Alabama is facing what coach Nick Saban calls a different LSU team under coach Ed Orgeron this weekend in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Orgeron took over the head coaching position after LSU fired Les Miles after a 2-2 start in September.
“Obviously this is a tremendous challenge for us to play what is arguably an undefeated team, to me, because they’ve been undefeated since their new coach, Ed Orgeron, took over,” Saban said. “They’ve got a very good team, playing very, very well right now. New energy and enthusiasm.”
Orgeron has led the Tigers for a 3-0 run and an AP ranking of No. 15 in the nation. The Tigers are coming off of a big win over the No. 23 Ole Miss Rebels, 38-21. Orgeron has the Tigers within striking distance of the SEC West with only one SEC loss. An upset over Alabama on Saturday would skyrocket the Tigers to first in the SEC West.
An offense that was stagnant under Les Miles rebounded under Orgeron. Coach O has the team averaging 536 yards of offense in the three wins. He has brought the LSU running game back as well, averaging fourth in the conference at 239.86 yards per game. In the three games, Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice helped lead a rushing attack of 912 total yards.
“Ed took over this team and they have played extremely well the last three games in all phases of the game on offense, defense and special teams,” Saban said. “They have some really outstanding players on both sides of the ball. Leonard Fournette is probably one of the most dynamic running backs that has played in college football for a while and is playing extremely well right now. And when Guice comes in for him, there’s not a lot of drop-off there.”
Alabama is looking forward to this game as it is often circled as one of the most important games in the SEC West each year. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said he can not wait to make his first trip down to Baton Rouge as he has heard many crazy stories about the rivalry. He knows it will again be a tough matchup, especially since Orgeron has given the Tigers confidence.
“They have a whole different energy,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think they kind of consider it a whole different season after Coach O got there. You know he’s a great coach and he’s been leading them very well so it’s going to be fun playing them.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports