With the Mercedes Benz Superdome locked in as the host for Saturday night's opener, the focus turns squarely to LSU's opponent. BYU is a team team that shouldn't be taken lightly, even after they struggled in their own opener at home last weekend against Portland State.
“Obviously, they're going to put in new wrinkles for us,” says LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron. “From what I'm hearing, they've been game planning for us for a long time. They've been calling other schools about information and stuff like that. We've gotten that word. Obviously, I think those guys, like anybody else, would have made a game plan throughout the summer.”
All eyes, of course, will be on the Tigers brand new offense finally making its debut in full capacity. It's a lot of pressure, especially at quarterback, but Danny Etling says this is what he lives for.
“Pressure's a privilege, and it's something that you want as a quarterback and as any player,” says Etling. “You want to be the one who's out there for the team, and you want to be the best one for the team.”
You can still expect some growing pains, though. It's almost inevitable with so many freshman or first-year starters taking the field. The most immediate area of concern is the offensive line, but the Tigers say they've done everything they possibly can to have them ready.
“Not every one of them enrolled early,” says Etling. “So they've been having to pick up the offense as we go and learn things on the fly. We're expecting a lot out of them. If you're playing as a freshman, we don't really want those freshman mistakes. We don't want you to have that excuse. We want to make sure you're playing at the LSU Tiger offense standard. That's what we expect out of them, and I think that's what they'll do.”
The biggest benefit to the line and the offense as a whole could be balance.
“Consistency, running the ball 50 percent of the time, throwing the ball 50 percent of the time, being unpredictable in formations, running a spread offense; I know all of those things will be better,” says Orgeron.
One thing is for sure. The Tigers, especially those calling the Big Easy home, will be as fired up as ever to open the season in New Orleans.
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