Ed Orgeron, LSU Players Aim to Put Past Behind Them In Return to College Station

After seven overtime thriller, Orgeron says the goal is focusing on this Texas A&M team
Author:
Publish date:

It's been two years since that seven overtime albatross of a Saturday night at Kyle Field yet coach Ed Orgeron still remembers it like it was yesterday. It was a game that LSU felt it had won on three, even four different occasions but when the final play was over, it was the Aggies who had squeaked out a 74-72 win.

Now, LSU returns to the scene of the crime and Orgeron stressed on Monday that putting that game and all the emotions that came with it behind them, is the most critical thing to do. 

"I thought about it this morning, to be honest with you, when I saw the film and I saw the stadium, some thoughts came by," Orgeron said. "But you know what, it's my job to be able to prevent problems this week, have a great practice and not allow those things to happen that happened to us last time. And we're going to have to go and play our best game."

Orgeron and the Tigers experienced every possible emotion from joy to anger to fatigue and ultimately, dejection. LSU thought it had the game won in regulation when Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond threw an interception to Grant Delpit with seconds remaining, only to be called back because Mond's leg had been down before he threw the pass.

That was just the beginning of an exhausting back and forth game that after seven overtimes, concluded with a postgame fist fight and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow passing out from exhaustion and dehydration that required an IV in the postgame locker room.

"It's going to be on," Orgeron said a year later. "I'll never forget that game last year. We're going to be ready. There was nothing we could do about the end of that game, we felt helpless."

Wide receiver Jaray Jenkins remembers what that evening was like, even though he was watching from the sidelines the entire time. He was a redshirt freshman in 2018 and was not playing much but remembers that expression of exhaustion that he could sense on all of the players and coaches after the game. 

But this week, the 2018 game was something that he said Orgeron hasn't brought up too much. Because Orgeron knows how important it is to not hark on the past experience and focus on this week.

"He just said that we know what this game is gonna take," Jenkins said. "It was a long game, seven overtimes, but we're not trying to get it there [this time]. We're trying to get out, get the victory and head back."

Center Liam Shanahan wasn't a part of the team two years ago but has been fully briefed on the LSU-Texas A&M rivalry and how much the two sides don't like each other. The longest game Shanahan has ever played were a few overtime games while at Harvard so he can't really fathom what it must be like to play in a seven overtime thriller. 

"It's a big rivalry, we don't like them, they don't like us and that's something that's been made pretty clear to me," Shanahan said. "When I first got here this was one of the games that was circled. Guys have been talking about it throughout the whole summer and this is a big opportunity for us to get a big win."