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December 2, 2019

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Atlanta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: We'll conclude today's call with LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Clyde, while we wait on questions, please take a moment to comment on the LSU team entering the SEC Championship game.

CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: First off, I want to say this is a brotherhood. We expected to be in this situation. We are humbled to be in this situation, and we are ready to continue the things that we've been doing so far. The boys are ready. We're going to prepare this week and on to the SEC Championship.

Q. Clyde, Coach Orgeron said last night in his teleconference that Georgia is the best defense you've faced all year, and what they've given up against the run is not very much, and also points against is only about ten points a game. What kind of challenge is that for your offense, and what do you need to do to have success against this Georgia defense?
CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: This week we're just going to have to watch the film we need to watch, execute, and let Coach Joe and Coach Ensminger figure out the details of the offensive game plan. Georgia is a great rushing defense and a great overall defense.

It was the same situation as last year. They were the No. 2 rushing defense in the country, and we prepared that way with this, with our game plan, and we're going to figure the things out that we need to figure out in order to move the ball, and hopefully towards the end of this week we have everything figured out as far as the game plan and what's our strategy going into this week.

Q. And I believe you had 146 yards against Georgia in Baton Rouge last season. What do you think you've improved in your game over the last past season?
CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: I would say I became more patient. I would say I became more of a smart runner, being able to read the things that I need to see on the defense and not just run. I'm able to know exactly where most run plays are going to run in and know the strengths and weaknesses of each player on the defense from the film study that I do throughout the week. It also helps having Joe on my left and my right in the backfield to let me know certain situations and what's going on in the run game.

Q. You all had these player only practices every Saturday in the summer. How did those come together without coaches being there to direct you all through drills? They were obviously pretty influential on your season.
CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: Yeah, so we did those player only practices, and for the most part, they were throughout the week with the team. Then on Saturdays, any group can come in together. Early in the morning, the offense might come in or a group of receivers or all the quarterbacks or all the running backs. It just depends on the configuration of what we had planned for that week. We'll have a group message for that week, and everybody understands who needs to come in, the things that we're going to accomplish, and the things that we need to get improved, and everything was step by step.

Joe was, for the most part, the coordinator of it for the offense for us. Anything that he wanted to get done, any route, anything that he saw in the playbook that he felt we needed to work on and run, we did. We got all those things accomplished. Anything from pass play in the backfield to routes out of the backfield to routes outside was my biggest thing and also running routes with receivers, picking at them, trying to get insight on how they run routes, which benefited me this year. Overall, it helped, and it's paying off.

Q. Do you have any fond memories of those times? Adrian Magee told us a story about bringing his dog and chasing Badara Traore. Do you have any memories of that kind of thing?
CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: Yeah. I would say one time I brought my dog, and I had my dog pretty much running routes with me. He was just behind me the whole time. It was -- it's nice to have fun, but we went in and did the work that we needed to do. It just goes to show you that any distraction that we could have brought in, we were still going to get the work necessary that we needed to get done.

Afterwards, we all just kind of chilled two hours afterward just talking, talking about the things we wanted to accomplish this season, playing with my dog. Everybody is just running around having a good time, just kind of embracing it all and understanding we had something special and we knew we had something special, and being able to execute the things we needed to do. Some things that might take people hours, we were able to accomplish in 30, 45 minutes and get everything executed and down the exact way that we want it.

Afterwards, just to bond with those guys that's still on the field now, it shows a lot. It shows that we created a bond early on, and it only gets stronger week to week.

Q. What player stood out to you the most from last year's game? Maybe a linebacker on the defensive line from Georgia.
CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: I mean, just thinking -- we play so many games after that, and I try to flush everything afterwards. I would say last year, I think it's Roquan, the linebacker. I'm not sure his name. I don't want to say it wrong. He was a great athlete. I needed to see where he was pretty much every play I was in.

Last year I wasn't the starter. I prepared like a starter, but last year I wasn't a starter, so it wasn't my job to just know everything about him, but I went in knowing I needed to know where he was on the field at all times. That was the biggest thing for me when I got in. As far as guys on defense, he's the guy that stood out.

Q. I'm just interested, last year and previously LSU ran a lot more heavier offensive sets, a lot of 12 personnel. Nowadays you guys are a lot more spread out. As a running back in a system like that with a lot more space out there on the edges, does it make your job as a tailback that much easier? And obviously, you've had much more success this season.
CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: I would say it makes everybody -- it makes the defense become accountable for everyone. I wouldn't say that it makes my job easier. I still, for the most part, we still are running the things that we ran. It's just the RPO offense that pretty much gives Joe the option to pull the ball, and it gives us pretty much that double read. If it's going to benefit Joe to pull the ball, he does. If it's going to benefit us keeping the ball and me making a play and let the O-line do their thing up front, then that's what we go towards.

That's pretty much what a lot of offenses are going to nowadays. I would say colleges around have adjusted to the all pro offense, and a lot of defensive coordinators are finding ways to stop the things that they need to stop or make whatever defenses that they need to set up or whatever they need to do in order to stop it.

So I would say every game you go into, I'm not thinking it's easier now than it was before because you never know. It's the game of football. You never know what you're getting into when you go in. You can only study the things that you saw before on film or what they did all before the week of. Some defenses go with, we call it the flavor of the week. They might just show things on film before that they never ran, and then this week might be the week they feel their defense can stop the offense we have going.

It's all based off adjustments during the game, and that's pretty much what the game is all about -- who can make the best adjustments and execute the adjustments when the coaches want the adjustments. That's the game of football.

Q. Clyde, I know it's still early in the process here and you guys are still getting into your evaluation process of Georgia, but how confident are you that your offensive line can win at the point of attack against the SEC's top rush defense in Georgia?
CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: I'm very confident. The O-line steps up. Whenever they get called out, our people feel like they want to step up. They always do. That's the way it's been for us for the past six, seven weeks. It's always been can the offensive line hold up? And they have. So as far as the questions about the offensive line, those guys work hard day in and day out. They execute. This year we had numerous rotations on the offensive line, and it hasn't been a dropoff yet.

Those guys, they prepare, and they execute, and they do the things they need to do in order to get the job done on Saturday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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