It took a pair of hard-fought, single-digit SEC wins, but the Tigers are back in the top 25. The biggest difference between now and when they were ranked a few weeks ago is their value of every single game. You could certainly argue that maybe LSU doesn't beat Florida or Auburn without learning some harsh lessons against Troy.
“We used it as a turning point,” says head coach Ed Orgeron. “I go back to several Mondays ago when we met with these 11 men in my office, and we threw everything out on the table, just like you would throw as a family meeting. We said, ‘Tell the truth. What's going on?’ We did. They went and talked to the team, and they were going to have a half hour team meeting; they had an hour team meeting, and you could see the difference in practice.”
But what Orgeron points to as the biggest difference maker is the return of a former Tiger.
“On a Thursday, Duke Riley came,” says Orgeron. “He was our MVP last year. He was a guy that everybody respects. He watched us practice, and he lit into the football team like I've never seen before about things that were going on, things that he observed, and things that we need to get better at. And since then, our team has changed.”
And that's where Orgeron says he's learned the most since his time at Ole Miss, where he'll make his return to this weekend. Back then, coach O would try to fix everything himself. Now, Orgeron's surrounded himself with people that make up for his weaknesses as a coach, and he's ready to put it on display against the Rebels.
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