Ed Orgeron is still mad as hell about how his LSU Tigers lost Saturday at Texas A&M in seven overtimes, and he does not give a Christmas fig who knows it.
Orgeron made an appearance on the “Off the Bench” radio show Tuesday morning on WNXX-FM 104.5, his first public comments since immediately after the Tigers’ epic and (for LSU) bitter 74-72 seven overtime loss to the Aggies in College Station.
Orgeron launched not one but several barrages at game officials for what he felt were key mistakes, chief among them:
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron spoke publicly for the first time since the Tigers' epic seven-overtime, 74-72 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday in …
• Allowing Texas A&M to spike the ball with :01 left at the end of regulation. He felt it was originally put into play with less than :03 on the clock, which he felt by rule should not have allowed the :01 to be put back on the clock. The Aggies then threw a touchdown pass to tie the game 31-31.
• Ruling a pass in overtime to A&M tight end Jace Sternberger incomplete. Sternberger was hit by LSU safety Grant Delpit, his blow dislodging the ball, after it appeared Sternberger took a couple of steps. Orgeron said the play was reviewed (there was some confusion about that because a review was not announced) but that the wrong initial call was made.
Orgeron said there were four calls he felt were incorrect but did not list them all. Suffice to say, he has thrown one ticked off blanket over the whole game.
“They gave everything they had,” Orgeron said of his team. “There was disgust in the locker room. I was disgusted for them.
“In 35 years of coaching I have never used officiating as an excuse. There were some bad calls. They missed some calls. Four times the game should have been won for LSU. Those calls should have went in our favor. They didn’t. There’s nothing I can do about that. I felt bad about it. Our guys fought. We should have won the game.”
Three thoughts come to mind based on what Orgeron said about the game:
1. Texas A&M fans and probably a lot of national media will call Orgeron’s complaints sour grapes. Perhaps they are, but there is no way to divorce a coach’s intense emotions for his team and for a game, and he is entitled to his opinion. Particularly in the case of the Sternberger incompletion, I believe he has a valid point.
2. There will be some LSU fans who will read and hear his comments and feel more support for him than if the Tigers had won the game Saturday. At least until the next time Orgeron’s team loses a game.
3. LSU had better, as is widely expected, come through with a raise (and contract extension) for Orgeron, because he is about to get fined by the Southeastern Conference.
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The game, the calls and the aftermath, including the postgame melee involving LSU and A&M players and staff members, will insure this one will not simply melt away into the record books. Orgeron’s comments will help insure that no matter what the records are when LSU and Texas A&M meet next November in Tiger Stadium, the pot of gumbo will be at a high boil.
Orgeron said he wishes the Tigers and Aggies could play again tomorrow.
On that point I think everyone can agree.