NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
You are viewing an archived report. For the most recent report, click here.
9/13/18 5:30 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Coach Ed Orgeron had two speaking engagements yesterday in which he spoke of his team and its upcoming battle on the plains of Auburn, which is set to kickoff at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS. We’ll start today’s report with comments Orgeron made during his weekly SEC Teleconference and then move on with our weekly recap of his radio call-in show. Also on the docket, a word on LSU baseball and a few closing tidbits. Let’s get to it…
COACH O SEC TELECONFERENCE
• With so much focus on the offensive line lately and a couple of position moves there (Austin Deculus to RG and Dare Rosenthal to OL), I kind of skimmed over the fact that sophomore safety JaCoby Stevens has been practicing this week as an outside linebacker. Orgeron addressed the move yesterday, saying that Stevens is still a safety but is working at F-LB this week because of match-ups that Dave Aranda wants to use. “It has some things to do with K’Lavon (being out) and has some to do with JaCoby,” Orgeron said.
• As for who will start at right tackle between Austin Deculus and Badara Traore, Orgeron said it will be a game time decision.
• On Dare Rosenthal switching from DL to OL, Orgeron said it’s a good fit because of his length. “He’s 6-8, 340. He’s a very good athlete. Very tough. Still needs to learn the plays and skills. Not sure how much we can do with him this year,” Orgeron said.
• Coach O also spoke about having no turnovers this season. ““We work very hard at it,” he said. “It’s all about the ball. We start every day with drills we got from the Patriots on creating and preventing turnovers.”
COACH O SHOW RECAP: AUBURN WEEK
• The first caller of the night was Fritzy, who spoke about what a great Saturday night it must have been for the Orgeron family. Not only did LSU shutout Southeastern, Coach Orgeron’s twin sons had big a night at McNeese State. Cody Orgeron threw his first touchdown pass and his brother Parker returned a punt 59-yards for a touchdown in McNeese’s 51-34 win over Houston Baptist.
• Charlie from Lafayette said he was concerned about replacing the injured K’Lavon Chaisson and also asked about running back Chris Curry. Orgeron said they do miss Chaisson very much and that guys did not step up like he wanted in the Southeastern game. Of course, Michael Divinity wasn’t there but will be back this week. “We don’t have an Arden Key or a K’Lavon Chaisson, but maybe someone will evolve to that,” Orgeron said. As for Chris Curry, Orgeron said he runs well, is a good blocker, and is good at pass protection. “He’s still learning and just needs to get up to speed and I think he’ll do that,” he said.
• Charlie in Ville Platte asked about new OT Dare Rosenthal who just made the switch to the offensive line from the defensive line. Orgeron said he’s really excited about him and believes he’s an eventual NFL first rounder at left tackle. “He’s tough, he’s mean, he’s big, and he can move,” Orgeron said. “I believe he’s the left tackle LSU is looking for.” Later, Orgeron clarified that Rosenthal isn’t ready yet and that it’ll take some time to learn the offensive playbook.
• Between callers, host Chris Blair pointed out that LSU is one of just seven teams to not have a turnover this season. In fact, LSU is riding a 15-game streak of not turning the ball over. Orgeron credited new safety coach Bill Busch and former LSU and New England Patriots great Kevin Faulk for introducing new drills that have helped in that regard.
• Back to the phone lines, Clint asked Orgeron how he thinks the D-line will hold up with Auburn “screening us to death.” Orgeron said that’s what Auburn does. They’ll open up with reverses and quick screens to try to tire you out then run between the tackles. “Our guys will be ready to play, especially up front,” Orgeron said. “We’ll rotate our guys to keep them fresh. We can’t let them run between the tackles; That’s where the game will be won.”
• From the live audience, Don said we’re going to have to take some deep shots and asked how they were going to provide protection for the quarterback. Orgeron said they would like to take eight shots per game, which is something he and Steve Ensminger got from Saints coach Sean Payton. “Obviously, there’s some times when we can and some times when we can’t,” he added. Orgeron spoke of sometime using max protection, sometime spreading out, and having to change up what they do and not give them the same thing every time.
• The Evil Twin, a regular in the live audience, asked about the remaining needs in this year’s recruiting class. Without naming recruits, Orgeron said they need to add a big-time running back, more offensive linemen, a big-time defensive lineman, and another QB. “We have one (QB) committed and need to sign another one,” he said. “I’m looking at a great one, I can promise you that.”
• At the end of the show, Blair asked about quarterback Joe Burrow and whether they’ve reached a verdict on the whole “slide or no slide” thing. Orgeron didn’t get into it but simply said something like “Burrow is very coachable and he listens to the Coach.”
Turning to baseball, here’s something that will get you fired up for spring. Baseball America, an authority on collegiate baseball, released its 2018 recruiting class rankings yesterday and pegged LSU’s class as the best in the nation. The ranking is LSU’s seventh Top-5 finish in the past 12 years, its 11th Top-10 finish in the same span, and its fourth No. 1 finish since 2007.
LSU’s 16-man 2018 recruiting class is composed of nine pitchers and seven position players, and it contains seven players that chose to attend LSU despite being selected in an MLB Draft – outfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo, catcher Saul Garza, left-handed pitcher Easton McMurray, right-handed pitcher Landon Marceaux, right-handed pitcher Cole Henry, right-handed pitcher Jaden Hill and catcher/outfielder CJ Willis. LSU led all schools with eight recruits listed on the 2018 Baseball America Top 500, which is made up of all draft-eligible players.
The newest LSU baseball players have engaged in conditioning drills and individual workouts with the returning players since late August, and the team will hold its first full-squad workout of the fall practice session on Sunday, September 23. A new NCAA rule allows the Tigers to play two exhibition games this fall against another school. LSU will play a two-game exhibition series against the University of New Orleans – Game 1 will be on Sunday, October 14, at 3 p.m. CT in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field, and Game 2 will be on Saturday, October 27, at 1 p.m. CT at UNO’s Maestri Field. Fall practice concludes with the intra-squad Purple-Gold World Series November 1-4, and the 2019 season opens on February 15 when the Tigers play host to Louisiana-Monroe in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
And while on the topic of baseball, how about that Alex Bregman! In case you missed it, he hit his 50th double and batted in his 100th RBI yesterday, making him only the 19th MLB player in history to get 30 HR/ 50 Dbl/ 100 RBI in a season. He’s also only the fourth player to accomplish these numbers before he was 26 years old. Big shout out to the former Tiger and current Houston Astros star!
Today’s Closing Tidbits:
• Forbes released its rankings of the most valuable teams in College Football and LSU came in at No. 9 with $112 million in revenue and $56 million in profit. LSU was the fourth highest SEC team behind the Aggies, Alabama, and Auburn. Surprisingly, Texas A&M was No. 1 on the list.
• Be sure to tune in tomorrow for our “Who has the edge?” series for this Saturday’s battle of the Tigers, as well as my weekly predictions.
9/12/18 5:35 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Excitement is quickly building for this weekend’s 2:30 p.m. CT SEC West showdown on the Auburn Plains between No. 12 LSU and No. 7 Auburn. And why would it not? As Tiger fans, you don’t need me to remind you that LSU vs. Auburn is one of the most storied rivalries in college football, fueled by chop blocks and cigars, earthquakes and burning barns, a rumbling with the marching band, and countless competitive contests between two powerhouse programs. Of course, one of the most thrilling of all was last year’s “Comeback Game,” also known as “The Rally in the Valley,” in which LSU overcame a 20-point deficit to pull off the program’s greatest SEC comeback since 1977 and its largest ever come-from-behind SEC win in Tiger Stadium. Here’s an epic hype video from that game that’s sure to get your hump day started on a high note.
In today’s report, we’ll begin breaking down the big contest by looking at our weekly stat comparison of LSU and its opponent. But first, a little background on where the two teams are coming from. LSU (2-0) began the season with a 33-17 win over then-ranked No. 8 Miami in Arlington, and then followed it up with a 31-0 shutout of Southeastern La. Auburn is also 2-0 on the season and followed a similar path to get there. They defeated No. 6 Washington 21-16 in Atlanta and then put a 63-9 whooping on in-state foe Alabama State. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the numbers.
LSU-AUBURN STAT COMPARISON
• The two Tiger teams have similar defensive numbers across the board. Each has given up roughly 74 rushing yards and just over 220 passing yards per game in their first two contests. Seeing as both teams recorded a Top-10 win in week one, these defensive numbers are quite impressive.
• Whereas Auburn and LSU are nearly identical on defense, offense is a completely different story. LSU ranks dead last in the conference with 315 yards per game this season, while Auburn is just shy of the 500-yard per contest mark.
• It wouldn’t be LSU if fans weren’t critical of LSU’s passing offense. So far in two games, the Fighting Tigers have the second least amount of passing yards per game in the league with 145.5. Despite having one of the best quarterbacks in the country, Auburn isn’t much better at 205.5.
• Somewhat surprisingly, Auburn has run the football more often than LSU has this season. Part of this has to do with the fact that they were able to run all over Alabama State. In that contest, they ran for 429 yards on 47 attempts. Don’t expect them to do anything close to that against Dave Aranda’s LSU defense.
• LSU and Auburn are two of the most penalized teams in the SEC this season. At 70.5 penalty yards per game, Auburn is the 10th most penalized team in the league. LSU is close behind at 11th with 74 penalty yards per game.
• Neither team has fared well on third down conversions. LSU is last in the conference with just a 26 percent conversion rate, while Auburn is 12th in the conference with a 39 percent conversion rate.
• Both Tiger defenses love to pressure the quarterback. As a result, the two are tied for first in the conference with nine sacks apiece. This is obviously a statistic to watch since pass protection was an issue for LSU last week and Auburn’s defensive front is one of the best LSU will face all season.
• Like LSU, the Auburn Tigers put a big emphasis on creating turnovers, and they’ve already created six through two games (four interceptions and two fumble recoveries). The LSU Tigers have forced one less turnover (three interceptions and two fumble recoveries) but have a big advantage in turnover margin because they haven’t turned the ball over. Auburn, on the other hand, has lost four fumbles.
• Where LSU dominates the stat sheet is on special teams. LSU leads in every category and is first in the conference in field goals made with a perfect 100 percent. Auburn, on the other hand, is near the bottom of the conference with just a 60 percent field goal rate. In a game as close as this one is expected to be, special teams could be the difference.
• Here’s one more interesting stat: Auburn has won 13 consecutive home games, a streak that dates back to a 2016 win over LSU. Sounds like they’re due for a loss if you ask me.
• Here’s something that may be of interest to some of you: a Q&A with LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva on Football, Facilities, and the Future, by Cody Worsham.
• SaturdayDownSouth writes: “Not every mid-September game between ranked teams has Playoff implications (looking at you, 2017 Tennessee-Florida game). But the one that will take place between No. 7 Auburn and No. 12 LSU this Saturday at Jordan-Hare does have some big-time potential Playoff implications at stake.” Here’s what they have to say about the importance of the “Tiger Bowl.
• And here’s a fun read from SBNation: 2007: The inside story of the greatest season in college football history
• Lastly, I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange with several new listings.
Have a great day, Tiger Fans.
This web site is not officially affiliated with Louisiana State University. Opinions expressed herein are the property of Donald Long, Scott Long and friends, not Louisiana State University.