When a certain team has your number, it may be difficult to not use past failures as motivation. However, LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron is solely focused on this Saturday’s match-up and not the program’s eight-game losing streak to Alabama.
“This is a new team, they haven’t beaten this team yet,” Orgeron said. “And this is a new team, this team has not been there. These are new guys, these are new coaches, and let’s see what happens.”
The last time the Tigers defeated the Crimson Tide, Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu, then-coach Les Miles and LSU walked out of Bryant-Denny Stadium with a 9-6 overtime victory in 2011 in what was billed the ‘Game of the Century between the top-ranked Tigers and second-ranked Tide.
Since that November Saturday night 8 years ago, LSU has lost both narrowly and in blowout fashion to Alabama and Head Coach Nick Saban, who is 10-4 in his career coaching against LSU, 10-3 during his tenure in Tuscaloosa.
“If we would have won eight games in a row I wouldn’t say, hey we’re going to win because we won eight games in a row, it just doesn’t happen that way,” Orgeron said. “So is it a motivation for the fans, is it a motivation for me, yes, it is. But we’re not going to use that at all. This is a new team, new game.”
Meanwhile, Orgeron is 0-6 all-time against Alabama, and 0-3 vs the Crimson Tide as the coach of LSU. Reflecting on lessons learned, Orgeron said part of the gameplan this week is to avoid making the game feel too big for the staff and players.
“You know don’t over-hype it,” Orgeron said. “There’s going to be enough hype out there. Just stick to the fundamentals. Although there’s great wide receivers, there’s great quarterbacks, you still have to win the line of scrimmage here. Last year we didn’t win the line of scrimmage, they ran the ball on us. The year before they threw the ball on us. So we are going to have to play well in every area and in every football team. But it just goes back to fundamentals and this week tackling is going to be a premium. They’re very dangerous with yards after contact. That’s where they make most of their plays.”
Alabama Nick Saban also shared his thoughts on the match-up, “The big thing you want the players to do is to not get involved in the hype or even think about the implications of the game, but prepare for the game as if this is the best team you’ve played.”
#1 LSU and #2 Alabama will kick things off Saturday at 2:30pm in Tuscaloosa.