Sophomore defensive tackle Davon Godchaux was never good at timing the snap count.
Not until LSU hired defensive line coach Ed Orgeron last spring, that is. Thanks to Orgeron’s “get-off” drill, Godchaux isn’t the only defensive lineman firing off the ball faster than his opponents.
The drill is simple: Orgeron or graduate assistant Dennis Johnson calls a play and snaps a green ball — which Godchaux calls “the moneyball” — between his legs. The defense fires off the ball and sprints 10 yards, then lines up and repeats the drill until it has covered 100 yards.
Orgeron doesn’t put his linemen through the fast-paced drill until practice is over. Timing is everything, after all.
“After practice, we do a get-off drill every day. After every scrimmage, we had 100-yard get-offs. That’s a big key to our defense,” Godchaux said. “When you’re tired after practice, you’re still pushing through basically 10-yard sprints.”
The drill, which is just one component of Orgeron’s aggressive approach, has vastly improved LSU’s pass rush. The Tigers have piled up eight sacks through two games after they recorded only 19 last season.
Perhaps no Tiger has jumped a snap better than sophomore defensive tackle Frank Herron did during the second half of LSU’s 45-21 win against Auburn last Saturday. Herron, Godchaux’s immediate backup, timed his jump perfectly, slipping past the guard and tackle to force a fumble by quarterback Jeremy Johnson.
Herron fell on the loose ball, picking up his first career sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery all on the same play. Godchaux is thankful for the depth Orgeron is developing on the defensive line, which is clearly benefitting from exercises like the “get-off” drill.
“There’s a lot of things we do different,” Godchaux said. “A lot of small things I didn’t do before that are really helping my game a lot.”
Equipment hits the road
The LSU team doesn’t leave for Syracuse until Friday, but much of LSU’s game and band equipment hits the road Wednesday. LSU has a customized 18-wheeler to carry the bulk of its equipment to road games, even to games like this one, which is 1,400 miles away.
Equipment manager Greg Stringfellow and his trainers started packing their trailer Tuesday. Three drivers hope to make it somewhere north of Knoxville, Tennessee, Wednesday night, then complete the journey to Syracuse on Thursday to be ready when the team arrives Friday.
Stringfellow said LSU will fly some equipment like shoes and shoulder pads, but he said it’s more practical to drive trunks of gear and video equipment than to fly them.
Fournette honored again
Leonard Fournette needs to clear out some room in his proverbial trophy case.
The sophomore running back earned the AutoNation Football Writers Association of America’s Offensive Player of the Week award following his 228-yard, three-touchdown performance against Auburn, it was announced Tuesday.
The honor comes a day after Fournette was recognized as the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week. He also pulled in his second straight Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week and Louisiana Sports Writers Association Offensive Player of the Week honors.