LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry ready for another chance against Alabama

In LSU’s 29-0 loss to Alabama in Tiger Stadium last year, Ed Orgeron minced no words about what went wrong on offense that led to an embarrassing shutout.

The offensive line simply couldn’t hang with an Alabama defensive front led by nose tackle Quinnen Williams.

“Our offensive line was beat on one-on-ones,” Orgeron said after the game. “We had max protections. We were sliding. Those guys were beating us. They were stunting us. We tried everything we possibly could. Go four-wide. Max protection. Just got beat. … You’ve got to look at personnel.”

Alabama tallied five sacks on LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, 2.5 of which Williams earned credit for, in addition to another tackle for loss in a dominant performance. On top of that, LSU garnered just 12 total rushing yards on 25 attempts, and Burrow completed just above 50 percent of his passes.

The man going toe-to-toe with Williams in that matchup was center Lloyd Cushenberry, who just a few  weeks ago made headlines when he put stats from last year’s loss to Florida on the lockers of every lineman as motivation for the rematch.

He said he’ll probably have something up his sleeve for the upcoming Alabama game, though he probably won’t need it.

“I’ll be thinking this weekend about something,” Cushenberry said. “Obviously we didn’t play good, and that should be motivation enough. I feel like we have a great group of motivated guys. We don’t have to do too much talking about this matchup. We know what he have to go out and do, and it starts with us. We have to do our job.”

The stakes for the game couldn’t be much higher. The Tigers will likely enter the contest as the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since 2011, which happens to be the last time LSU toppled Alabama.

In an 8-year stretch of losses, including the first being in a BCS National Championship game in New Orleans, the Tigers have come close a few times, but for whatever reason Alabama always came out on top.

Cushenberry was 13 years old when LSU defeated the Crimson Tide in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Nov. 3, 2011 in a game dubbed “The Game of the Century.”

Now, he has a chance to repeat history, travelling to Tuscaloosa as the No. 1 team in the country, playing against a No. 2 Alabama with an inside track to the College Football Playoff on the line.

Those eight losses have given the Tigers a tremendous chip on their shoulders, and this year they feel more prepared than ever to get the job done.

“Any time you lose, it’s going to be frustrating,” Cushenberry said. “We were very frustrated we didn’t play up to our standards (last year). We know we can’t do that this year. There’s definitely going to be a chip on our shoulder, but at the end of the day, we just need to go out there and play the game. We’re going to approach the game like we have every game so far and play to the LSU standard of performance, which is pretty high.”

LSU’s new, high-powered offense was built specifically for games like this. Alabama won’t be able to commit as many defenders to the run as it has in previous years due to the number of receivers the Tigers will throw at it.

But Cushenberry isn’t relying on an offensive scheme to bail the line out and win this game. He knows he has work to do.

“I know I didn’t play good (last year),” Williams said. “I know people were probably saying negative things. I understood that. We all didn’t play well. I know that, and I learned from it for this year.”

Photo Credit: Terrill Weil

About Tyler Nunez 345 Articles
Tyler Nunez was named Assistant Editor of Tiger Rag in September 2018. He covers LSU football and basketball and is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.

2 Comments

  1. Humbleness and owning up to a poor performance is the sign of a good man. We all have fallen short…and the older you are, the more times that has happened. But if we learn from it and can through an honest assessment of one’s self and good coaching, one can overcome the past and go on to WIN!!! Hasn’t LSU done that at least 3 times this year against very good TOP 10 teams. Lloyd appears to be acting here like a real team leader and saying WE CAN DO THIS!!! Is this sport and life not about young men becoming real men, examples and leaders for their team mates, their school…and the youth growing up. Keep up the great work…and continue to lead Lloyd…and we can beat Alabama for sure. But most importantly, you are taking a stand as a man who can LEAD in life…for your family, friends and those who will need your guidance that come into your life in the years to come. I am a proud LSU graduate of Chemical Engineering. But my lessons learned while playing sports…have paid off every single day of my life. God bless you Lloyd Cushenberry. And God bless LSU for that many lessons and blessings it has given me to use during my life of 60+ years. And GEAUX Tigers!!!

  2. That was a very embarrassing loss last year in Tiger Stadium, Bama 29 LSU 0, but that was last year and this is a new year, new team, stronger improved offensive and defensive line. Quinnen Williams was the number 3 pick of the NFL draft last year chosen by the New York Jets, he was the best defensive tackle in college football, he won the Outland Trophy that is presented to the best interior lineman in the nation. Bama’s other defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs was selected number 192 in the NFL draft. I am stating these facts so at least fans will know the high caliber and skill of the guys ya’ll went up against. This year LSU’s linemen are bigger, stronger, faster, more skilled, more competitive, more dedicated, they have proven it by getting better with each and every game. Last years game was a great opportunity to play against and learn from some of the best talent in all of college football. This year with the lessons learned, improved strength, skill, determination, and leadership, LSU will provide blocking protection for Joe. Ya’ll did a great job of blocking against Auburn and they have some first round defensive linemen for this years NFL draft. Give 100% and you will be victorious and never ever have to question yourself if you played your best. I believe in this LSU team, they are winners, they have the best quarterback in the nation, front runner for the Heisman Trophy Joe Burrow, great receivers, Super Clyde Work Horse Edwards Helaire, Davis-Price, DBU the best defensive backs in the nation, awesome defensive line and offensive line, a kicker that scores field goals, great special teams, this is the year for LSU to win the National Championship. GOD bless ya’ll. Go TIGERS !!!

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