Everything Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson said at Tuesday’s CFP semifinal presser

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson and Tigers’ offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger met with media at a Tuesday morning press conference in Atlanta for the Tigers’ CFP semifinal vs. Oklahoma on Saturday.

Here’s what they had to say:

On the possibility of injured running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire not playing

Steve Ensminger: I’m excited about the other three backs. I do believe we will have Clyde. That’s my opinion. Coach O and Jack don’t confer with me that much, but I think Clyde will be there.
If he’s not, we have capable backs. Ty Davis is a bull runner. John Emery can make people miss in space. Chris Curry, I think Chris Curry runs the ball hard. You saw him at the end of the game last week or two weeks ago, runs the ball hard. He’s very secure with the ball.
I have no problems with our backs if Clyde’s not there. But I truly expect him to be there.

Joe Burrow: What makes Clyde so good is you can’t cover him with the linebacker. Teams have to go dime or put another safety in there, another DB to cover Clyde, and then we can run the ball down and throw it.

So Clyde, you know, super versatile and puts a lot of pressure on the defense. We’re not going to change our offense if Clyde isn’t out there, you know. Our offense is our offense. And those guys will step up, and I know they will, and they work hard for it. But Clyde is a big part of it.

Justin Jefferson: Like Coach said, next man up. So, if Clyde was not with us, we definitely have faith in Ty, John, and Chris. They’re some good backs. We rely on everybody. If Clyde would so happen not to play, we can rely on the other backs as well.

Ja’Marr Chase: I don’t know, the freshman just to play a game, they should look at it like every other game. If Clyde isn’t there, there’s always the next man up. Our guys will be ready for it.

On Oklahoma’s defense
Joe Burrow: When you watch them on tape, they definitely pop. They’re fast all over the field. And their scheme is really effective. I was with Coach Grinch for the first spring at Ohio State, he’s a great coach, great guy. He does a really good job with them.

Justin Jefferson: What we caught on the tape, we seen they were fast. We have fast receivers in our room too. We’re not really afraid of the speed they have. We just got to go in the game, focus, ready to go, and make some big plays.

Ja’Marr Chase: We see they’re fast, of course. But it’s all about working hard. It’s all about technique on the field. You can’t always rely on speed. It’s either a game of heart or a game of speed.

On LSU’s “other” wide receiver Terrace Marshall

Justin Jefferson: The funny part is we come to practice every day competitive. Dealing with these guys every single day is definitely stressful. But they have been working their butts off, and they’re the reason why I’m like I am today.
I’m excited to be playing with these guys and even Joe. I definitely can tell my kids I played with a Heisman quarterback when I have kids one day.

Ja’Marr Chase: Terrace is very outspoken. He’s competitive with all of us, all the receivers. I can say we’ll turn a simple drill into something we all want to win just so we can be competitive. But I think having a receiver corps like that is good for a team, pushing each other, keeping each other high, balanced, keep us out of trouble. I think that’s good for us.

On Burrow’s Heisman speech raising $482,326 on Facebook for the Athens (Ohio) County Food Pantry

Joe Burrow: I think it’s awesome. I think their annual budget was something like 70 or 80,000, and it’s up close to 500,000 now. I didn’t expect that. I didn’t say what I said, I just said it from my heart. That’s what I was feeling at the time and someone took it and ran with it. It’s been awesome. I couldn’t be happier for my area that it’s happening. I think it’s going to help a lot of people this Christmas.

On Burrow’s first college scholarship offer coming from Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley when Riley was offensive coordinator at East Carolina

Joe Burrow: My only offer at the time was my dad’s team (Ohio University), and I didn’t really think that was a real offer. I thought it was just my dad’s team just throwing an offer out there.

And Coach Riley called me and offered me a couple months later. So, I’ve always had a bunch of respect for him. I was actually really impressed with him on the phone very early. I didn’t really want to go to East Carolina, but I thought about it because of Coach Riley. He’s a great coach. You can see that the last couple of years.


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