LSU will host No. 1 Alabama this Saturday at Tiger Stadium with a 7 p.m. CT kickoff on CBS. The game was originally supposed to be played on Nov. 14 but was postponed due to covid-19.
On Monday, head coach Ed Orgeron spoke to media and previewed Saturday's matchup vs. the Crimson Tide. Here's what he had to say:
Today is going to be about fixing LSU and a little bit about Alabama, then tomorrow we'll move on to Alabama with a scouting report, get ready for them.
We practiced Alabama seems like now for the third week. We kind of know them very well. Obviously a great football team, great football coach, led by their offense, 48 points a game. Matt Jones is having a tremendous year. Najee Harris is going to be the best back we see all year. Devonta Smith is an outstanding player, 72 receptions. Sarkisian does a job of getting him the ball. Probably be the best offensive line we'll see all year.
Looking forward to playing Alabama. Hope we have a great crowd there, as many as we possibly can. It will be a wonderful night for the Tigers.
Q. I got off the Zoom with Coach Saban. Recovering from COVID. He plans on being back for the game against you guys. What kind of challenges does that bring you with Coach Saban on the sidelines instead of coaching from home?
ED ORGERON: He's a great coach. Look at what he's done. He's done a fantastic job with his football team. You can see the same traits in and out with his football team, execution, great players, great coaches, great plays. I think the guy has done a tremendous job with his program.
Q. I'm not sure the greater challenge, not only your coaching job, but you the motivator. You mentioned the outside noise. How will you keep your kids from not looking ahead, instead of four touchdown underdogs?
ED ORGERON: We never talk about that. That's never been mentioned. This is Alabama. This is LSU and Alabama. It's about us. We can control what we can control. Let's go in there, play our best game we possibly can play.
Q. Maybe this is a little on the same lines. Normally when you're playing Alabama where it falls in the calendar, there is still a championship on the line. There isn't that now. What do you tell your team this week? After watching the film, how did you grade out the quarterbacks? Were there differences you saw on film than what you saw real-time?
ED ORGERON: The quarterbacks were under the (indiscernible). I can't put anything on those young quarterbacks. I thought they did the best that they could. They made some mistakes. They made some miss-reads. When there's free blitzes, they're attacking them, all that, the young freshman quarterback, we got to have a better scheme number one. What I tell them this week, tell the team this week, We're playing Alabama at home. That's all we need to hear. Playing Alabama is a great rivalry for us, a great game over the years for us, a tremendous challenge. They're the No. 1 team in the country coming to Tiger Stadium. Let's play.
Q. You mentioned about limiting the explosive plays. Coming off your best game defensively, what goes into limiting those explosive plays?
ED ORGERON: You got to find where Devonta Smith is, number one. You got to know where he's at, what he's going to do. You have to cover him. You may have to double cover him, you may not. If we do have single coverage, we have guys that can do that. You got to be able to eliminate him from getting the ball over the top. Sarkisian does a good job with his play action pass, called a gap pass. Take shots time after time. Can't get your safeties too far up to play the run because they throw the ball over your head. I think that's the number one deal.
Q. Since this game is a reschedule, if you were to look back at your team when you were supposed to play Alabama, do you think your team is better today than when you were supposed to play them?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, we have enough people to play. First week, we didn't have enough people to play. That's all there was to it. I'm glad we playing them. I glad we got to reschedule. We look forward to playing them.
Q. Feels like this is the longest and strangest buildup to Alabama I've seen for a while. What has been behind the scenes? You said you wanted to play this game. How did y'all talk about it?
ED ORGERON: It's about LSU. Alabama is a great team, a great program. This is about us, about us getting our team ready to play a great game, doing the best that we possibly can.