Skip to main content

Brian Kelly Provides Final Updates Ahead of Tennessee Matchup

Tigers return Garrett Dellinger to their offensive line, putting emphasis on containing Hendon Hooker and limiting explosive plays.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Brian Kelly provided his final press conference ahead of the Tigers’ matchup against the Tennessee Volunteers this Saturday in Tiger Stadium. LSU’s decision-maker hit on a few key subjects as we inch closer to the highly anticipated Top 25 matchup.

There remains uncertainty surrounding this offensive approach, but a more aggressive game plan should answer those questions. Additionally, Kelly added an injury update on a few guys heading into Saturday.

Here are a few takeaways from Thursday’s press conference:

Consistency in their approach, excitement surrounding the game

A Top 25 matchup in Death Valley. What more could you want? The hype surrounding this matchup has the attention of many and it’ll be imperative the Tigers remain focused on the task at hand.

“We want consistency in our performance,” Kelly said. “The excitement of playing at home, the excitement of playing a Top 10 team, we want all those things. As long as you’re in your right emotional zone and you come to each game ready to play. We’re still learning to do that. We haven’t been consistently in that zone. Our guys will be ready to play… It’s why you come to LSU.”

READ MORE: Brian Kelly Talks Containing Hendon Hooker, LSU's Offensive Approach 

Kelly has harped on the importance of playing more aggressively this week, specifically with Jayden Daniels in the passing game. Look for this offense to come out with something to prove against the Volunteers while also keeping their emotions in check.

Offensive Line Update

Garrett Dellinger will return this weekend after undergoing hand surgery last week and ultimately missing the Auburn game. With the return of their left guard, this offensive line will return to their most effective lineup:

LT: Will Campbell

LG: Garrett Dellinger

Scroll to Continue

Read More

C: Charles Turner

RG: Miles Frazier

RT: Emery Jones

READ MORE: Three LSU Players to Watch Against Tennessee 

“[Dellinger] has got to wear a cast on this surgically repaired fracture, but surprisingly he’s done quite well,” Kelly said. “He’s done very, very well… We feel comfortable with him there.”

Containing Hendon Hooker

The Tennessee signal-caller has made a meteoric rise in his senior campaign. Asserting himself as a surefire Heisman candidate, it’ll be a difficult challenge for this LSU defense, but one they’ll be prepared for.

Kelly has faced Hooker in the past, specifically when the quarterback was at Virginia Tech, but advancements in his game has made him much more than a runner.

“I wouldn’t say there was a passing game associated with what he was doing at Virginia Tech as much as it was a RPO and run game,” Kelly said. “This is a comprehensive passing game. The maturity of a passer and quite frankly the poise he shows at the quarterback position.”

READ MORE: Three Tennessee Players to Watch Against LSU 

Defensive coordinator Matt House has put this defense in position to be successful through the Tigers’ first few games, but Saturday night brings a different task.

Look for the Tigers’ defensive line to come out with something to prove against Tennessee. The importance of containing Hooker will be the top priority, and if done, will put LSU in great position to come out on top against this squad.