LSU will be without two key pieces to its defense for a second straight week, Ed Orgeron said Wednesday. Edge rusher Ali Gaye and safety Jay Ward will miss the Central Michigan game.
Ward, who had really adjusted well to the move to safety this offseason, took on a tough hit in the loss to UCLA that has kept him out of action since the first quarter of that game. Orgeron said the team is hoping to get him back for the SEC opener against Mississippi State but that he's very doubtful this weekend.
"I think Cam Lewis has done a good job and so has Jordan Toles," Orgeron said. "Both of those guys got to play and do a good job, they've had a good week of practice. They're gonna be challenged but I think they're up for the challenge."
As for the absence of Gaye, it'll allow for more reps to guys like BJ Ojulari and Andre Anthony though losing Gaye is a significant one. Orgeron has been impressed with the pressure the defensive line has put on quarterbacks but the big area this weekend will be on slowing down Lew Nichols and the Central Michigan running attack.
"All camp I saw an outstanding pass rush and that has continued," Orgeron said. "I think Andre Carter has brought a great mentality to our defensive line, great techniques with our pass rush. We have to stop the run, be gap sound, be physical up front, make tackles. That is going to be a big challenge for us this weekend."
Turning his attention to the offense, Orgeron said there are many areas the team has focused on this week and the hopes of getting some of its offensive linemen back healthy would do wonders for improvement.
"Consistency, different tempos of the offense," Orgeron said. "Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, not as much look overs, be more decisive. I think we need to put our players in better positions, put the ball in our playmakers in space and let them make plays. Need to run the ball better and protect, there are a lot of things on offense that need to be fixed right now."