clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

No. 10 Texas hasn’t been looking ahead to No. 6 LSU

New, 57 comments

Preparation for the Tigers started on Sunday morning.

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

AUSTIN, Texas — Fans of the No. 10 Texas Longhorns have circled next weekend’s game against the No. 6 LSU Tigers ever since the home-and-home series was announced nearly five years ago.

In the football facility, however, the coaching staff and the players hadn’t done any preparation for the monumental contest at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium before Sunday morning.

“Zero. Zero,” head coach Tom Herman said on Saturday evening. “We’ve got our analyst and GAs and have been breaking them down and they will give us a pretty detailed scouting report tomorrow, but we haven’t watched a snap of them.

“Yeah, zero. Other than the analyst and GAs getting a head start on the breakdown, they haven’t presented us anything.”

When the coaching staff put on game film, it watched LSU’s 55-3 destruction of Georgia Southern that showcased the new-look spread offense that passing game coordinator Joe Brady helped install during the offseason.

“We’ve definitely come out of the Stone Age,” quarterback Joe Burrow said.

Indeed, the Tigers are no longer running the plodding, archaic offense of year’s past. Instead, it’s a hurry-up, no-huddle attack that actually features the offensive skill position talent on the roster instead of limiting that talent.

It’s an attack that is already clicking — LSU scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and racked up 472 total yards as Burrow tied the school’s single-game record for touchdown passes with five. He threw those five touchdowns while distributing the ball to nine different receivers.

“We’re going to run the spread offense. We’re going to score points. We’ve got athletes. That’s what we do,” head coach Ed Orgeron said. “The scheme is a lot better this year. We have answers to different coverages.”

The key architect is Brady, who joined LSU after spending two seasons with the New Orleans Saints after leaving Penn State, where he worked under now-Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead. In the past, the Tigers simply haven’t had that type of spread pedigree designing the offense.

“He’s a game-changer,” Orgeron said of Brady to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. “I like his presentation, the way he handles himself. It’s the confidence he has and all of the coaches have in him. I see it in the players too now. They walk around with a bounce in their step.”

So the Longhorns will face a significant challenge defensively after allowing 331 passing yards to the Bulldogs on Saturday.

Regardless of how the Longhorns defense fares against the Tigers offense, Texas will try to take advantage of what may be the biggest game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium since Ohio State visited in 2006 by using it as a major recruiting showcase.

“Well, we got to play well, but the atmosphere leading up I think is great for recruiting,” Herman said on Saturday night. “We did have GameDay I think at one of our games last year, but, again, we don’t play a traditional rival at home.

“When we do play a rival, oftentimes when GameDay shows up it’s a neutral site. The State Fair is awesome. All that stuff is great. This will be a big recruiting weekend for us,” Herman added.

“A lot of unofficial visitors that will get to experience big time college football with GameDay here. I think, what, for the first time since 2009 that it’s been in Austin. It’s big for recruiting, big for the exposure of our program, provided we play well.”

There’s even a little bit of extra drama surrounding the game — in late 2016, after LSU fired Les Miles and named Ed Orgeron the interim coach, athletics director Joe Alleva approached Herman to take the job. According to a report at the time, Herman had an oral agreement with Alleva to take over for Oregeron, then decided against heading to Baton Rouge. Alleva wasn’t happy.

“It wasn’t about money,” a source told Gridiron Now. “It wasn’t that Texas offered. It was about a gentleman’s handshake in place and you reneged.”

Herman quickly took the Texas job and the rest is history, including Orgeron working behind the scenes to make sure that the Longhorns couldn’t host satellite camps in Louisiana over the last several years.

Asked about how close he was to taking the LSU job, Herman declined to comment, but it seems safe to say that there is still resentment behind the scenes in Baton Rouge, so this game will be extra personal for Orgeron.

And now he’s emerged from the offensive Stone Age with an experienced senior quarterback and all the talent that the Tigers normally possess.

This is going to be fun.