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LSU rout of Texas A&M continues late-season surge that sets table for strong 2018

by Jerit 0 Comments

The heavy criticism that swirled around first-year coach Ed Orgeron and his LSU football team less than two months ago seem so much more distant.

The Tigers (9-3, 6-2) rolled past Texas A&M (7-5, 4-4) on Saturday, 45-21, to claim a sixth win in their past seven outings to not only salvage a bumpy September, but put together an impressive season overall.

And set the foundation nicely for the near-future in the process.

“After the Troy game (Sept. 30), I couldn’t think but about one second at a time, to be honest with you,” Orgeron said. “I could not look that far. I knew that we could get the team together, try to take it one day at a time, try to get the team right, fix the things that we could fix.

“After looking back at all the things that we went through, it’s a remarkable feat by a football team and our coaching staff.”

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DJ Chark, LSU continue to overcome early setbacks in 33-10 defeat of Arkansas

A muffed punt in the opening minutes provided a moment of concern that Saturday’s rare 11 a.m. kickoff might provide some difficulties for D.J. Chark and 16-point favorite LSU (7-3).

But the senior wide receiver bounced back from the early miscue, just as he had during the team’s most recent home game, and played a leading role in the Tigers’ eventual 33-10 dismissal of Arkansas.

“You’re gonna make mistakes,” he said. “But I’m blessed to be able to get another opportunity after I might mess up. No one wants to mess up. But if you do, you have to shake it off and worry about it after the game … I just came in after the mistake early on and was able to talk to the special teams guys and just find ways to not let that happen again, try not to force things and take what they gave us. And I’m just happy to just go back out on offense and contribute.”

By the end of the first quarter, Chark had hauled in a 45-yard touchdown pass from Danny Etling for the morning’s first score.

The duo added a beautiful 68-yard connection — one of their best of the season and a highlight of a 26-point second half — on the first play of the fourth quarter to essentially, finally put the Razorbacks away.

“I’m just blessed to be put in those opportunities,” Chark said. “We never really think about the statistics. We just play to each other’s strengths. And I feel like the coaches see (the long ball) as one of my strengths, and we were able to execute it.”

And Chark’s 130 yards on four receptions led Etling’s six different receivers and accounted for 59.9 percent of the quarterback’s passing yardage for the day.

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Ranking the top five LSU vs. Alabama matchups of ‘Saban era’ | Tiger Pride Podcast

LSU enters its annually anticipated matchup against Alabama fresh off arguably its best game of the season thus far in a 40-24 victory at Ole Miss.

The Tigers’ three straight SEC wins have provided some renewed optimism — even as notable underdogs in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

And Jerit Roser and Mark Clements took the bye-week opportunity to rank the top five matchups between the rivals since former LSU coach Nick Saban took over the Crimson Tide in 2007.

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Did LSU solve its problems in comeback vs. Auburn? Can Ole Miss prove problematic? | Tiger Pride Podcast

The slew of positives of LSU’s historic comeback this past Saturday to upend and upset No. 10 Auburn have helped mask lingering concerns that may not have cost the team for the last time.

Jerit Roser and Mark Clements break down the good and the bad, the Players of the Game, and the outlook for both this weekend’s trip to Ole Miss and the remainder of the season.

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LSU ‘fight, scratch, claw like Tigers’ in comeback upset of No. 10 Auburn

Ed Orgeron and his players took a page from Les Miles’ playbook Saturday on an steamy afternoon on which the former coach and his 2007 national championship team were honored at halftime.

“Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,” Miles joked two years ago after a hospital trip he later attributed to over-caffeination.

The Tigers (5-2, 2-1) showed little signs of life for the first nearly 20 minutes Saturday en route to a 20-0 deficit to visiting No. 10 Auburn (5-2, 3-1).

But a team many critics all but left for dead rallied together and scored 27 of the contest’s final 30 points to clinch their biggest comeback against an SEC opponent since 1977 and a second straight conference victory, 27-23.

“Gut check,” Orgeron said. “Gut check. We realized that, No. 1, I had to coach better, our staff had to coach better, our players had to practice better, and we had to have some leadership on our football team. But we were gonna be resilient. We weren’t gonna give up. We were gonna block out the noise. We were gonna fix the things that were fixable, and we’ve continued to do that.”

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