BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With the venue switch to Missouri for Saturday’s LSU game, the Bayou Bengals are once again a three-touchdown favorite on the road, just like they were last week at Vandy.
Head coach Ed Orgeron said his No. 16 Tigers will leave early enough to hold a walkthrough practice in Columbia on Friday to be rested and ready to go for an 11 a.m. kickoff.
“I do believe it would have been very difficult to play an 8 p.m. game and travel back and get back Sunday morning at 4:00,” said Orgeron during a teleconference with sports journalists Wednesday morning. “Talking to our trainers, it takes two days to recover. We, playing at 11, we’ll be back in Baton Rouge around six or seven at night. Our team and our coaches will get more rest. I think that’s a big advantage for us.”
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Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz echoed the same sentiment during his teleconference Wednesday.
“This is going to be an extremely safe place for these players and everyone traveling from LSU and just so glad and thankful that we could move it up to 11:00 so those guys can get home safely,” said Drinkwitz. “They’re going to be able to get back and land, hopefully, during daylight so that, if there was no electricity, they would be able to be safe and it wasn’t because they were trying to get back and save the extra travel time on their guys.”
Orgeron talked more about the quick turnaround, during his weekly radio show, of having a new plan to travel to Missouri a day early and then play a game Saturday morning.
“We have to supply our own energy. We have to create our own energy wherever we go and we did it at Vanderbilt. Everyone on the plane is going to come out with a lot of energy on Saturday morning at 11. We will not make excuses about playing too early. I don’t want to hear that,” Orgeron emphasized.
Saturday will be Orgeron’s first time facing the Tigers from the SEC East since his 2016 debut as interim head coach. He shared his message with the team after hearing the news about the change.
“Don’t blink. We’ll play anybody, anywhere, anytime. It doesn’t matter. That’s our attitude. We found out we were playing in Columbia in an 11:00 game. I think it’s better for our football team. We’re going to leave tomorrow (Thursday), so we changed our plans a little bit. Get ahead of the hurricane. Go to sleep on Friday, go out there, compete, win and come back, and be back in Baton Rouge 6:30 Saturday night,” Orgeron explained.
LSU is 1-1 all-time against Missouri and this will be the second time the teams have met since Missouri joined the SEC in 2012. LSU beat Missouri, 42-7, in that 2016 game. The only other meeting between the teams came in the 1978 Liberty Bowl (Missouri won 20-15).
ESPN has still not disclosed on which of its channels or platforms the game will be shown.
WAFB will have a crew in Columbia to provide plenty of coverage on an unusual story.
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