Ed Orgeron gets to sleep in Saturday morning, despite LSU’s 11 a.m. kickoff against Arkansas.
His wakeup call: 6 a.m.
“That’s no problem,” Orgeron bellowed Thursday evening. “That’s a little later than I usually get up.”
Orgeron and the Tigers are bracing for Saturday’s early wakeup call. The coach even shaved time off of practice this week in preparation for what is believed to be LSU’s earliest home kickoff for an SEC game since at least 1958.
The two teams are scheduled to kick at 11:02 a.m. LSU has hosted just 11 morning kickoffs since at least 1958, going 8-3 in those games.
Saturday’s wakeup call for players is set at 7 a.m., three hours earlier than normal. Orgeron shortened practice Tuesday and Wednesday, each by 15-20 minutes.
“I wanted them fresh. This time of the season, 10th game, wanted them fresh. Seven o’clock game, you get to rest a lot in the hotel room,” Orgeron said. “Get to sleep until 10 in the morning and go back and take a 2-3 hour nap. That’s a lot of rest. They’re not going to get that rest.”
Malone still ‘questionable’
Left tackle KJ Malone remains “questionable” for the game against Arkansas while battling a left knee injury, but Orgeron is happy he’s the only one.
The Tigers entered preseason camp in August having had five offensive linemen transfer over the offseason. Several walk-ons were even seeing spot snaps with the first string during the opening two weeks of camp, as O-line coach Jeff Grimes broke in his class of freshmen.
Saahdiq Charles, at tackle and guard, and Ed Ingram, at right guard, have started a combined 13 games this season.
“Let me take you back to camp. Went into camp and I didn’t know if we were going to have an offensive line. We were really worried, to be honest with you,” Orgeron said Thursday. “I think Coach Grimes has done a tremendous job of managing these guys and developing them. Besides KJ (Malone) being questionable, this is the healthiest we’ve been. I didn’t know we were going to last this long in the season to be honest with you, especially after the physical games we’ve played. Give credit to (strength coach) Tommy Moffitt and (team trainer) Jack (Marucci)."
Malone has not practiced in more than a month after injuring his knee at Florida.