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November 12, 2018

Ed Orgeron

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

ED ORGERON: Welcome, guys. Arkansas, good team win. Very pleased with our football team and the mindset that we went up there with. We got on the plane with. Very pleased with the leadership, guys like Nick Brossette, Greedy Williams, Devin White, Rashard Lawrence, I thought those guys did a tremendous job leading our football team. We brought a couple injured guys up there. K'Lavon Chaisson was up there. Breiden Fehoko provided energy and leadership for the team and I want to credit Tommy Moffitt and the strength staff. This is the second time that we go up to Arkansas, under some adverse conditions, and Tommy and his strength staff had a tremendous mindset on our football team, before we went out there. And when I walked out on the field and I saw guys without no shirts and stuff like that, I knew that they were ready to play. We were plus one in the turnover ratio, plus 13 for the year, which is very good. On defense we're proud of the 16 yards rushing that we only allowed Arkansas. 2-12 on third down which is fantastic. And as we know we have to finish the game. We walked away disappointed not finishing the game strong, but very pleased that we won the game. On offense, 164 yards rushing was good for us. Justin Jefferson I thought had one of his best nights, six catches 117 yards. We were efficient on offense, won the game. Special teams I thought our punt coverage was lights out. They had a very good returner, Coach Mack did a great job of game planning them. They had two returns for zero yards and we won the field position battle. Now on to Rice, obviously our last game, it passed very fast. We're 8-2, our focus is to be 9-2 at the end of this week and our target is Rice and Rice only. And we're going to get better in a lot of things on offense and defense, we're going to fix some things, a lot of the things that wasn't very sharp on we're going to work on today and this week. But I'm proud to have 18 seniors playing in their last game. I know our fans are going to be out there to support them. These guys have poured their heart and their soul out for the Tigers. Six of them already have their degree and the rest of them are scheduled to graduate this spring. And that's why you come to school and get a great degree from LSU and I'm proud of these seniors. They have done so much for our school, so much for myself and they're great young men. Onto Rice. The head coach is from Stanford. Stanford runs a very difficult offense to defend. They're very multiple, they have some outstanding schemes. On defense he's 4-2-5 and he will show some other personnel. Obviously they struggled this week. I've talked to coaches this year, but I talked to coaches that I know that played for him, they're a very good football team, they're very competitive, and we're going to expect a battle. Any questions?

Q. Wondering if you had any updates on Kristian Fulton and what his status is?
ED ORGERON: He's out. He's out. I don't know how long he's out but he's going to be out for awhile, I believe.

Q. If you're able to get a lead in this game, knowing that the red shirt, kind of who you have, are there some guys you want to get a look at?
ED ORGERON: We plan on that this morning. Obviously we're going into each game with a plan and obviously we're going in, we're going to play our first team, we're going in to win the game. If things happen we have several guys that we're going to give a chance we're going to practice them this week and make sure they're ready. If they get a chance to get in the game we'll put them in.

Q. With Kristian out do you think Kelvin Joseph will be ready to play or would Kary go back to the outside?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, Kelvin will be ready to play and we need to move Kary back to the outside and give him some reps there.

Q. On the Nick Brossette slide was it kind of hard to get everyone on the same page there late in the game and is there more pressure to win a game by two touchdowns?
ED ORGERON: No, he did the right thing. We call it the winning edge, Nick did it, and then we had a huddle and I said, man, I think we can score. And Steve said, it's up to you coach. So I'm the one, I'm the one who said, you know what, let's put seven more points on the board, let's see if we can score. We couldn't and it worked out. But Nick did the right thing as the wining edge. We sit on the ball, we win the game. That's what we taught him to do, he did what he was taught to do.

Q. You mentioned like there's some players that you could put in for this week. Just with kind of the red shirt rule there how does that influence how you might approach it?
ED ORGERON: Well you know we have several players that haven't played yet. We have some players that has played four games already. Like Chris Curry, so we plan on not playing Chris and red shirting him, unless we completely have to play him. Now, so that's not a final decision, but we do have guys that haven't played yet and we're going to give them a chance to play in any game that there's an opportunity.

Q. What do you think it takes, it will take to find the offense that you had against Georgia, it's been a real struggle over the last month. Do you think it's not only execution but scouting or are people taking things away from you? What do you think is happening there?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, I think for some how some way we lost our identity since the Georgia game. We're trying new things, maybe we're trying to get a little too, put too much in, we need to simplify. I asked Steve to go back and look at the game and figure out what we did right there because we were clicking pretty good that game and let's look at the things that we did, I think it's more or less to simplify. We're putting too many things in, are we trying to cover up some things that are some weaknesses, maybe. Maybe some times we feel like we're handcuffed, we can't get as many receivers out as we want to or something like that because of protection or whatever it may be. But I did ask him to go back and look at the Georgia game, look at what we did well, simplify and today we're going to do a lot of that stuff and look at what the guys are doing to us on defense, the defenses that are giving us problems, have answers for those defenses because we're going to see them again.

Q. Any updates on John Battle and Fehoko?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, John Battle may be able to play this week. Fehoko will not be able to play this week. Maybe we might have him for the Texas A & M game I'm not sure yet.

Q. I know coaches talk about one game at a time and that's the proper approach but when you look at the CFB standings and LSU has not been in a New Year's bowl game since it started, hasn't been in a major, one of the upper tier bowl games since 2011. How important is it for the Rice and the A & M games to not only win but play as well as you possibly can?
ED ORGERON: Really important for these players. They poured their hearts out this season. We're 8-2, I'm very proud of the character of this football team. We talked about it and I don't talk about the standings or none of that, but we do talk about finishing strong, taking them one game at a time and taking it to a New Year's Day bowl. These guys deserve that, obviously we have to play well this week, we have to play well the week after, we can't look ahead, but it's something for them to shoot for. I thought after the loss in the Alabama game they were very down, we had to regroup and look at what we can do and what we can accomplish and I think for this team it could be a great accomplishment.

Q. You just talked a lot about the offensive issues but seemed like the last few games the screen game in particular has really been taken away a lot. What do you think the issues might be there?
ED ORGERON: We looked at it yesterday, and we looked at tendencies, we looked at on the down and distance we called it, we looked at formation, we looked at what are we giving away, what are they doing to take away from us. And you're exactly right it's not working. We had a screen cut up and we looked at it as a staff yesterday and some things we have identified. So we have to do some things different to help us in the screen game, obviously it's important in our package.

Q. Again about kind of the red shirt rule again. With the game like Rice here does that change how a team might feel about a game like this late in the season?
ED ORGERON: You know, I would think not. Obviously we're going to practice as hard as we can this week, work on the fundamentals, but obviously we know there might be an opportunity for those guys to play, but listen, man, we learned our lesson last year and that's not going to happen to us again. So we're going full bore against these guys.

Q. When you started the season a couple guys transferred out at quarterback and Myles stayed put. What was his mentality or y'all's conversations like judging playing backup in a few games versus having a year of eligibility saved?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, we talked with his father, his father was great. We had a meeting. Myles was great. He's a LSU Tiger. We talked about some things we'll get better at, need to work on. Myles experienced a minor injury that was hampering his throwing throughout the year. There was one game he could have went in but I didn't think he was healthy or ready to go and he didn't want to go in that situation and I don't blame him. I asked him to go and I talked to him and his father about it. Now it seems like he's going to red shirt, which is great for him, it's great for our football team. Like I said before, I do believe Myles is a championship quarterback, he will be a great quarterback at LSU, he has a tremendous arm, he's gaining weight, he's getting better, he's healthier. So I think this year has been beneficial for him and the future of our program.

Q. It's obviously a team game but Nick Brossette's closing in on a 1,000-yard season, which is a pretty big accomplishment. Can you talk to the job he's done this year after waiting three years.
ED ORGERON: Yeah, I love Nick. And coming into the season we had those questions at running back, there's no questions any more. He's had a tremendous season. Very proud of Nick. He's an outstanding young man. I hope he gets a thousand yards. I don't know how many shy he is, but whatever it is, I want him to get it, give him a chance to get it, he's very deserving. And he's turned into a vocal team leader for us. And Nick being a leader sometimes you have to step out and you have to say things that are tough, you have to do things that are tough, Nick has done that, he's a tremendous young man, can't say enough good things about him.

Q. As the season's gone on it seems like there's been some growth in that D-line or maybe some of the names outside of like Rashard Lawrence or Breiden Fehoko. What did you see out of this line last game, maybe Tyler Shelvin specifically.
ED ORGERON: Yeah, really excited about the play of Tyler Shelvin. Believe it or not he's down to a slim 347. He came in at 385. So I'm proud of Tyler and I thought he played really good. I thought he showed the signs of why we recruited him. Tyler's matured, now he hit a little bump in the road about the middle of the season, we had a discussion, he's changed his attitude, he's working hard. And also Neil Farrell. I think Neil is coming along. Neil makes a lot of plays, he's very aggressive, big strong kid, gives depth to our defensive line. Glen Logan is probably playing his best ball right now. But the best guy that's having the most production is Ed Alexander. He's really playing well. Rashard played well. I was glad to see those guys have a good game.

Q. You won eight, have a chance to win 10 in the regular season. Yet the perception by some, not all, by some, is that it's good, but. The but is still there. Does that bother you and how do you fight that perception, do you have to fight that perception with your team?
ED ORGERON: No, not with the team. This team wanted to win the National Championship. We never talked about it as a team. I know they did. I know their heart was there. Not to say that we can't do it still and I don't know that, but we never set that as a goal as a team. I didn't want to put that on them because if you do that, once you don't have a chance your season goes south. This is LSU. I grew up watching LSU, I know the expectations here every year is to win a championship. I do believe that we're getting the most out of this football team, they're giving us everything they can. But you know what, we still have two hard games to go and to end the season strong with a strong finish and go to a New Year's Day bowl would be a good step for this program. It's not where we need to be, it's not the expectation of this program, but I think it would be a good step.

Q. You have guys on your team, seniors who fill every role, including three who you gave scholarships to before the season. So what do guys like Tiger, Turner and Trey add to your program?
ED ORGERON: You know, everybody's got a role like you said on our team and they're all characters. And these guys are leaders, believe it or not, I may go to these guys and ask them what's going on in that room. They're sometimes they're more aware of what's happening on the football team, who is doing well, who is not doing well, who likes their coach, who doesn't like their coach. I get a pulse of the football team from those guys. And I give a you an example. Tiger, we were playing a left-handed quarterback, I didn't know he was a left-handed quarterback, he was playing a different position for us. And he was signalling on offense. I had him come play a left-handed quarterback, he did a great job for us. So those guys are important to our football team, they all have a role and we're going to miss them.

Q. What kind of job do you think your secondary coaches did in the game with all the guys shuffling in and are you concerned with a couple of those unsportsmanlike conduct or are those isolated?
ED ORGERON: Sure, sure we don't want no unsportsmanlike conduct. They're stupid penalties. We don't need that. And one was emotional, one was close. But standing over a player like that, we don't want that stuff, okay? So number one. Now I said this, the addition of Bill Busch along with Corey Raymond has made a difference on our staff. Corey was coaching five guys, that's almost impossible now days with all the nickel that you play. And he did a tremendous job for us. But adding Bill Busch there, then adding some of the analysts that we do have that have defensive backfield backgrounds has been tremendous for us. Now, we're scrambling a little bit, but it goes to show you that you have different coaches in there that are coaching these guys as an individual and they were ready to go in the game and play up. And one of the biggest improvements on our team is Todd Harris and JaCoby Stevens. Those two guys are valuable prayers, we can put them in any time, they're starters for us and they performed like it.

Q. Did anybody play in the secondary that hadn't played all year?
ED ORGERON: Ed Paris played a little bit more. He played a little bit more this year. This game than he has. He's been a tremendous season for us.

Q. Just to bounce off that, JaCoby Stevens, his playing time has fluctuated this year, what did you see him from him this week in a bigger role?
ED ORGERON: He's improved every week. JaCoby's a big strong -- if you look at vertical jump, bench press and stuff, he's one of the best on the football team. And now he's learning how to play the position, he's learning how to cover in space, he can rush, we feel good in man coverage, we feel good in zone coverage, he's learning the defense, he's learning the multiplicity. Again, I think Bill's done a great job, he's got to give the credit to JaCoby, he comes to work and has a great attitude every day.

Q. Is there anything you observed about Burrow and Jefferson that makes them such a big combo?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, I think that first of all, I really like the techniques that Jerry Sullivan has taught our guys. You can see, especially against press coverage, you can see the foot work and guys are getting free, guys are getting open, I thought Steve dialed up the game plan on the, in the passing game, the crossing routes were wide open. Those things are working well. I do expect Joe to play better. He's had some really good games, he's had some okay games, and he knows that, he's a competitor. I would expect him to pick up his game the next couple games.

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