Fiesta Bowl Football

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, celebrates last season's Fiesta Bowl win against UCF with quarterback Joe Burrow in Glendale, Ariz. [ROSS D. FRANKLIN/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]

Coach’s corner

Head coach: Ed Orgeron

Age: 58

Record at school: 25-9

Breaking it down

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Stadium:  Tiger Stadium (102,321)

All-Time record: 797-414-47

Conference affiliation: SEC

Last conference title game appearance: 2011

Returning starters: 19 (8 offense, 9 defense, 2 special teams)

Four-down territory

1. Is Joe Burrow ready to lead Tigers to a title?: The Ohio State transfer now has a year of starting in SEC play and should be more comfortable in his second season in Baton Rouge. With former New Orleans Saints assistant and new offensive coach Steve Brady on board and a new philosophy that will involve more RPOs, Burrow has a chance to flourish. “This is Joe’s type of offense,” coach Ed Orgeron said. “Joe is a dual-threat quarterback. I know he will fit in well with this offense.”

2. Defense should be strong: Losing Devin White to the NFL will have an impact, but Orgeron is confident he's got plenty of talent on defense. That talent starts with junior safety Grant Delpit, whom Orgeron called the best returning defensive player in the country. “I think this is the best group of defensive backs I’ve ever coached. That’s 35 years of coaching,” Orgeron said. LSU also has four returning starters on the defensive front, so the Tigers should be tough.

3. Tight end a target?: The addition of Brady to the offensive staff could result in more targets for tight end Stephen Sullivan, who is converting from wide receiver. Orgeron said sullivan embraced the move once Brady showed him film of how the Saints used Jimmy Graham as a primary receiving threat. “He’s totally bought into that,” Orgeron said.

4. New kicker: Last season the Tigers brought in graduate transfer Cole Tracy, who turned out to be a Lou Groza Award finalist. But Tracy had only one season of eligibility. Now, the Tigers turn to freshman Cade York, who was one of the top kicking recruits. If he does as well as Tracy, LSU will be fine in the kicking department.

Extra Point

Orgeron brought in legendary Southern California coach John Robinson as a consultant this season. “He’s 82 years old. He’s healthy. He’s in good shape,” Orgeron said. “He’s going to be in our meetings. He’s going to go to practice. He can’t coach our players, but he can talk to the coaches and say this is what we did in this situation.”

Upset special

Cheer: LSU could set the tone for the season in the second week when it travels to Austin to play Texas. A win over the Longhorns would set up the Tigers to be 5-0 heading into an Oct. 12 game with Florida.

Jeer: Utah State. This easily could be a trap game for the Tigers, even though it is at home. It falls between the SEC opener at Vanderbilt and the Florida game, and the Aggies are anything but pushovers after compiling an 11-2 record last season.

Crystal ball

11-1.The schedule is manageable, with the Tigers’ seemingly toughest SEC games in Tiger stadium except for Alabama. A win at Texas and an upset of Alabama in Tuscaloosa could have the Tigers sitting pretty in late November.

Did you know?

LSU got a recruiting coup of sorts when it landed Peter Parrish, the starting quarterback from Alabama Class 7A state champ Central-Phenix City. Orgeron almost let him get away.

“Peter came to camp and we didn’t offer him, and he left,” LSU’s coach said. “I couldn’t sleep that night, and I woke up at 6 that morning. I had a staff meeting. I said we got to offer this young man. And we text the momma. He called us back, was about to enter for another camp at another school and we offered him a scholarship, and he came.”

Quotebook

“There’s just something about this team, this year, these coaches. It just feels right.”

— Joe Burrow, LSU quarterback

2018 results

10-3 overall, 5-3 SEC

LSU 33, Miami 17

LSU 31, Southeastern Louisiana 0

LSU 22, Auburn 21

LSU 38, Louisiana Tech 21

LSU 45, Ole Miss 16

Florida 27, LSU 19

LSU 36, Georgia 16

LSU 19, Mississippi State 3

Alabama 29, LSU 0

LSU 24, Arkansas 17

LSU 42, Rice 10

Texas A&M 74, LSU 72 (7 OT)

LSU 40, Central Florida 32

2019 schedule

Aug. 31 Georgia Southern

Sept. 7 at Texas

Sept. 14 Northwestern State

Sept. 21 at Vanderbilt

Oct. 5 Utah State

Oct. 12 Florida

Oct. 19 at Mississippi State

Oct. 26 Auburn

Nov. 9 at Alabama

Nov. 16 at Ole Miss

Nov. 23 Arkansas

Nov. 30 Texas A&M

— Gregg Dewalt

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