The LSU offensive line struggled mightily to block Florida in a 27-19 loss in Gainesville on Saturday, and quarterback Joe Burrow has the bruises to show for it.
Burrow, who LSU coach Ed Orgeron said is “black and blue” from the hits he took, was sacked five times by the Gators and hit on several other occasions. Florida tacked up 10.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
After reviewing the film, Orgeron found that most of the issues were technical and schematic as opposed to LSU simply being overwhelmed by Florida’s speed and power at the point of attack.
“It was technical errors,” the coach summarized. “Things that we can fix.”
LSU is opting for status quo along the offensive line heading into this weekend’s top-15 matchup against Georgia at Tiger Stadium. Orgeron said LSU will stick with Adrian Magee at left guard after the veteran made his first start at the position against Florida.
The decision comes partly from necessity. Starting left guard Garrett Brumfield has already been ruled out for this week with a knee injury, Orgeron said, though the senior could potentially return next week against Mississippi State.
“We had that talk last night and we want continuity,” Orgeron said. “Obviously Adrian made some mistakes at left guard, but he had two days of practice at it, and that’s kind of tough. We’re going to leave him there.
“We thought about switching him back to tackle, but we didn’t think that would be fair to him or the offensive line to be able to block another great front, another different position, so we wanted to keep it the same this week. Hopefully we can get Garrett Brumfield back next week the. That would give us some flexibility with Adrian Magee, but right now we can’t do anything.”
The coach also conceded that left tackle Saahdiq Charles showed signs of rust in his return to the lineup. Charles missed the previous two games due to an undisclosed injury.
“He struggled a little bit. He knows that,” Orgeron said. “Again, you don’t practice, he had a pretty tough injury to get back from. Not making excuses for him, but he was a little rusty.”
PHILLIPS SET TO RETURN
Inside linebacker Jacob Phillips was dressed out for the Florida game, but the sophomore didn’t play. True freshman Micah Baskerville started in his place.
Phillips went through pre-game warm-ups in Gainesville, but the determination was made that he wasn’t able to play, Orgeron said.
“He wasn’t able to play,” Orgeron said. “We talked before the game. He tried, but he wasn’t able to play.”
The prognostication is sunnier for this week. Orgeron said he expected Phillips to play against Georgia and that he could return to practice as soon as Monday.
PRESSURE BEHIND JERSEY SWITCH
Wide receiver Jonathan Giles traded in the vaunted No. 7 jersey and took the field wearing No. 12 against Florida on Saturday, a change that received plenty of pre-game attention.
On Monday, Orgeron revealed the backstory that went into the change.
The Texas Tech transferred struggled through his first five games at LSU, hauling in just four catches for 20 yards. Orgeron approached him some time last week about changing jersey numbers to alleviate some of the perceived pressure.
“I went to him, asked him if it was too much pressure,” Orgeron shared. “He said no. I said, ‘Well how about you change it up. What’s your favorite number?’ I said I got these numbers available. He said, ‘Coach, I’ll wear 12.’ I was thinking it took the pressure off him.”
Giles, wearing No. 12, caught a season-high three passes for 12 yards against the Gators.
O ON STOVALL
LSU will retire the jersey of All-American player and former coach Jerry Stovall at some point during the Georgia game.
Orgeron, asked about Stovall, shared the following about his relationship with the only other Louisiana native who has even been the head coach at LSU:
“Been fantastic. He was here when I got recruited here and obviously he’s a household name. Only other Louisiana coach to be the head coach at LSU. He has embraced me since I’ve been here, become a friend. He’s been to practice two or three times. He comes to the booster luncheons. I speak to him all the time. He’s always welcome. I think it was the first time he had come back to LSU since he was let go. I think that was last year Coach Pete Jenkins got it done for us. He led the team in prayer and it meant a lot to him. He’s been to practice several times. A great player, a great coach, a great Louisiana man, can’t say enough good things about him.”
Tiger Stadium is sold out for Saturday’s game against Georgia, the school announced on Monday morning.
The Georgia game will be the second recorded sellout at Tiger Stadium this season. LSU also sold out the building for the Louisiana Tech game last month.
Due to the increase in ticket sales, LSU advised fans to arrive early due to an anticipated uptick in traffic.