Ed Orgeron is expecting a ton of improvement from his team from week one to week two. It's one of those cliche sayings after all, that the biggest jump a team makes in development is from week one to week two.
Offensively, the Tigers will be down starting tackles Austin Deculus and Cam Wire, making any real progress up front hard to come by. Additionally Orgeron doesn't think running backs John Emery or Kevontre Bradford will be cleared to play Saturday.
Bradford has just returned to the program and practiced for the first time this fall on Thursday while Emery is still waiting to see if he'll be cleared from his academic issues before the McNeese game. Regardless, LSU expects to be in good hands as both freshmen Corey Kiner and Armoni Goodwin will be available next to veteran Tyrion Davis-Price.
"On the offensive side I wanna see a variety of offensive runs," Orgeron said. "I wanna see different formations, a wanna see motions, shifts, outside runs, inside runs and let our guys run the football. We want to be able to protect the quarterback, it's protection first. We've got some great receivers, we all want them to play but it's protection first. I hoped we learned our lesson last week."
On defense, the primary objective is to fix the crossing routes and run defense that plagued the team time and time again at UCLA. Orgeron knows this unit will see plenty of both against opposing offenses and that until it can be consistent in slowing it down, the gameplans won't change.
"I wanna fix the things that were wrong last week," Orgeron said. "I know we're gonna get crossing routes, we've gotta cover them. We worked hard on them. They're gonna try and run the ball so we gotta be in our gaps, tackling, rush the passer, not give up explosive plays. We had way too many last week."
LSU has linebacker Mike Jones ready to report for duty and he could very well be an answer to some of the issues that occurred against the Bruins. The Tigers displayed a number of linebacker, primarily Damone Clark, Micah Baskerville and Navonteque Strong.
Jones gives this defense a dynamic athlete who's excellent in coverage and can take away a passing threat in the middle of the field. Orgeron is excited to get him on the field
"I wanna see him in there and I wanna see him play well," Orgeron said. "He's an experienced player, he's done a good job of developing in the middle. It's an ongoing process but he definitely can run, definitely can make plays in space, can tackle and he's great in coverage."
LSU is heavily favored in this game so it's less about the score for the purple and gold and much more about finding a blueprint of how this team wants to play in every outing this season.