LSU’s hire of Bo Pelini as defensive coordinator went very poorly in 2020. On Monday, coach Ed Orgeron dropped a hint as to why it didn’t work out.
Orgeron admitted at LSU’s media day that he hadn’t even personally interviewed Pelini before hiring the former Nebraska coach as his defensive coordinator. Despite that, Orgeron said he’d have still hired Pelini even if he had interviewed him.
Coach O reiterated that he didn't formally interview former DC Bo Pelini. "It didn't work, and I'll never do that again. But if I interviewed Bo Pelini face-to-face I still would have hired him."#LSU#SECMD21
It’s an odd quote, and not a great look. Defensive coordinator is a hugely important position on a coaching staff, and even though Pelini came in with a solid reputation, LSU should have been doing its due diligence here. The hire didn’t work at all, as LSU’s defense gave up 492 yards per game in 2020, the fourth-worst mark in the entire FBS.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron is shying away from bold proclamations about his team this season.
Orgeron memorably said last September that the Tigers’ defense was “so much better” than it had been at any point of the team’s 15-0 championship season in 2019. That comment aged terribly, as the Tigers surrendered 492 yards per game, the fourth-worst mark in the entire FBS. The defense’s performance was so bad, it ultimately cost Bo Pelini his job as LSU’s defensive coordinator.
On Wednesday, Orgeron said he felt the defense was improving from 2020, but alluded to his previous comments in noting why he was being a bit more conservative with his praise.
“You know, I’m going to be careful what I say about last year to this year, because last year I said something and it come back to bite me,” Orgeron said, via John Brice of FootballScoop. “So I’m going to be guarded in what I say.
“I do see a difference. I see our guys with their cleats in the grass. I see communication being better. I see the defense simpler. I see our guys attacking and playing football. But I’m going to hold judgment to the season. Lesson learned.”
It would be hard for the defense to be worse, but Orgeron’s note of caution is smart. He was definitely flying high ahead of last season as the coach of the reigning national champions, and it seems he just got a bit carried away. There’s no way the guy wants to be trolled all season again, so he’ll let the team’s play do the talking this time.
Joe Burrow’s season-ending injury was hard for many to watch. It was especially difficult for his college coach.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he has texted Burrow, admitting that he was sad to see his former quarterback hurt as badly as he was on Sunday.
“It was tough to watch. We felt bad for him,” Orgeron said Monday, via Jake Rill of Saturday Down South. “Joe’s a competitor. I texted him today. I know he’s going to be back. I know his attitude. I thought he was having a Rookie of the Year season. We are very proud of him.”
Burrow won the Heisman Trophy for Orgeron and the Tigers last season en route to a national championship. He’s rightly considered an LSU legend, so they’ll be pained to see this happen to him.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron has some extra time on his hands these days, and he’s found a pretty constructive way to use it.
Orgeron told Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” that his new pastime is weekend running. Not just a little bit, either — we’re talking two hours a day three days a week.
“During the COVID, we had a lot of time off — and I’m single now so I have a lot of time,” Orgeron said, via TMZ Sports. “So I decided to start running 2 hours a day on the weekends — 2 hours on Friday, 2 hours on Saturday, 2 hours on Sunday … in the sun at 12 o’clock.”
Orgeron said he’s lost 25 pounds as a result. He also said running gives him “clarity” and he comes up with ideas for work and recruiting while doing it. And yes, he knows he’s not the fastest, but he doesn’t care.
“It’s a slow man’s run. I’ve been ridiculed for that,” Orgeron admitted. “But, you know what I told ’em? When you’re 59, you run like you walk!”
Ed Orgeron backed Bo Pelini even after LSU’s defense had its second poor performance of the season.
LSU dropped to 1-2 after losing at home 45-41 to Missouri in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday.
Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak threw for 406 yards and 4 touchdowns in the game. Missouri racked up 586 yards on offense and won despite losing three fumbles.
A lot of criticism was directed at Pelini, the first-year defensive coordinator, following the defeat. Orgeron says he still believes in the former Nebraska head coach, though he says they need to be better.
Ed Orgeron: "I love Bo. I think Bo's going to be a great defensive coordinator … But we have to coach better." #LSU
This is the second time in three games that LSU’s defense surrendered over 40 points. They gave up 44 at home in a loss to Mississippi State in their first game.
Pelini was hired to replace Dave Aranda, who became Baylor’s head coach. This is Pelini’s second stint as LSU’s defensive coordinator, but it’s not off to a great start. Pelini’s task does not get any easier next week when the team visits Florida.
The LSU Tigers found themselves struggling against the Missouri Tigers on Saturday, and it reminded a lot of people about a preseason quote that has not aged well.
Coach Ed Orgeron said in September that this year’s LSU team was “so much better on defense right now” than they were at any point in 2019. Those comments looked to be aging poorly when Missouri put up 24 first half points on Saturday, battling LSU to a tie at the half.
Let’s just say a lot of people were quick to call back Orgeron’s quote.
Very common thread in the mentions:
People remembering Ed Orgeron said in September, “We are so much better on defense right now than any part of the season last year.”
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron says he believes most of his players have already contracted the coronavirus, and he is hopeful that means they will be immune to it for at least a while going forward.
Orgeron told reporters on Tuesday that the majority of LSU players have had COVID-19.
“Not all of our players, but most of our players have caught it,” he said, via ESPN’s Alex Scarborough. “I think that hopefully they won’t catch it again, and hopefully they’re not out for games. … Hopefully once you catch it, you don’t get it again. I’m not a doctor. I think they have that 90-day window, so most of the players that have caught it, we do feel like they’ll be eligible for games.”
Orgeron was referring to the NCAA’s policy on players who have already tested positive for the coronavirus. Those players do not have to be tested again for another 90 days. It’s unclear exactly how many LSU players have had COVID-19, as the school has chosen not to provide regular reports of coronavirus numbers.
LSU is ranked No. 6 in the nation heading into the season. The defending national champions will take on Mississippi State in their season opener on Sept. 26.
Derrius Guice was accused of raping multiple women while at LSU in an explosive report that was published this week, and some questions were raised about how much Ed Orgeron knew. The Tigers head coach says he had no knowledge of the alleged assaults.
Two women told USA Today that they were sexually assaulted by Guice when the running back was a freshman in 2016. One anonymous former LSU football recruit says he was dating one of the victims at the time, and he steered clear of Guice during his redshirt freshman season because he “probably would have lost my (expletive) on him.” The former player also claimed Orgeron spoke with him about the alleged sexual assault a year after it happened.
“(Orgeron) said, ‘Everybody’s girlfriend sleeps with other people,’” the former LSU player told USA Today.
The player said he is unaware of how Orgeron found out about the alleged sexual encounter between his then-girlfriend and Guice. He does, however, believe Orgeron knew it was not consensual and says he “lost all respect” for the coach.
Orgeron issued a statement on Thursday night addressing the USA Today report. He said he will not reveal the full details of his conversation with the anonymous former player, but added that “any insinuation that I had knowledge of his girlfriend and Derrius Guice is completely false.”
Multiple members of the LSU coaching staff were reportedly informed about the sexual assaults, but the university never conducted an official investigation.
Guice was released by the Washington Football Team earlier this month following a domestic violence arrest. The details from that incident were quite disturbing. Between the arrest and the LSU allegations, his days in the NFL may be over.
The LSU coach has had extra free time this offseason due to many college football activities being suspended. With that free time, Orgeron has taken up a new sport: boxing.
Orgeron began training with Baton Rouge-based trainer L.J. Morvant roughly two months ago, spending two hours a night three nights a week working on his form and technique. Morvant is impressed with Orgeron’s skills, and the LSU coach has even managed to bruise his trainer through body pads.
Orgeron has been a lifelong boxing fan and always wanted to learn the sport, and took advantage of the free time to do it. He even added that being the pupil and not the teacher has made him a better coach.
“I have extra time now,” Orgeron said. “I get in there in the ring and I am the pupil. We go at it. He teaches me. It’s really good for me to see how it is to be the pupil again. It makes me a better coach.”
As for Morvant, a lifelong LSU fan, training the school’s football coach has been a dream — and even made him cool to his kids.
“This man has motivated me in ways he doesn’t understand. He has redeemed me completely in my kids’ eyes,” Morvant said. “When daddy is coaching Coach Orgeron, daddy is a hero.”
Well, Coach O is definitely a guy who knows how to motivate people. It sounds like he’s becoming quite the amateur boxer at the age of 59, and is in pretty good shape. Plus, it’s certain to impress his players once they’re together again in person.