On this “No Repeat Thursday,” LSU football coaches threw out everything they learned and went back to the basics.
That only became the plan about a minute before practice started around 2:15 p.m., interim coach Ed Orgeron said.
Orgeron was forced to be the bearer of bad news, telling his team they won't play football this weekend. Hurricane Matthew’s impending landfall on the Florida coast has indefinitely postponed LSU’s matchup against No. 18 Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
“We worked on fundamentals today, and I think we might have had our best practice,” Oregon said at a joint news conference with LSU athletic director Joe Alleva. “A very resilient football team bought in to what we asked them to do. Although they were disappointed, we move forward.”
LSU's game against the Florida Gators scheduled for Saturday has been postponed, the school …
LSU doesn’t practice with shoulder pads on “No Repeat Thursday” — one of five themed practices Orgeron has implemented since becoming head coach — but the first-team units practiced against each other, Orgeron said.
Going by the plan he typically uses for an open week, Orgeron is giving his players off Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The school's fall break started Thursday, so Orgeron expects many players to head home.
Coaches also gave players a workout plan for Friday.
Orgeron also has plans to attend his twin sons' game against Southeastern in Hammond. Cody and Parker Orgeron are freshmen at McNeese State.
“You've got to turn it into a positive,” Orgeron said. “You can get some rest. Some of those guys have not been home yet.”
LSU's game at Florida was postponed Thursday after Hurricane Matthew wiped out any chance at…
The rest is perhaps the most important thing for a banged-up football team just five games into its season. Orgeron did not expect running back Leonard Fournette to play for the second week in a row and third game this year.
Tight end Foster Moreau was also “likely” out for Saturday’s game, and left guard Will Clapp may have been out for two weeks, Orgeron said. Right tackle Toby Weathersby also missed the past two games.
When asked about Moreau and Fournette’s statuses going forward, Orgeron could only say they were “questionable” at this point.
“Some guys that are injured or nicked up, they’re going to come back fresh on Monday,” Orgeron said. “We’ll be ready to go.”
Though players will take it easy this weekend, coaches will be keeping busy. After a team meeting to announce the game’s postponement, Orgeron met with general manager Austin Thomas about putting a recruiting itinerary in place.
A tenacious recruiter himself, Orgeron said it took them “about two minutes” to put the plan in motion, and they planned to hammer out details Thursday night.
Some coaches will travel for recruiting trips. Others will stay in office, breaking down film of future opponents.
“We’re going to take advantage of the time off,” Orgeron said. “Some of our coaches we’ll be in the office, breaking down our opponents, get ahead on some of the opponents coming up. So we’ll use it as an advantage.”
As a program, LSU has been here before, having its 2005 season opener against North Texas postponed to late October because of Hurricane Katrina. Even last year, LSU had to cancel its opening game against McNeese State after a three-hour, 46-minute rain delay.
Later in 2015, LSU’s SEC road matchup against South Carolina was moved to Baton Rouge due to flooding in the state of South Carolina.
Yet, this is uncharted territory for Orgeron, a coach who spent five years at Miami — one of the areas expected be severely impacted by Matthew.
“This is the first time this has happened in my career that I can remember,” Orgeron said.
Orgeron said he was “well-informed” throughout the decision-making process among the two schools and the conference, but he remained adamant that he was not focused on whether or not LSU would play. He leaves that to the administrators and the league, he said.
“In this building, we are worried about the task at hand and the process,” Orgeron said. “We were planning to play the game. We never blinked an eye until the told us the game was off.”