BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU head coach Ed Orgeron met with sports journalists Monday afternoon to preview LSU vs. Florida.
The No. 5 Tigers (5-0, 1-0 SEC) will take on the No. 7 Gators (6-0, 3-0 SEC) under the lights in Death Valley. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game is officially sold out. College GameDay has announced it will be on the LSU campus for the top 10 matchup. It is also homecoming.
Orgeron started off talking about the 601 yards of offense the Tigers registered against Utah State. He is not pleased with the fumbles and interception by the guys on that side of the ball. He said he is excited about facing Florida. He noted it will be a big night of recruiting for LSU.
“I’m still waiting for that first cold front,” Orgeron joked. “Happy for the players and the fans. This is why you come to LSU. I’d watch LSU - Florida, whatever school I’d be at. I remember when [Tim] Tebow would come in. We went for it on all those fourth downs. It’s a great rivalry. It’s great players, great teams. The speed on this field is about as fast as you’re going to see on a college football field this Saturday night.”
One of the big questions surrounding this team entering the year for LSU was the offensive line. The big guys up front have been good when it comes to protecting quarterback Joe Burrow. But this weekend is a whole different challenge. The Florida Gators are No. 1 in the SEC in sacking the quarterback. They’ve already got 26 so far.
“This is by far the best pass rush we’ve seen. I think I’ve said it every day, every press conference - we’re going to get challenged. This is what I was talking about. Last year, we did not block their pass rush very well. The biggest thing we have to do in practice is simulate the speed of their defensive line.”
Florida head coach Dan Mullen and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham have had LSU’s number in recent years at Florida and Mississippi State.
“We look at the Mississippi State footage from two years ago. We watch it. We look at their history. Dan’s a big formation guy. He sees how you’re lined up and attacks your weakness. That’s going to be a key for us. But after looking at the film this morning, it’s going to come down to blocking and tackling,” Orgeron explained.
“There will be no gimmicks by our football team Saturday. This is going to be a hard-nosed football team. We’re going to be focused all week. We’re going to block out the noise. We’re not going to pay attention to anything going on, except the task at hand. That’s beating Florida. It’s a big monumental task for us. And we plan on getting it done,” Orgeron added.
Orgeron said he will check on the health of Michael Divinity, who will practice this week. Rashard Lawrence will also practice this week. He said he hopes both will be ready Saturday. He said Saahdiq Charles will play Saturday. He added Glen Logan will be limited this week. He also said Cardale Flott is injured and may not play this week.
Orgeron said the key to the game against Florida will be controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. He added his biggest concern is stopping the run. Florida gained more than 200 yards against LSU last season in Gainesville. For LSU, Orgeron said he is concerned about Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumbling the football in the last two games. He added the Tigers have four running backs ready to go against the Gators.
LSU is coming off a 42-6 win over Utah State. Burrow had another five-touchdown passing day. He even ran for a score. He became the first QB in LSU history to have more than 300 yards passing in four straight games. He finished 27-of-38 for 344 yards.
The Gators are coming into Tiger Stadium after a 24-13 win over then No. 7 Auburn (5-1, 2-1 SEC) in the Swamp. Fourth-year junior quarterback Kyle Trask passed for 234 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns but his three fumbles kept the visitors hanging around.
Credit the UF defense for holding its ground by stifling one of the SEC’s most potent offenses and ground games. The Gators bedeviled true freshmen quarterback Bo Nix almost as much as the home crowd did in forcing three interceptions and one self-induced sack that helped seal the outcome.
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