LSU will ring in 2019 as one of 12 teams in a New Year’s 6 bowl game.
LSU (9-3) will square off with UCF (12-0) on Jan. 1 at noon (CST) in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl from Glendale, Arizona, televised on ESPN.
With a victory, LSU would earn its first double-digit win season since 2013 and they would snap UCF’s 25-game run, the nation’s current longest winning streak.
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) December 2, 2018
Here’s a sampling of what LSU coach Ed Orgeron had to say about the highly anticipated showdown on his radio show, sponsored by Cox:
On the players’ reaction to being in the Fiesta Bowl:
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) December 14, 2018
“Well they’re excited. They got a PlayStation 4 and one of those games with some new clothes and all kinds of stuff. They’re excited about it. They’re excited about going to the Fiesta Bowl. It’s something they deserve.”
On the challenge of facing UCF:
“You look at UCF with 25 straight games [won in a row]. That’s special. They have a way of winning. They have a culture about themselves. Two different coaches and they continue to win.”
On the importance of protecting the ball:
“They’re plus-14 in the turnover margin. That’s excellent. We’re plus-12. So we have to be able to match them and beat them in the turnover margin.”
On what makes UCF’s offense unique:
“The thing that makes them so different is the speed with which they run the game. They have lightning speed. They remind me of Missouri my first year here…They’re going to run 90 plays and try to wear you down. We’re going to have to two-platoon our defense to stay fresh.”
On UCF’s defense, which reminds him of his unit from his time as a coach at Miami:
“You know [UCF defensive coordinator] Randy [Shannon] played for us at Miami. He was a coach and then became the head coach at Miami. When I looked at the film it reminded me of the old Miami defenses with the same type of schemes and type of technique that we ran. So I’m very familiar with it. It’s an attacking defense and an aggressive defense. With the turnovers they cause and the swarm, they’re only giving up 21 points a game. That’s the key right there.”
On the need for LSU to establish the running game:
“We’re going to have to keep the ball away from their offense. We’re going to have to use some time off the clock. We’re going to have to run the football and take some play-action shots. But that’s our offense. That’s what we do.”
On setting the right tone offensively on first downs:
“The quarterback runs with Joe [Burrow] in the last game were successful. We’re going to have to do that again. We’ve put in a couple new formations and a couple of new runs. I think that’s really going to help us in the bowl. I think it all starts with the offense line. We have to stop the penetration and stop the negative plays and take care of the football.
On how LSU is motivated to get back on field after the 7OT loss at Texas A&M:
“We’re hungry. There’s no question. We’ve got a taste in our mouth and we want to get it out…This team deserves to go out on a winning note. That’s enough motivation for us.”
To listen to the entire show, visit: http://www.lsusports.net/mediaPortal/player.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=5200&id=6304458&KEY=