It has been a long week for both the LSU Tigers and their coach, Ed Orgeron.
An 11-point road loss to a then-unranked UCLA was not the first impression that either wanted to make to open the 2021 season.
LSU lost its season opener for the second consecutive season, something that hasn’t happened since the Tigers lost five straight openers from 1991-95; a stretch that started under Curley Hallman and ended with Gerry DiNardo.
The last time LSU opened a season 0-2? In 1991, the Tigers lost to Georgia and Texas A&M on their way to a 5-6 record.
Coincidentally, that’s also LSU’s record over its last 11 games.
It’s highly unlikely that LSU stumbles against the Cowboys, who are coming off a 42-36 loss to West Florida.
The most compelling storylines surrounding this game involve the coach’s son, Cody Orgeron, who starts at quarterback for McNeese, and the return of former LSU assistant coach Frank Wilson, who served multiple stints on the Tigers’ staff.
On the field, LSU won’t be playing against McNeese State.
The Tigers will be playing against last week’s performance. LSU has to prove to itself that what happened in Pasadena was an anomaly, and not an indicator of deeper problems within the program.
Orgeron and his players have stated that they weren’t strategically or physically ready for the UCLA Bruins. That may have been more embarrassing for the Tigers than what happened on the field.
LSU needs to come out firing on all cylinders. The Tigers must establish physical dominance on both sides of the ball. They must show that running the football is a viable option on offense. On defense, LSU has to display the basic fundamentals of communication and tackling.
The final score shouldn’t matter, but how LSU arrives at it will.
When: 7:00 p.m.
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge
Watch: SEC Network, ESPN+
Listen: 103.7 The Game (Pregame begins at 5)