HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — Despite starting the season 5-0, the LSU Tigers finished just 5-3 the rest of the season, finishing third in the SEC West.
The Tigers were able to get big wins against Auburn, Mississippi and Georgia that secured them a spot in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl against the UCF Knights, winning the bowl game 40-32.
Ed Orgeron has gone 25-9 since becoming the head coach following the firing of Les Miles in 2016. 2018 was Orgeron’s best season record wise and 2019 promises to be a big one for the Tigers.
One game Orgeron is excited for is a rematch against Texas A&M in Baton Rouge in November. The two teams combined for 146 points in a seven-overtime battle last season which saw the Aggies prevail.
The Tigers lost two defensive studs to the NFL Draft in linebacker Devin White and cornerback Greedy Williams.
Senior Joe Burrow was the answer to the Tigers’ prayers for a quarterback in 2018. Burrow was efficient for LSU throwing 16 touchdowns and running for another seven, ending a long tenure of quarterbacks being the weakness for LSU.
The big talker Monday was about Burrow’s running from last season and how it may transition into this season.
“He would run through a brick wall if we let him,” Orgeron said. “He has a linebacker’s mentality.”
“I think more players get hurt sliding,” Burrow said. “If you don’t slide, you’re gonna be sore but you’re not gonna get hurt. But you also want to be smart and get out of bounds if there’s a 250-pound linebacker chasing you down.”
Safety Grant Delpit is coming off a big year. Orgeron called the senior “the best defensive player in the country.” Orgeron also mentioned how talented the defensive backs were as a group, claiming they were the best he’s coached in his 35 years in the profession.
Delpit isn’t only concerned about football though. He is an avid NBA fan and discussed the hectic offseason in the league and who he has winning the Western Conference.
“I like the Rockets,” Delpit said. “But I also like the Lakers.”
His high energy answering NBA questions almost matched the energy he plays with on the field as he tallied five sacks, five interceptions and 74 tackles in 2018.
The leader of the offensive line, center Lloyd Cushenberry III is ready for the season to start. Orgeron said he challenged Cushenberry to become more of a leader to the whole team.
“In the past, I’ve always tried to be a lead by example kind of guy,” Cushenberry said. “As of recent, I’ve tried to be more of a vocal leader, not just the offensive line but the whole team.”
LSU takes on Georgia Southern August 31 to start the 2019 season.