Where were LSU's defensive adjustments last week? Ed Orgeron tries to explain
It was one thing for LSU to start off on the wrong foot last week against Mississippi State. But the larger question in the days since the upset loss in Tiger Stadium is where were the defensive adjustments?
Especially without their best defensive player, Derek Stingley, Jr., the Tigers largely played man-to-man coverage and Mississippi State picked them apart.
Coach Ed Orgeron tried to explain this week to reporters, and talk about why defensive coordinator Bo Pelini made the calls he did.
“All those are Bo’s decisions,” Orgeron said. “We talked about it. And they were hitting us on some pick routes, some over routes. Some of it was scheme. Some of it there was some kind of adjustments that we can do, not necessarily play zone, but you can do some adjustments in man and passing guys off, not passing guys off. We may do that, may not do that at all. It depends.”
Bo Pelini defenses have now allowed:
• Big Ten Record – most individual rushing yards (408, Melvin Gordon)
• SEC Record – most passing yards (623, Mississippi State)
— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) September 29, 2020
Stingley’s absence was only magnified after Orgeron revealed that cornerback Jay Ward missed time recently because he had meniscus surgery in his knee and the coaching staff wasn’t sure he could play.
“Having Derek not there really hurt us, obviously, but I’m glad that he’s healthy,” Orgeron said. “His safety is of foremost importance to us, so I’m glad that he’s healthy and he’s okay, number one. Jay Ward … played a lot of snaps. I thought he did a fairly good job, but obviously was a little rusty there. So I think there’s some combination of things. We were short on corners. Not having Derek hurt us. We had a game plan that we were going to play man, and man them up, and we thought we could man up with the receivers. We should have made a couple of more adjustments during the game.”
Orgeron said Pelini has been fantastic in the days since the loss.
“He’s the first guy to come see me in my dressing room,” Orgeron said. “First guy. He said, Coach, I should have done a better job. And he was hurting just like everybody else. And we went over the film, and he saw the things that he did well, saw the things that we must and will improve. He’s been fantastic today. He’s eager. He’s an outstanding coach. He’s hurting just like everybody else.”