BATON ROUGE — A fan base that has watched offensively challenged LSU football for most of the last decade had to like what they heard.
Offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, in his introductory press conference, spoke of the direction the offense was headed.
He spoke of RPO (run pass option) and running a no huddle offense. In the past, those items have been something that LSU only defensed. Now, they will apparently be part of LSU’s offensive DNA.
Ensminger was emotional, recalling his time at LSU playing for legendary Tiger head coach Charlie McClendon.
He was also emotional when he referenced a moment at home with his wife, when he spoke of watching the movie “Miracle.”
In its famous scene, USA hockey coach Herb Brooks addresses his team, moments before they play the vaunted Soviets in the 1980 Olympic semifinals.
Brooks was played in the movie by actor Kurt Russell.
“This is your time,” said Russell. “Their time has passed.”
Ensminger said this is his time to take over the offense at his alma mater.
“Before the big game, the coach said this .. great moments are born .. from great opportunities,” said Ensminger. “This is my opportunity, I embrace it, I look forward to it, and I will promise you we will make this state proud.”
In 8 games as the interim offensive coordinator in 2016, Ensminger’s offense scored 38 points or more in five games, including a high of 54 at Texas A&M.
But in the final two home games of the year, LSU was shutout by Alabama and scored only 10 points in a loss to Florida.
In that Florida game, the Tigers failed to convert on fourth and goal at the Florida one on the game’s final play.
If LSU had made that yard, Ensminger may have had the job one year earlier.
But, part of Ed Orgeron’s criteria for removing his interim head coach tag was going out to hire the best offensive coordinator he could find.
Matt Canada lasted only one season, and his departure was messy.
One year later, Orgeron circled back to what he wanted to do. And, that is hire Ensminger. Here is our report from Thursday’s press conference in Baton Rouge.