ORLANDO, Fla. — Want to know the difference between running backs Derrius Guice and Leonard Fournette?
Just ask coach Ed Orgeron.
Orgeron, LSU's new permanent head coach, opened up on a much talked-about topic over the last two seasons — the differences between Guice, a shifty sophomore, and Fournette, the NFL-bound junior. He even revealed part of his game plan, explaining just how it changes with a new tailback.
"Leonard was best when he cleared the line," Orgeron said Friday at a news conference before Saturday's Citrus Bowl against Louisville. "If you get Leonard cleared of the line of scrimmage, he was gone. Derrius can make you miss. Derrius can run more of a zone running scheme.
"He has a tremendous cut from left to right. It’s obviously on film. He’s a different runner than Leonard," Orgeron continued. "He has different things. We do have a different game plan for Leonard and for Derrius."
Fournette, still hampered by a lingering left ankle injury, announced two weeks ago that he would not participate in the Tigers' bowl game. He signed with an agent soon afterward, leaving the team to begin training and rehabilitating the injury.
Guice, averaging 8 yards a carry this year, is expected to receive the bulk of the carries in Fournette's absence. Orgeron said Friday that junior Darrel Williams will play "a lot" against the Cardinals (9-3).
Fournette missed four games this season with his sprained ankle, something he suffered in preseason camp.
"Leonard Fournette is a great player, OK? But it’s next man up," LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger said Thursday. "Texas A&M game — next man up. You know what? Derrius Guice and Darrel (Williams), all of those guys just stepped up and played. You ask your teammates, ask your teammates around them, ‘How about a little bit extra?’ Our offense has responded. Our offensive line, our receivers, have played so well. We’d love to have Leonard here and everything else, but our team is very confident who we have in the background."
While Orgeron revealed his tweaked game plan with Guice, he side stepped a second question in two weeks regarding the use of multiple defensive backs against pass-heavy Louisville.
"Watch the game tomorrow," he said.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Newly hired LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada is home with his family an…
Danny Etling's performance in the Citrus Bowl on Saturday will have "nothing to do with" LSU's impending quarterback competition, Orgeron said.
Newly hired offensive coordinator Matt Canada will join the program Sunday after the bowl game, and Orgeron expects him to hold an open QB battle in the spring. Etling will start his 10th game this year on Saturday.
"It has nothing to do with it. Nothing," Orgeron said. "(Etling) has been coached by Steve (Ensminger). Steve has done a tremendous job for us. We love him to death. Danny has done a really good job for us. What’s going to happen, as I’ve said before, Matt’s going to come in, evaluate all of the quarterbacks.
"Thing I liked about Matt Canada is he adjusts to a specific personnel. That’s going to be his job to figure out, best QB, best offense we can be in."
LSU is expected to have five scholarship quarterbacks in the spring, Etling, rising senior Brandon Harris, redshirt sophomore Justin McMillan, redshirt freshman Lindsey Scott and incoming rookie Lowell Narcisse, a commitment expected to enroll in January. Highly touted Mississippi quarterback and LSU commitment Myles Brennan plans to arrive in the summer.
ORLANDO, Fla. — “Dear LSU.”
The referees for the Citrus Bowl are from the Pac-12. ... Louisville will wear all red for the Citrus Bowl. LSU is expected to wear its normal white uniforms. ... LSU's team captains are center Ethan Pocic, receiver Travin Dural, linebacker Duke Riley, defensive back Tre'Davious White, safety Jamal Adams and kicker Colby Delahoussaye.