If someone told Ed Orgeron and his LSU Tigers on Saturday night after they finished thrashing Arkansas that the Texas A&M game had been moved up to Sunday, I think they would have said, “Let’s go.”
Judging by the way they left The Boot trophy on the sideline (like they left the Magnolia Bowl “trophy” on the sideline at Ole Miss at first), they had mentally moved on to the Aggies as soon as the Tiger Stadium clocks hit zero.
“It’s going to be on,” Orgeron said.
“We’re excited for Saturday night,” Joe Burrow said. “Excited.”
“It’s on,” linebacker Jacob Phillips said, echoing his coach. “We’re not going to forget how they were after the game (last year).”
Safety Grant Delpit returned to the field when LSU practiced on Monday afternoon.
Phillips referred not only to the 74-72 seven-overtime loss, a game in which the Tigers thought they had done enough at several points to win only to get a frustrating string of calls to go against them. But he also referred to the postgame brawl, the one where Texas A&M receivers coach and former LSU assistant Dameyune Craig ran over to the LSU bench and instigated a melee that resulted in someone else shoving or hitting LSU administrative assistant Steve Kragthorpe (reportedly Jimbo Fisher’s nephew, Cole Fisher). Blows were exchanged among others.
“It was a mess,” said Orgeron, who was not directly involved in the brawl. “It was a mess that shouldn’t have happened.”
No, it shouldn’t have, and whoever you choose to blame, from LSU or Texas A&M, it is something that definitely needs not happen again.
Still, football is a highly emotional game, and sometimes people lose their minds for a few minutes. Not excusable, but it happens. Just like coaches sometimes drop F-bombs in what is assumed to be the sanctity and security of the locker room.
The transcript of Joe Burrow's weekly media availability Monday evening, a session revisiting the epic seven-overtime game at Texas A&M la…
But what really needs to happen for the Tigers this Saturday when Texas A&M visits Tiger Stadium? They need to keep their wits about them.
Revenge and payback are emotions that go into every football encounter when teams like LSU and A&M meet year after year. LSU fans are still celebrating the end of Alabama’s eight-year run of terror against the Tigers, but you can bet the Crimson Tide will be coming to Tiger Stadium in 2020 looking for redemption.
The Tigers will be keyed up for this one. After what happened last year, during the super-extended game and after, there is no way that they won’t be.
But it doesn’t need to lead to penalties. To blown assignments. To giving an underdog but still dangerous Texas A&M team an opening that it might not otherwise have.
In other words, the Tigers need to go right up to the edge emotionally, but not over it.
They’ve overplayed that hand before. Coach O said his team was too keyed up for the Auburn game in October and it showed in numerous needless penalties. He seemed to be setting the right tone Monday in his weekly news conference in Tiger Stadium’s Lawton Room.
“They've got good players,” Orgeron said of the Aggies. “This is going to be a big challenge for our team, and we have to take the emotions out of last year, focus in on this year. This is a different football team. We're playing them at home. We're going to have to play a complete game to win.”
Orgeron was asked about another game last month, against Florida, when there was some pregame pushing and shoving between the Tigers and Gators. That is counterproductive, too, and the last thing Orgeron wants is a continuation of the clash at Kyle Field to spill over into that kind of rematch in Death Valley.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron took a moment in his Monday news conference to apologize for comments he made after the Tigers' 56-20 win last Saturday a…
“We don't want that again,” he said. “We're going to have our coaches out before we stretch. I don't want that stuff. I want to win the game when the ball is snapped.”
LSU is a solid two-touchdown favorite over an A&M team that has, incredibly, already played and lost to four teams ranked in the top 10 at the time: 24-10 at then-No. 1 Clemson, 28-20 at home against then-No. 8 Auburn, 48-27 at home against then-No. 1 Alabama and 19-13 last week at No. 4 Georgia.
If the Tigers don’t beat themselves with turnovers and foolish penalties, play with smoldering intensity and sharp focus, they will win.
But it will be hard to put last year’s game aside. Orgeron talked of what filled his field of vision last year: players spent and injured, Burrow needing three IVs. Burrow joked Monday he was simply too tired to get involved in the fight.
“They gave everything they had,” Orgeron said. “I don’t know how many hours we played. We just felt helpless and then we just felt that when our time comes we’re going to do something about it.
“Now is the time.”
Perhaps the most talked-about ankle in south Louisiana jittered underneath a plastic folding table, while reporters prodded questions about it…
Sounds like a rallying cry. And it sounds like LSU players don’t like it too much that Texas A&M put last year’s 74-72 score on their commemorative soda cups at Kyle Field this year. Or that they engraved that score on the inside of their Gator Bowl rings.
“Bowl rings, huh?” Burrow said Monday, then made a face that indicated he was filing that away.
LSU, by the way, didn’t give out rings for its Fiesta Bowl win last year, its first New Year’s Six bowl victory under the College Football Playoff format.
“It’s LSU,” Phillips said. “We want real rings.”
There is a fuse lit for this game that may be impossible to put out.