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LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 5, 2018
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
ED ORGERON: Welcome, guys. What a great crowd, a great Tiger walk I want to thank our fans. Tremendous atmosphere. They did everything that we asked them to do. I was very proud of our fans and the Tiger walk and the whole atmosphere of going into the game. After review of the film, an extensive review, all day yesterday, number one coach better. Start with me. Coach better. Put our guys in better position. Schemes could have been better. The guys did a good job for the most part but there's some things that we could have done better for our team. That's number one. Number two is execute better. There was some execution that wasn't done and it cost us. You can't do it against a good team like Bama. Number three on offensive and defensive line we have to be better in terms of building more depth, increasing the number of quality players that we already have. That was effect during the game. We have 24 hour rule, press on to Arkansas. Now on to Arkansas, we look forward to this trip, we look forward to going up to Fayetteville, Arkansas to play Coach Morris and his team. On offense, they're very good on offense. They're averaging 26 points a game. They have a spread, they have a very good scheme, Ty Storey is an excellent quarterback. Rakeem Boyd a junior college transfer is the leading rusher. He is explosive and he makes a lot of plays. He is a very, very good back. On defense they give up 33 points game, Armon Watts is a very good football player, has seven sacks. De'Jon Scooter Harris from right here at John Ehret High School leads the team in tackles, 67 tackles a very good middle linebacker. And on special teams they're very solid. We look forward to Tell The Truth Monday today, 24-hour rule and pressing on to Arkansas. I totally expect our team to bounce back and have an excellent week. Any questions?
Q. Did you get an explanation on the targeting call with Grant and then, second part with that and Devin obviously, do you plan to change maybe how you teach it or coach it during the week or make guys more aware of it?
ED ORGERON: Well we talked to the team about it of not leading with our helmet, obviously. We teach the technique near foot, near shoulder. He told me that he hit him with his shoulder pad, so they overturned the call on the field and that was the explanation.
Q. You mentioned coach better was the first thing that came out. Does anything jump out or come to mind about with that?
ED ORGERON: I think we were ready to go. There were some new things thrown at us. Open date, that's going to happen. I thought we made some adjustments for the most part, some of them it took us a little while longer to make the adjustments. Just things like that.
Q. Do you have any up date on John Battle and do you think there's a chance he could practice or play this week?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, John's questionable. I would say he's 50/50.
Q. I think what a lot of people were disappointed about is that at Alabama Arkansas scored 31 points, Tennessee scored 21, Texas A & M scored 23. Those games weren't as competitive as your game, but with an extra week to prepare and everything were you just disappointed the way the offense played?
ED ORGERON: Very, we're all disappointed, no question. And again, we could have coached better, we could have executed better, line of scrimmage struggled at times. We got to get them more help.
Q. You played them three times now and touchdowns have been really hard to come by. Is it scheme, is it players or what do you think?
ED ORGERON: I think it's a combination of both. Scheme, protection again, we broke down in protection again sometimes we had max protection they would be double teamed. So we got to get better at that. We got to learn how to run the football against them. Obviously only 12 yards rushing, that's not going to win any football game. And that's been our strength.
Q. You've been very, you were very good in scoring touchdowns in the red zone early in the season first four or five games. The last four or five kind of dropped off scoring touchdowns. Have you seen anything that has kind of --
ED ORGERON: Yeah, guys are changing their coverage on us. They know what we're doing, we have to be more creative. We have to run the football, we have to do a couple of different things. We had some plans to be a little bit more creative in the red zone but they changed their coverage and some of the routes that we were going to run we couldn't run against their coverage.
Q. I think you guys are 7-0 under you after you've lost a game. How do you keep one loss from spiraling and kind of getting the team to focus on the next week?
ED ORGERON: Again, today's an important day. I have to be my best today. We had a meeting with the staff today, we got to let it go. There's a lot of hurt people in that building, a lot of hurt people on our football team. I understand that. This is a very big game for everybody involved in the state of Louisiana, but we have to let it go. We have the 24-hour rule and we have to press on to Arkansas and I do believe we're going to do that.
Q. The competition in the last four games has all been ranked but it was zero passing touchdowns and four interceptions. Is there a disconnect do you think with the quarterbacks and receivers, is it the play calling? What part of that needs to be better specifically?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, we need to look at that. We need to look at what's going on. Obviously we are. We looked at it extensively yesterday. It has a lot to do with the defenses that we're playing. But again it all starts with protection first and it all starts with catching the football and those are the things that we are looking at right now.
Q. You hinted this about how it's important for you today, what's going to be your message to the team because obviously they heard about you heard what you said after the game, so what's going to be your message how you're going to address the players so they're mentally they're still ready to go?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, well, first thing I tell my team is to block out the noise. We addressed the things that we need to address within the meeting and I have a very close relationship with all of my players and there are some things that we're going to address today and I think we're going to be fine.
Q. How did Steve react to the game against Alabama, two times against Alabama and just not getting any points?
ED ORGERON: He was disappointed. Obviously very disappointed. There was nobody that wants to do it better than Steve and wants to try. But he was very disappointed, obviously, and yeah.
Q. With only three games left in the regular season have y'all given any thought about giving Myles Brennan some reps?
ED ORGERON: You know, Myles Brennan is ready to go every game. The time that we could give him some reps I asked him and he was just nursing a slight injury. Then all of the other games have been so tight that we just kept Joe in there. There's three games to go, there's several players that can get more reps and still get red shirted, but I do want to put them in at the right time, I don't want to put them in at the wrong time and I want to make sure that he's ready to go in. But again, if Joe would get hurt, he's going in, he's our quarterback and I believe in him.
Q. You guys kind of shuffled right tackles during the game. You took Garrett out at some point. Were those all just performance based or are any of those guys hurt?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, one's strong against the run and one's strong against the pass. And obviously both of them were struggling at times, so we're going to keep that competition open this week and see who plays better and see what -- we just are digging into Arkansas we got to see what -- we have to protect, see their defensive line, which is really good, they have many so good rushers, so we have to see which one suits us best.
Q. You mean the right job tackle job is?
ED ORGERON: Is that what you said?
Q. I was talking about that and left guard.
ED ORGERON: I was talking about right tackle. One thing at a time. All right, the left guard? Yeah, obviously Garrett's our starter and but we do believe in Saahdiq and we're going to give -- Garrett just came back, there were some rustiness obviously, but he's a really good player, he's a good leader for us and I think that the more he plays the better he's going to become.
Q. You talked about blocking out the noise and everything. This week is probably going to be the exact opposite of last week in terms of hype and excitement and it's going to be pretty cold up there as well. Things like that. You went up there in 2016 and really dominated. Those kind of things?
ED ORGERON: Yeah we're going to prepare for this team. We go to play in any elements we went to play in the elements in Auburn, Alabama. It's a different element, obviously, but we got to be mentally tough. This team's got to be mentally tough. We got a lot to play for, this is a big game for us in terms of where we want to go in terms of how strong we can finish and in terms of if we do finish strong where we can end up, the things that we can do, so there's a lot of great things, we're 7-2 now and we have a chance to have an excellent season and that's what we're going to look at and we're going to use that as a motivational tool.
Q. Do you see the transition with Coach Morris trying to move maybe what Coach Bielema had recruited in these big power run games to a tempo game and --
ED ORGERON: Yeah, we talked about that today. We were talking about, I think it was two years ago where they had the largest offensive line including the NFL. And you can see where there's quicker guys, because -- there's a lot of returning starters -- but you can see where they put in more athletic quicker guys and you can see there's a transition starting to take place. Now I have known Coach Morris for a while, recruited his quarterback at Stevensville High School, I actually interviewed him for a job at another school I was at. So I have a lot of respect for him. I know what he can do, I know what he did at Clemson. He's an excellent game day caller he put 31 points I believe on Alabama, had an excellent game plan, so we do respect his offense.
Q. Do you expect the tempo is it more misdirection or how do they want it attack you?
ED ORGERON: Quarterback runs, the quarterback runs, power run game, counters, different personnel groupings, misdirection like you would call it, up tempo, obviously, shots down the field, a lot of screens and play action pass. You guys okay? You're all kind of quiet today.
Q. When it comes to Alabama you guys have never want to say, just concede that they are the best, but is it to a point where they are playing on a different level than anybody else or?
ED ORGERON: Let me say this to you: They have great players. So do we. Coach Saban has been there for 12 years and has done a tremendous job with his program. I believe to us probably the best or if not one of the best players in the country, made some tremendous plays. Although I thought our DB's did very well. I think overall their program is very solid and they know how to win and they played better than we did Saturday night was the bottom line.
Q. What kind of specific things did they throw at you that you didn't expect?
ED ORGERON: There was some different runs that we hadn't seen. There were some different coverages. They played some coverages more than they played against other teams that played against us, so.
Q. Joe's obviously been in a lot of tough situations just with pressure in his pocket and whatnot. How would you grade how he's handled that pressure in the pocket all season?
ED ORGERON: He's been good. But at the end Steve was kind of mad at him because he was looking at the rush a little too much. At one time we said, he said, he needs to be a little bit more patient. I said it's a little tough down there to be patient and you know he was under duress most of the night. And he needs to learn how to hang in there but I think for the most part he was, most of the night he was.
Q. A couple local kids that really seemed to hustle, Todd Harris and Patrick Queen the other night. Talk about the job they did stepping in.
ED ORGERON: I thought Todd played his best game and I thought Patrick made a lot of good plays in the first half. I thought he did a tremendous job stepping in for Devin just like I thought he would and we're proud of both those boys. Helped recruit both of them, great parents, great homes and we're proud that they stayed in the state of Louisiana.
Q. I know rankings aren't everything but a lot of polls have y'all in the Top-10. What's the energy of the locker room knowing that there's still a lot of hope?
ED ORGERON: I haven't seen the guys today and I think that today we have to bring them up a little bit. That's my feeling I'm getting. But really these guys will bounce back, we're going to talk to them, we're going to talk about the things that we have to play for. We're going to take it one game at a time but if we do the things that we need to do, we can have an outstanding season and I think as the week goes on they're going to bounce back. I want to have a 24-hour rule today and hopefully it only takes 24 hours. This one may take a little bit more.
Q. We have seen the Louisiana kids come back and play well against you. You're going to face another one this week in Arkansas. Is it just that the state has that much talent some of these guys are going to go other places? I think the kid at Arkansas was a three star guy. Eventually they do come around --
ED ORGERON: Yeah, they do and I'm glad for them. Especially the guys that -- if we don't offer a guy, I'll help him go anywhere else he wants to go. And I have friends all over the country, if they call me and they ask me what I think about them I'm going to say, hey, he may be great for you, but we may be stocked up at that position and he don't fit exactly what we want. And I'm glad to see the guys go somewhere that we don't offer and they make a name for them self and do well, God bless them.
Q. What are your memories from Arkansas? You were an assistant strength coach there?
ED ORGERON: Yeah. I made $25 every two weeks. A lot of cash. First time I saw white gravy. Yup. Yup. It was. And I lived in the dormitory. I was an assistant strength coach the first year and then I was a graduate assistant coach on the football field. I was under Coach Hatfield, great coach, he's still a personal friend of mine. In fact I text with him two or three times. I loved it up there. I absolutely enjoyed my time up there for two years, learned a lot of football. That job got me to the University of Miami and on and on and on and I used those connections the rest of my life. So I loved it up there I thought it was a great school.
Q. Is white gravy any good?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, I liked it.
Q. Did you meet Kelly up there?
ED ORGERON: No, no, but Kelly was -- that was 1986 and I met Kelly in 1995. So that was awhile back.
Q. You talked about how important it was to bounce back. LSU hasn't loss back-to-back games since 2015, so what is the importance of winning this game and just progressing throughout the remainder of the season?
ED ORGERON: It says a lot about our character it says a lot about who we are. Like I said, I thought today was my biggest day of coaching since I've been at LSU and I told that to our staff and we need to bring them up, we're mature adults we got to go and there's some coaches hurting in there, so I had a staff meeting this morning, I talked to them about it, I'm going to be very positive, I'm going to execute the 24-hour rule early myself and we're going to move forward. This is a very good Arkansas team in some aspects, this is going to be a very challenging road trip, but it was two years ago we went up there and we played fine and plus Kelly's family is from Arkansas so we better win.
Q. This is not a sarcastic question. But did the analysts help? Did you get some reports from them?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, sure. Sure. Yes. Yes, I couldn't ask our analysts to be more better than they are. No question. I don't know if they can sack or stop the passes, I don't think they can do that. But again and again that guy, you think about some of the plays that he made in that football game were phenomenal plays. So give them some credit they played plays but we felt that for the most part we had the information that we needed to have, things that were happening in the game, information was given to us, so those guys I wouldn't trade our analysts for anything. They're wonderful.
Q. Early in the season Arkansas had some really tough losses. The record still isn't very good, but they look like they're playing better. How have you seen -- how much have you seen of them on film that they have progressed from week one to now?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, I watched their offense, I didn't get a chance to watch their defense yet. Last night I watched the Alabama game. I believe I watched the Ole Miss game and I watched another game I forgot what it was and we watched the cut ups this morning and their offense is becoming explosive it's becoming Chad Morris's offense he has a nice run balance option, he has had a nice look over on the line of scrimmage, he has a difficult scheme, just what I expect out of Chad Morris. And defensively, I know they have some good defensive linemen, they get some sacks, I haven't looked at them on defense yet.
Q. At the beginning of the season whenever you were talking about the offense you said all Steve did was set records when he was the interim. At this point where do you assess where this offense is?
ED ORGERON: I think he's done an excellent job. For us to beat Georgia by 20 points, I thought it was a great game plan against Georgia, it was excellent. I thought the comeback victory against Auburn was excellent I forgot how many points we put on Miami, 33 points on Miami, I think he's done a tremendous job there. Steve's a Tiger, an I'm very pleased with his work.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports