Even Ed Orgeron’s mother knows the LSU Tigers have to find a way to deal with Jalen Hurts.
The 19th-ranked Tigers will have an eye on stopping No. 1 Alabama’s freshman quarterback Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Last year, Alabama defeated LSU 10-0 in Baton Rouge, La., with Hurts running for 114 yards and passing for 107 more. He accounted for the game’s only touchdown on a 21-yard scramble to break a scoreless tie in the fourth quarter.
Coco Orgeron, who is in her 70s, gives her son a scouting report every week. She reminded the LSU coach of Hurt’s exploits.
“She knows we’ve got to stop that quarterback, for sure,” Ed Orgeron said this week.
Hurts ranks sixth in the SEC in total offense – averaging 224.4 combined passing and rushing yards per game – despite rarely playing into the fourth quarter.
“I think this quarterback is the catalyst for their football team,” Ed Orgeron said. “He makes them go.”
Mama Orgeron has a Facebook page, so she knows how the internet works.
So does the LSU coach, who remembers last year, when some comments by a player provided motivation for Alabama. Dwayne Thomas, a senior LSU defensive back last season, spoke words which were repeated in the press and on social media.
“I really see us dominating this team,” he said, referring to the Crimson Tide. “This is the year. We’ve been letting them off the hook for the last couple of years. … It’s time for us to bring that win back. … I feel like we’re going to dominate this game.”
Instead, Alabama defeated the Tigers for the sixth time in a row.
That was Orgeron’s first Alabama-LSU game as head coach, after an in-season promotion. He retained the position (he was interim head coach last year) and, apparently, learned a lesson.
“We’ve stayed out of the media,” he said. “Hopefully our guys are staying off the internet, because you don’t win a game that way.
“It’s a very tough battle. We’re going to have to match the intensity of Alabama, match the execution and play 60 yard minutes.”
That echoes Coco Orgeron’s scouting report.
“Make sure the team is ready, boy, you go get ’em,” Ed Orgeron said she told him.
Mama knows best.
Reach Tommy Deas at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0224.