Tigers unleashed

LSU goes for it, and gets it

{{tncms-inline alignment="left" content="<p><strong>LSU</strong> 36</p> <p><strong>Georgia</strong> 16</p>" id="6a191292-16f1-4a08-aa10-7ed0ae517c1e" style-type="quote" title="Pull Quote" type="relcontent"}}

BATON ROUGE — LSU quarterback Joe Burrow understood the significance of the moment.

But it still surprised him when he unexpectedly found himself surrounded by a tidal wave of students pouring from the stands and onto the floor of Tiger Stadium.

“Really, it did,” Burrow said. “They tried to grab me. I was like … what?”

<div class="Content"><p class="indent">It turns out that beating the No. 2 team in the country makes you a popular selfie target, let alone a bounceback 36-16 victory over Georgia.

<p class="indent">“I must have taken 70,000 of them,” Burrow said. “However many students were in the stadium.”

<p class="indent">LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is bayou born and bred, and has a little better grasp of the football history. He had an inkling even before the game started.

<p class="indent">“You could feel it on Tiger Walk,” he said of the team’s parade down the hill to the stadium before the game. “You could just feel it was going to be one of those games for the LSU Tigers. It was fun to be a part of it.”

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Somehow it all came together on a day when LSU (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) had an answer for everything the Bulldogs did, mostly with an aggressive, up-tempo style that never threw caution to wind even as the Tigers’ lead grew.

</div></div><p class="indent">“We were going for it as hard as we could,” Orgeron said. “We were throwing out the kitchen sink. We just felt we needed the tempo, we needed to be aggressive.”

<p class="indent">The Tigers put last week’s frustrating loss at Florida in the rearview mirror with 475 total yards — 275 on the ground, 200 from Burrow in the air — against the SEC’s No. 2 ranked defense.

<p class="indent">Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for a career-high 145 yards, Nick Brossette added 66, and Burrow even got in on the fun when his 59-yard bootleg sprint put an exclamation point on the upset.

<p class="indent">Burrow scored twice on quarterback sneaks and Brossette added a 4-yard score while Cole Tracy was 5-for-5 on field goals.

<p class="indent">They all credited the bounce-back performance to an offensive line that took a lot of the blame for last week’s loss.

<p class="indent">“They got reminded of some things this week and it worked,” Orgeron said. “Our guys had a chip on their shoulder. They were ready to beat the No. 2 team in the country.”

<p class="indent">So were the coaches as Orgeron turned offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger loose and didn’t slow down even as LSU’s lead grew.

<p class="indent">The theme of the day seemed to be “Go For It!”

<p class="indent">Orgeron set the tone by dialing up the inner Les Miles from the LSU coaching tree, rolling the dice to go 4-for-4 on fourth-down gambles — one from his own 38-yard line — all of which helped set up either a touchdown or field goal.

<p class="indent">“That’s the message we were going to send,” Orgeron said. “We were gonna be as aggressive as we can. We were gonna take shots. Play to win the game the whole time.”

<p class="indent">Georgia head coach Kirby Smart also tried to borrow a little of the Miles Magic, and it blew up in his face when he dialed up the Mad Hatter’s signature over-the-holder’s-shoulder fake field goal — and the Tigers’ stuffed it for a 2-yard loss. The Bulldogs never were the same.

<p class="indent">LSU led 3-0 at the time, and Georgia had just bludgeoned the Tigers defense for 61 yards on 12 plays without attempting a pass.

<p class="indent">“It was the (LSU) look we wanted,” Smart said of the trickery. “It was there. One of their guys ended up not rushing — he’s rushed every time (on film) — and he fell into the play and made it. I didn’t think it was the end of momentum for us, it just hurt us at the time.”

<p class="indent">Maybe.

<p class="indent">But the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1) went three-and-out on their next three possessions and managed one first down on the fourth possession before halftime. The Tigers built a 16-0 halftime lead on Burrow’s 1-yard sneak — on fourth down, of course — and two more Tracy field goals.

<p class="indent">Orgeron credited adjustments by defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.

<p class="indent">“We were playing one certain defense and it wasn’t working,” Orgeron said. “We changed to play another one and it worked. We were shading one way, then we went and shaded another way.”

<p class="indent">LSU linebacker Devin White explained that the nose guard was slanting one way, the linebackers the opposite way while Georgia was pounding away.

<p class="indent">The LSU offense, meanwhile, wasn’t slowing down. Especially on fourth down, three of which Burrow picked up on sneaks.

<p class="indent">“Joe’s a big strong guy,” Orgeron said. “He can play linebacker. We feel he can get a half yard.”

<p class="indent">“The key is you don’t want it to be fourth-and-1,” Smart said.

<p class="indent">“That was the key to the game,” Burrow said. “We didn’t get behind the sticks. The O-line was the big part of that. Second-and-6, third-andfour, you can handle that.”

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<strong>LSU</strong> 36

<strong>Georgia</strong> 16

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