fiesta Bowl matchup against UCF.

The No. 11 Tigers and No. 8 Knights will play in one of the most anticipated games this bowl season.

Orgeron said UCF runs a spread offense with lots of RPOs (run-pass option) and averages 545 yards per game, which is third in the nation.

Orgeron said there are lots of things he wants to fix with the offense over the next 15 practices. He added they want to also add some things, including more running plays for quarterback Joe Burrow.

According to Orgeron, safety John Battle will play in the Fiesta Bowl but will face some type of punishment in connection with the fight after the Texas A&M game.

He said this is a big game for the Tigers. It gives them a 10-win season and probably a top 10 ranking. He wants to end the season on a winning note and hopes that can propel them going into next season.

Orgeron said the LSU defense will have to match the tempo at which the UCF offense runs plays. He said there will be lots of substitutions and some guys will get more playing time than they did during the regular season.

UCF beat Memphis 56-41 to win the American Athletic Conference Championship and cap off an undefeated season. The Knights are 12-0 and will enter the Fiesta Bowl with a 25 game winning streak. The Knights average 44.2 points per game on offense and give up only 21.1 points per game on defense.

UCF has a very balanced offense, averaging 545.5 yards per game, 276. 5 on the ground and 269.0 through the air. The Knights will be without star quarterback McKenzie Milton. The junior suffered a leg injury Nov. 23 against South Florida. Milton’s backup Darriel Mack will take the snaps against LSU. Mack has played in nine games, completing 40-of-70 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns.

Last season the Knights declared themselves the 2018 National Champions after beating Auburn, 34-27, in the Peach Bowl.

Kickoff for the Playstation Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day is set for noon.

Orgeron also talked about the early signing period next week. He said he has completed 17 home visits. He added there is still some recruiting to go but he and his staff has strong relationships with many of the kids. He said he and his staff has been recruiting the class for two whole years.

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