Liam Shanahan and Ali Gaye know what poor results on the field and a disgruntled locker room off the field feel like. The two were leaders on a 2020 team that was rife with conflict and instability and ensure that's not happening with this 2021 group.
LSU is coming off another disappointing loss to Auburn and faces one of the most daunting conference schedules in the country over the next seven weeks.
For this Tigers' team to get back on track, Shanahan and Gaye know how important it is to preserve the mindset of this team. Five of the six conference opponents sit in the AP Top 25, some of which are coming off down points in their seasons as well.
"We don't really have time to waste to be sad about the game and what not," Shanahan said. "We gotta get back to the grindstone and get ready for this upcoming week."
"You gotta move on to the next one," Gaye said. "You can't dwell on it because it's a new week, a new game. We've gotta reset. We did an okay job, we didn't do too bad but there's a lot of things to fix. We can't really beat ourselves up too much."
Shanahan and this offensive line have taken the brunt of the heat over the Tigers 3-2 start because of the line's inability to create running lanes and give serviceable protection to quarterback Max Johnson. It's impossible for college athletes to completely block out the noise and it's getting louder and louder as the weeks progress with the issues on the field with this team.
It's been particularly frustrating for the offensive line because when Shanahan turns on the film, he can see the issues, know they can be fixed and that the unit is "right there" for some major improvements. All that can be done on their end is to stick to the work at hand and not worry about what the outside noise is about this group.
"Something that the coaches say that I really take is I don't really try to read anything that people are saying," Shanahan said. "The only people that can control our fate is ourselves. The only people that can impact the games are in this building so that's something we reiterate to the younger guys. I think everybody feels that way."
A 3-2 start is not what this team envisioned heading into the year but all is not lost. Because though it's unlikely LSU is favored in many of its remaining games on the schedule, there's always that possibility of flipping the page and turning this season around.
"Obviously there's been some stuff this season that's been frustrating for us," Shanahan said. "This isn't where we would've liked to be at this point in time but we still got a lot of games coming. We've got a lot of good teams that that we're playing and I know me and my teammates, we believe we can beat anybody that we play."