Confident LSU coach Ed Orgeron sees ‘best defensive games’ still ahead for Tigers
Ed Orgeron has the hottest team in college football, and it was clear on Sunday night the LSU head coach sees no signs of a cool down.
Orgeron, whose Tigers are 12-0 and coming off a 50-7 win over Texas A&M, would seem to have every reason to be as confident as he sounded on a Sunday night teleconference.
“Character, leadership, poise, they’re very focused,” Orgeron said, describing the SEC West Division champs. “Obviously very talented. I think we have some outstanding assistant coaches. One team, one heartbeat.”
LSU plays Georgia (11-1) at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a game that carries College Football Playoff implications for both teams.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 52-7 win over Georgia Tech but will be missing their top two receivers when the game kicks off.
Lawrence Cager (ankle) is out for the season, and freshman George Pickens is suspended for the first half after getting into a fight in the third quarter of the win over the Yellow Jackets.
Tailback D’Andre Swift left the game after fumbling twice and injuring his shoulder, but Coach Kirby Smart said Sunday night he expects Swift to be fine.
LSU, meanwhile, is coming off what Orgeron said was the team’s most impressive performance of the season.
“I thought overall, for most of the season, our offense has been playing phenomenal, and then our defense has finally played the way I think they’re capable of,” Orgeron said on Sunday night. “I do believe, without us mentioning it, there’s internal motivation, and they want to definitely prove they can be an outstanding defense.
“I do believe our best defensive games are yet to come.”
LSU outgained Texas A&M 553-169, recording three interceptions and sacking Aggies’ veteran quarterback Kellen Mond six times.
A week before, that same Aggies’ team came into Sanford Stadium and outgained Georgia 274-260 in a 19-13 loss.
Orgeron, asked about UGA quarterback Jake Fromm completing less than 50 percent of his passes in his past four games, deflected and said he’s only seen two Georgia games on tape.
“I know they have a couple of receivers out,” Orgeron said. “(They have) big, strong offensive linemen, an outstanding back, can go pro style and can go spread, very multiple.
“I have a lot of respect for Jake. I think he’s an excellent quarterback and an excellent leader.”
LSU shut down Fromm and the Bulldogs pass game last season in Baton Rouge, and that was when the Bulldogs QB had future NFL targets Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley, Terry Godwin and Isaac Nauta.
Fromm was 16-of-34 passing for 209 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and was sacked four times in a 36-16 loss in Baton Rouge.
Orgeron isn’t looking back, intent on seeing his team continue to dominate moving forward.
“It’s going to be a great game, it will be a great atmosphere,” Orgeron said. “So our guys understand the magnitude of it, but I really have confidence in this team’s mental approach that it’s the next game up.”
Georgia football DawgNation