As the focus shifts to Florida week, the Tigers and Coach Ed Orgeron are taking it one step at a time to stay locked in on the task at hand. With the Gators having such a dynamic offense, LSU must forget about what has happened to this point and prepare for rivalry week.
"Florida, Emory Jones is an outstanding quarterback,” Orgeron said. “They're third in the country in rushing offense. Known Dan [Mullen] for a long time. He's one of the best play callers I've been around. They've got some talent, they've got a good offensive line, good stable running backs. Lot of speed at wide receiver. On defense, we all know about their defense. They're an attacking defense. 16 points per game, led by Zachary Carter with six sacks."
Defensively, Daronte Jones has his work cut out for him. This unit is just about as banged up as it can be against this elite Florida offense. The Tigers will be getting back Glen Logan but be without key starters Ali Gaye and Jay Ward against Florida. Adjusting in-game and staying fundamentally sound is what this defense needs to do in order to be effective.
"On defense, first of all, making sure that we adjust to the proper formation and we're in a great alignment and our eyes on the right keys,” Orgeron said. “No. 2 is when they're in that proper alignment and key, that they play the gap that they're supposed to. We're getting cut out of our gap.”
One thing Orgeron harped on was the growth of Florida quarterback Emory Jones from last year to now. Advancing inmaking the accurate read and getting the ball in the right place has given this Gators team a chance to compete at the highest level.
“Emory's passing is very much improved this year,” Orgeron said. “They want to run the football with him, but also the deep throws, also the wheel routes, the short passing game. I think his accuracy has improved and his confidence in running the offense."
The last two weeks, the Tigers simply have struggled to wrap up and tackle the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage. Missed tackles and blown opportunities have cost LSU the chance to compete in games they are more than capable of winning.
Orgeron discussed that a focal point in this week’s practices will be making sure the defense stays in their pass rush lanes and keeping the quarterback contained. The lack of sacks for this Tigers defense the last few games has Orgeron more than ready to improve this week.
"I think it depends what type of protection we're getting,” Orgeron said. “It depends how we're rushing our guys. Sometimes we've got scrambling quarterbacks and we're not scoring full tilt, we got to stay in our pass rush lanes. I think it's a combination of both."
Keeping this team together and staying confident in the task at hand, Orgeron knows the Tigers must take it week by week to succeed. Against a talented rival in Florida, both sides of the ball have to lock in and stay true to their game plan.
“Playing Florida is obviously a rivalry game for LSU,” Orgeron said. “We're playing at home. They're a very good football team and it's going to be a tremendous challenge, but yes, I think that can put a little feel good back in the program."