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Notebook: LSU Coach Ed Orgeron Previews Arkansas Matchup, Provides Key Injury Updates

Orgeron talks about first job in Division I at Arkansas, what the approach must be in 2021 to walk away with a win

The Tigers will look to carry their momentum from Tuscaloosa into Death Valley against a talented Arkansas squad this weekend. Getting healthy and preparing for a rush heavy Razorback offense will be the main focus in practice this week LSU.

In his Monday press conference, Coach Ed Orgeron harped on his first Division I coaching job at Arkansas, getting back Cordale Flott for this weekend and getting their scheme together for Saturday night.

Orgeron Details Time at Arkansas

It’s been quite the journey for Orgeron over the last few decades but it all started as an assistant strength coach at Arkansas. Just hoping to get a foot in the door, his first gig is what started it all.

“Think about this, I made $25 every two weeks, that was my check,” Orgeron said. “It was a great experience. My first time in Division I football. They let me be a strength coach, assistant strength coach.”

The humble beginnings for Orgeron are what turned him into a national championship winning head coach, but one specific memory in the cafeteria is what he’ll forever remember.

“I lived in the dormitory, and remember going [to the cafeteria]. You get to eat so I go and eat. Then, I walk there on a Saturday morning, and I saw something white, a big bowl of white stuff. I ask my partner. I said, ‘what is that?’ He said, ‘that’s gravy.’ I said nuh-uh. Gravy ain’t white where I’m from,” Orgeron jokingly recalled.

Injury Update

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The Tigers will be hoping to get starting cornerback Cordale Flott back for Sarurday’s contest, but remain optimistic on defensive lineman Maason Smith.

"We should get Cordale Flott back this week," Orgeron said."I think Maason Smith is a guy who maybe last game he’s going to be healthy."

Flott has been an absolute force for the Tigers this season, totaling 32 tackles, 4 pass deflections and a forced fumble through eight games this season. Needing a corner who can lock down Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks, it’ll be key to get Flott back in the mix.

Safety Sage Ryan will be out for the foreseeable future with a lingering injury after LSU hoped to get him back this weekend. Ryan has been out since the Florida game after  making a lasting impression in limited action during his freshman campaign with so many other secondary injuries.

Approach Against Arkansas

It’s no secret the Razorbacks are exceptional in their rushing attack. With a running back room that can seemingly go three deep each contest, it’ll be the job of the defensive line to contain their talented backs in Death Valley Saturday night.

LSU's dynamic interior pass rushing duo of Neil Farrell and Jaquelin Roy will look to keep their hot streak alive in the run game. Showing a blitz heavy game plan last weekend, Orgeron expects a lot of the same against the Razorbacks.

“We’re going to continue to expound on our blitz package and see where it takes us,” Orgeron said. “We have a package that we show a bare front but we drop eight, which is good with a three-man rush. We have one where we play zero coverage… But yes, we’re going to continue to do it.”

Getting pressure on the quarterback and slowing down the run game will be of the utmost importance for this LSU defense. Limiting the explosive plays in order to keep the Razorbacks offense in check will put this Tigers team in position to come out victorious in Death Valley.