By Monday, LSU coach Ed Orgeron had settled down.
Maybe he wants his team to follow his lead.
With the 24-hour rule having passed there was no “It’s on!” to punctuate the start of this week’s game with Texas A&M as he had vowed in a fit of emotion following Saturday’s win over Arkansas.
He even apologized to the Razorbacks for saying then that LSU didn’t celebrate Saturday’s victory much because “They haven’t beaten anybody in a long time.”
“I want to apologize if it came out wrong to Arkansas,” said Orgeron, whose first FBS job was with the Razorbacks. “I love them ... by no means was that to demean them, that was just the mood of our football team, and we have bigger goals down the road.”
The unbeaten, No. 1-ranked Tigers clinched the SEC West with the victory and on Dec. 7 will meet Georgia in their first SEC championship game since 2011.
But first Texas A&M (7-4, 4-3), which LSU has had circled on the schedule for a year ever since the Aggies’ claimed a controversial 74-72 victory in seven overtimes last season.
It was punctuated by an ugly postgame confrontation on the LSU bench with some A&M staffers and several Tigers and staff members.
Orgeron admitted there could be such a thing as being too jacked up for an opponent.
“We’re going to be sky high,” he said. “But we can’t be too high to where we’re committing a bunch of penalties and all that stuff.
“But it’s going to be an emotional game because of what happened last year, because of where we are right now.
“Our guys will be internally motivated to play well in this game, I know they will. But they also have to understand that that doesn’t win games. You have to go out there and perform.”
NO DANCING: Orgeron said he wanted to get clarification from the SEC office on the 15-yard penalty three Tigers got late in the first half for unsportsmanlike conduct with an end zone dance following a touchdown. “A celebration for scoring so many points — it’s a good problem to have,” he said. “But our guys got to calm it down a little bit. They got their little dance there, we’ll find out what’s the rule ... I guess they thought it was excessive.”
SEC: For a change it was LSU’s defense being honored by the Southeastern Conference this week. Safety Jacoby Stevens was named the SEC defensive player of the week for his play against Arkansas. He recorded three sacks and another tackle for a loss when he batted a pass back at Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson and tackled him behind the line when the quarterback caught his own pass. He had eight tackles in all while accounting for 34 yards in losses. For the season Stevens leads the Tigers in both tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (5).
Fellow safety Maurice Hampton was named the SEC freshman of the week following his first start (and appreciable playing time other than special teams) in place of All-American Grant Delpit. Hampton, who will also play outfield on LSU’s baseball team, had six tackles in the game.
Orgeron said that Arkansas’ first play was a near-copy of one of the plays Ole Miss repeatedly hurt the Tigers with the previous week, and Hampton made a good tackle on it.
“Saved it from being a big play,” Orgeron said. “I liked the way Mo played. He did some really nice things.”
Orgeron noted that against Arkansas LSU had 11 tackles for loss from six different players.
BACK IN ACTION: Orgeron said that Delpit, who’d played two game with sore ankle before sitting out the Arkansas game, will be back full speed in practice all week. “I think the rest helped him,” Orgeron said.
Offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles will also be back after missing the last two games as a “coach’s decision.”
HONORS: In addition to being the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a finalist for the Maxwell Award given the college’s best player and the Davey O’Brien award for the best quarterback ... WR Ja’Marr Chase is one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff award given to the nation’s top receiver ... Safety Grant Delpit is one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe award for the nation’s best defensive back.