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Ed Orgeron Gives Final Updates Ahead of LSU Football Matchup With Auburn

Orgeron calls Finley's South Carolina performance one of best freshman outings he's seen
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LSU quarterback Myles Brennan has yet to practice this week but in conversations with athletic trainer Jack Marucci, coach Ed Orgeron told reporters Thursday the hope is Brennan will be ready for the Alabama game. In the meantime, the purple and gold are all set to leave Friday for freshman TJ Finley's first road start.

The excitement level around Finley from the LSU fanbase is pretty remarkable after just one start and hasn't gone unnoticed by Orgeron. 

"I enjoyed the TJ Finley show Saturday night, I hope I see it again," Orgeron said. "One of the best freshman performances I've ever seen so let's see what he does this week. I think he's only going to continue to get better."

As far as injury updates, Orgeron said that left tackle Cam Wire had a good week of practice and will be good to go on Saturday. The offensive line is one of the thinnest position groups on the roster so having a fully healthy Wire is vitally important for the offense. 

The LSU defense figures to see much of the same from Auburn that gave them fits just three weeks ago against Missouri. Orgeron said the focus level has been there all week and believes the unit is ready to take another step in the right direction.

"It's going to be a challenge, it's always been a challenge with Gus [Malzahn], especially with shifts and formations," Orgeron said. "I think our defense has gotten better, especially on the lines of communication. I think our defense is simplified enough to where we can put our cleats in the grass and play."

The Tigers will be without one member of the defensive line as sophomore Siaki Ika has elected to enter his name in the transfer portal. Ika was recruited to LSU as a capable defensive lineman in the 3-4 but had trouble assimilating to the 4-3 this season. 

Orgeron said he wished Ika had elected to stay as he thinks he'll have a "phenomenal" career wherever he winds up.

"He's a great young man, great family and we really recruited him for the 4-3," Orgeron said. "With the 4-3 scheme, we wanted more quickness there and he was struggling a little bit. My suggestion was to find a place that plays the 3-4 and I think he can have a heck of a career."