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December 23, 2019
Q. So I feel like there's so many things like knowing the offensive line. Scheme's part of it. You guys developing continuity. If you had to single one out, what jumps out to you the most?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Just our mindset. I said it before. I feel like we had a different swag than we had last year and even in the past years. And just knowing we had something to prove. We always say you block out the noise, but at the end of the week, we hear the talk. We see the comments and posts about the O-line. We've seen it for the whole year, especially me.
I remember all that, so I try to pass that on to my guys. We've got something to prove every week. Especially more now that we've got the award. I told the guys now, we're the most hated. They're going to try to give us their all so we've got to prove something.
Q. How much do you think what you guys are doing now kind of sets a foundation for the next few classes?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: It's great, because they see -- even the freshmen now, they see how we work, like, you know, young guys. So I was trying to teach them. They see how I prepare every week. And they see what's been happening. So they know what it takes. They see what it takes and look to them in the future to do it.
Q. Rashard said Coach made it very clear this is a playoff game and not a bowl game. How did he break down the distinction?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Pretty much in meetings, he said it's not a bowl game. We're not here to have fun and enjoy these bowl events. We're here to come win a playoff game and come home and (indiscernible).
Q. Rashard touched on this isn't the last game we want to be playing those teams. This isn't the last game we want to be playing?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: This isn't our final destination. That's the goal and mindset we've had since we've started.
Q. Do you think because of the maturity of this team, he's kind of been able to not necessarily look forward, but keep the long-term goal in mind?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Yeah. Feel like our whole team, for the most part are mature guys who understand we've got bigger goals. Even all these individual awards, none of those guys got a big head. They know what we set out to do back in January, what we worked so hard for. So everybody understands that.
Q. Lloyd, with the running backs who are getting prepared, how do you see them banding together? What do you see?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Coach T-Rob and Coach Faulk, they're going to get those guys right. They work hard. I know Clyde will be in their ear trying to get them prepared. Whoever gets carries, it's on us up front to do our job so they can make plays.
Q. Now, we saw Clyde coming off the bus and he's got his teammates, spending time together. How have you seen him kind of recovering and getting ready?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: I'm not sure how he's doing as far as the hamstring, but I know Clyde's going to do all he can to get back as soon as possible, and our training staff is going to do --
Q. As an offensive line, you guys have improved so much, which that includes the run game as well. Considering perhaps the hurdle you have to go through this week, how do you approach talking about that with your offensive line?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: It doesn't change nothing for us. No matter who's back there, we got to do our job so it really doesn't matter who's running, who's -- it doesn't matter. So we've got to (indiscernible).
Q. Did you kind give that message to your running backs?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Not yet, but, you know, I'm definitely going to mention that to them. But it all starts up front.
Q. Lloyd, Oklahoma's defense has kind of made a jump, transformation like you guys have on offense. What have you seen from them on the defense?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: All those guys, they play hard and a lot of speed. And not really, you know, bigger guys that we've seen just throughout the season, but they play fast and they play hard.
Q. Three weeks between games, Lloyd. Is there curiosity about or challenge -- how do you keep your edge, be the same team you were against Georgia?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: I mean, it's the playoffs. If you don't -- if you don't have an edge and ready to go for this one, then I don't know what to tell you. I feel like this whole team, you know, we know this is win or go home.
So our mindset, this is not our final destination so we've got to take care of business and go home for a National Championship.
Q. Being away for Christmas, that's a good problem to have?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: It's a little weird, but families understand. We're going to be here as a team, as a family, and enjoy the day.
Q. Coach talked about the curfew being earlier because this is not really a bowl game. How much different than last year?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Lot different. Curfew was a lot earlier last night, and everybody was on time. So I feel like we got off to a good start with that, and everybody's locked in and doing what they need to do.
Q. Lloyd, no matter if Corren plays or not, which it looks like he won't, whoever starts at running back, schematically do you guys as an offensive line look at the running game different, block different?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Doesn't matter who's back there, who's catching the balls, whatever. We've got to do our job. Doesn't change nothing up front. We've got to take care of those guys and get the job done.
Q. Would you talk about the job Coach Ensminger has done with the offense. Not just changing, but accepting change, allowing Coach Brady to come in and add things to the offense and stuff like that. The kind of person he is, does it surprise you that he was able to do that?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Not at all. Coach Ensminger, since I've been here, he's always adapted and willing to do whatever's best for LSU. Obviously, he played here so he's going to want the best for the program. They felt like going to the spread was the best way to go.
He's done a great job, him and Coach Brady, of kind of collaborating and working together to get the job done.
Q. Is the O-line at its best right now, do you think?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: I think so. Guys healthy, guys a lot better shape. We've had confidence, but we've got a lot of confidence now and believe in one another.
Q. How do you block out all the distractions, Christmas, being away from home, playoff, everything?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: We got to understand what the end goal is, and that's the National Championship. If you're not focused and locked in on that, I don't know what to tell you. I feel like the whole team is just pretty much focused. Coach O and the staff does a great job of letting us know that it's not a bowl game. It's a playoff game. It's different.
Q. Seems like the coaching staff was trusting thank you Davis-Price in some of the biggest spots, second half against Florida. What has he done, I guess, behind the scenes to earn some of your guys' trust?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Coming in early, talking to Coach Faulk, getting in, watching film, getting in the play book, doing things that Clyde do, trying to follow in his footsteps, learn from him.
Just doing his job pretty much.
Q. O was talking about, and he's told us all year about how offensive line was the biggest question mark. Did he come to you, specifically, in the summer and say you need to rally these guys? How far have you all come to get that award last week?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: He hasn't really -- he didn't really come and say, you know, I need to rally them, but he told me and Damien Lewis, we're going to lead the team and it starts with the O-line. We knew that. We had that mindset since January. So, you know, we always say block out the noise. But at the same time, we're young. We see the comments. We see the remarks on social media about the O-line. We saw that last year.
I remember all that so, you know, I try to pass that on to the O-line and just let it be known that we're coming out -- we had a point to prove this year.
Q. You took it personally?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: I did. I always take it -- I save stuff. I screenshot, bookmark, all that. Everything I see, I try to just --
Q. Going to that award, getting that award last week, how fulfilling was that for you guys?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Oh, it was special. But, you know, we're not satisfied at all. Now that we got it -- Coach Ensminger told us now that we got it, we're the most hated, so guys will be coming at our neck so we got to step it up even more.
Q. Anybody that you played this year that Oklahoma's defensive front reminds you of in your prep?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Maybe Texas. I mean, because they're in the same conference. But as far as SEC, size-wise, no. But a lot -- Oklahoma does some great things. They move a lot up front and play with a lot of speed. So they're probably the fastest team we've played all year. We got to get ready for that.
Q. Do you see a difference in the big 12 line versus an SEC line?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Yeah, the size. But they got great players. I feel like they're much faster than a lot of SEC teams. That's what they do. They play fast, they play hard.
Q. So they're smaller but faster than an SEC line?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Yeah. Not much smaller, but they're still big guys, but they play a lot faster.
Q. Is there something that you have to focus on when you play a defensive line that has a lot of speed?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Yeah, because they do -- a lot of things they do schematically, they move a lot, do a lot of the line games. So we really got to lock in on our technique and just do our job.
Q. First time you've been away from home for Christmas?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Yeah, this is the first time.
Q. Any advantages to being out here the whole week and practicing for this game?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Yeah, it's getting used to the surroundings. Even though we were here, we get to kind of explore the city a little bit, I guess. Getting used to the field some more. We didn't have that -- wasn't here all week the last time. So getting our cleats in the ground, getting the right cleats, and so we're not slipping out there on Saturday.
Q. Was that an issue in the championship game?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: It was a little bit. Even today at practice, a few guys slipping. So just getting the right cleats and getting feet on the ground.
Q. Earlier in the year, O said that this team kind of really likes to kind of be away from everybody and that was one of the reasons you guys were so good on the road.
Does that kind of play into it all? Like we're all in the hotel, like we're all --
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: I feel like we all got that mindset, like us against the world when we're on the road. And myself and I know a lot of the guys love that on the road, all we've got is each other. We like going into different environments that we're not used to and silencing people, silencing the crowd.
Q. Talking about some of the doubters, is there a certain comment that kind of sticks out to you about the performances?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: No, I'm not going to point out people.
Q. Not the people, just the comment.
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: I don't know. You know, I just know it was a lot being said, and just took it personal and tried to get better from it.
A lot of things that were being said, you know, is justified. We didn't play well last year. We understood that. So we had to come out this year and prove a point.
Q. Everyone talks about the spread offense, the offensive weapons on the outside. Do you get the feeling that football is football is football. Whoever blocks, tackles, and wins the trenches is going to win this?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: Yeah, that's what it comes down to. Blocking, tackling. Coach O says all the schemes you come up with, the trick plays, whatever, that don't work. You got to block, you got to tackle, and you got to do the fundamentals, the little things. So that's what we try to do every week.
Q. You're going to try to do anything special this week to try to make Christmas, like, really happening on Wednesday?
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY: I'm not sure. They got a big schedule for us. So whatever we're doing on that day, I'm pretty sure the bowl people will make it special.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports