LSU defensive tackle spot gets stronger with return of Glen Logan

LSU defensive tackle Glen Logan returned from a two-game absence to make his 2020 season debut Saturday vs. Missouri

After two weeks of being on the sideline, LSU’s most experienced defensive lineman will make his 2020 debut at 8 p.m. in Saturday’s home game against Missouri.

Senior Glen Logan, a three-year letterman and starter on last year’s national championship team, will end a two-game absence and will get the start on the Tigers’ defensive front, coach Ed Orgeron said Monday.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, Logan served a two-game suspension for breaking team rules in the off-season.

“He’s good to go,” Orgeron said during his weekly media conference via Zoom. “He’s been practicing. We’re going to have him starting. He’s been practicing every day, hasn’t missed a practice. Doing second team reps, running individual, doing extra on his own. He’s ready to go. I’ll tell you; it’s going to get a little tight there.

“He’s going to have competition because Joe Evans is playing well, Neil Farrell is playing well. (Siaki) Ika had a sack, and then Jaquelin Roy is coming along. Jaquelin is probably the most athletic with the biggest upside of any of them, and he’s only a freshman. I’m excited to see Jaquelin Roy playing the way he’s playing. I think he’s going to be an excellent defensive tackle for us.”

Logan had 18 tackles and 1 ½ tackles for loss last season following a career-best 46 tackles with 4 ½ tackles behind the line of scrimmage and four sacks in 2018.

Orgeron also expects to potentially have two more players back in the lineup for Missouri with the expected return of sophomore running back Chris Curry and potential return of sophomore offensive left tackle Dare Rosenthal. Both didn’t play in last week’s 41-7 win over Vanderbilt.

“Chris could not play last week before of injury,” he said. “We feel like he’ll be able to go this week.”

Orgeron also said that starting offensive guard Ed Ingram may be questionable and could be replaced by Joseph Evans.

Here’s what else Orgeron had to say Monday:

Opening remarks

“Really pleased with the performance of our football team. We went on the road to get a victory against Vanderbilt and we did it. A lot of players and played very well. There’s still some things to improve, but we made a lot of improvement from week one to week two. Hopefully, this week we make the same amount of improvement. On offense, (we scored) 41 points. We scored 30 or more points in nine straight games, (and had) 300 yards passing for 11 straight games, allowed zero sacks.

Have to give credit to (LSU offensive line) coach Jim Cregg and our offensive line, especially Cam Wire who started at left tackle and played every snap. Did very well. I was very pleased with the play of the offensive line. I was very pleased to see John Emery have his career-best 103 yards rushing. He made some great cuts to the outside, some good runs to the inside. The thing I’m most pleased with is we had zero turnovers and he’s done a great job of taking care of the football. He’s becoming a complete back.

Myles Brennan is the first player in LSU history to have 300-plus passing yards in his first two career starts. His passing yards (682), completions (50) and TD passes (7) are the most of any LSU quarterbacks in their first two career starts in school history. Terrace Marshall has another big game, Jontre’ Kirklin had two touchdowns. I was so excited to see Jontre’ have those two touchdowns. He’s done a tremendous job for us as an LSU Tiger. Eleven players caught passes against Vanderbilt, spreading the ball around. We’re plus-three in the turnover margin. We have six takeaways this year, four have to led to points.

On defense, very impressed with the performance of our defense, especially the yards after catch for only 60 yards compared to 383 a week before. Tremendous improvements on our assignments, tremendous improvement on getting to the football. We had three sacks, two interceptions, (allowed) seven first downs and 63 total yards in the second half. Tremendous job of making some adjustments and coming back and playing 60 minutes of football. (We) made two stops in the red zone. Obviously, having Derek Stingley made a difference for us. (Cordale) Flott had four tackles, two tackles for loss. On the second play of the game when he came up and made that tackle on that bubble screen, I knew we were ready to play by the way we flew to the ball. We tackled. Elias Ricks and Todd Harris had interceptions.

Special teams. All three of Zach’s (Von Rosenberg) punts were down inside the 20. We were two of two on field goals.

Pretty good job by our football team. There’s some things to improve. Too many drops. We still have to improve on our effort. We cut our loafs down by half for sure, but we still have to improve. I thought our coaching staff did a tremendous job on in-game adjustments.

Missouri: On offense, they’re very complicated. Coach has a lot of shifts and motions. Will run the triple option. It will be the first time I’ve seen a pitch in a while off a dive, quarterback with a lot of different formations. We’re going to have to play assignment football. They’re a waggle team and run a lot of nakeds (bootlegs). They’re a good zone blocking team that will cut you and also run some gap plays.

On defense: They’re a 3-4 defense and run some Bear. They’ll blitz you; they’ll pressure you and play man coverage and zone. They’re a well-coached team. We’re looking forward to the challenges of us getting better as a football team every day.”

On what made quarterback Myles Brennan so much more comfortable in second game

“We simplified it (game plan). He worked all week of stepping up in the pocket, not scrambling to his right like he usually wants to when he feels pressure. I’m make him a little cut-up (tape) of Drew Brees. I don’t know if that worked but I know he studied it. I think we worked very hard on him staying in the pocket and stepping up and making the right throw. Letting her rip. When he sees it open, let it go. That touchdown to Terrace, that free safety was sitting right there, and it was right on the button.”

On performance of first-time starter Cam Wire at left tackle

“I thought he was very good in his protection. He could finish his run blocks a little bit better. We were really worried about their defensive line. They had an excellent pass rush. We didn’t have to give him as much help as we thought with chipping or sliding help his way. Cam’s very mature and has been in our program for a while. He’s gained weight, gotten bigger and stronger. I’m very proud of him.”

On what’s contributed to the number of dropped passes on offense

“It’s timing with the quarterback. New receivers catching balls, nervous the first game. Taking their eyes off the football, trying to get up the field before they catch the football. They’re going to run today for some drops. All of our receivers that dropped balls will run after practice and we’ll have extra catches for them on the jugs (machine).”

On the development of defensive line becoming more aggressive

“First of all, it’s fun to watch. Fun to be a part of. Travez Moore gave us a good pass rush, B.J. Ojulari. Ali (Gaye) continues to make plays. I thought Jaquelin Roy went in there and made some big time plays and some great pass rushes. It’s good to see those guys putting the athletes in space and let them go make some plays. I really like at that.”

On the improvement of the secondary, development of the some of the younger guys and having Derek Stingley Jr. back

“I think Derek Stingley’s presence helped everybody, including me, to be honest with you. It gave us a lot of confidence. He’s one of the best players in America. Also, it took the pressure off of Elias. It took the pressure off of Cordale. But you know what, that was their first time playing that many snaps in a game. So, the second game, I think there was less nerves. They were a little more sure of the things that they had to do. I think they just stuck to the technique, didn’t give up any big plays, which I was very pleased with.”

On whether John Emery Jr. has an edge in the team’s running back competition and will he get more reps this week.

“We’ll have to see how healthy Chris is. Hopefully, those guys can share the reps back there, along with Tyrion. I still believe Tyrion Davis is an excellent back. I feel good about all three backs right now, and all three are equal in my mind.”

On which players you believe have had breakout performances through two games

“You got to look at a guy like Ali Gaye, who had a tremendous camp but hadn’t made any plays for us. You never can tell how they’re going to play in the game, but he’s played excellent the last two games. Now, he’s got some things to work on, but he’s a name that comes to mind right away. And Jabril Cox, it didn’t surprise me, who’s having an outstanding year. It was good to have Todd Harris back, good to see him get that interception. He looked healthy.”

On biggest difference you’ve witnessed the past two games with your offensive and defensive lines

We played more zone. We didn’t give up as many big plays. We didn’t have as many busts as we did in the first game. We didn’t have as many missed assignments or got beat just one-on-one. We barely got beat one-on-one. Now, maybe that had something to do with Mississippi State and their team, I understand that, but it looked like we were more settled down.

We give the quarterback a lot more time in the pocket. We had no sacks compared to seven sacks. So that was the biggest improvement.”

On the emergence of wide receiver Jontre Kirklin catching TD two passes after having to wait it turn

“Perseverance. Jontre’s come to work with a smile on his face every day. Like I said, Jontre is like one of my sons. I’m so close to him and his family, him being from Lutcher and we recruited him. Outstanding young man. No one wants him to have more success in the program, and we all do. It’s good to see it, but he’s waited his turn. We tried to get the ball in his hand, played on wildcat, tried to play defense. He told me, you know what, Coach, I want to play receiver. I’m going to be a darn good receiver, and he sure is. I hope he has a great senior year.”

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