BATON ROUGE - LSU interim head football coach Ed Orgeron is known for drinking energy drinks. Red Bull is his choice.
How many a day?
"Enough," he said recently.
He must have distributed his supply to his team at halftime - one four pack per player - of LSU's game against Southern Mississippi Saturday night as the Tigers looked like they were battling a hangover from their sudden open weekend last week. Or maybe Red Bull is now on tap in the LSU locker room.
"I think our guys woke up a little bit at halftime," Orgeron said after his stimulated Tigers poured caffeine on a 10-10 halftime score for a 45-10 victory Saturday night at Tiger Stadium.
LSU had just 121 yards on 22 plays in the first half. Southern Miss. had 135 on 36 plays and had nine first downs to seven.
Then came the third quarter.
"The third quarter was just a bad quarter," USM coach Jay Hopson said.
But at least it wasn't a slow death.
The Tigers scored four touchdowns in the third quarter with the numbers of plays in the four drives totaling only seven. The time elapsed on the four "drives" was just two minutes and 50 seconds. So much for time of possession winning football games. Why waste the time?
By the end of the third quarter, LSU had more points with 38 than plays it had run, which was 32.
Here are the fireworks play-by-play:
-Tailback Derriius Guice ran 61 yards for a touchdown at the 13:22 mark of the third quarter for a 17-10 lead. That drive was 70 yards in three plays and over 92 seconds.
-Guice ran 20 yards for a touchdown at the 10:50 mark of the period for a 24-10 lead after Jamal Adams forced and recovered a fumble. That drive was 22 yards in two plays and took 54 seconds.
-Quarterback Danny Etling threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver D.J. Chark that was 20 yards in the air and 60 yards on foot for a 31-10 lead with 4:20 to go in the third. That drive was 80 yards in one play and took 14 seconds.
-And finally, Etling hit wide receiver Malachi Dupre for a 63-yard touchdown pass - mostly in the air - for a 38-10 lead with 1:58 to go in the third quarter. And that drive was 63 yards in one play, taking up 10 seconds.
Notice each of the four drives was quicker than the previous one in time of possession and each was shorter in number of plays until the last one, which tied the previous one at one play. Because a team can't score in zero plays, but LSU came close.\
My goodness, new offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger is a candidate for assistant coach of the year in just two games. Under Ensminger, the former LSU quarterback from Baton Rouge, the Tigers have won their two games by a combined score of 87-17 and totaled 1,093 yards. In the four games pre Ensminger, LSU had just 91 points.
Where has this guy been? Well, from 2010 until two games ago, he was coaching tight ends at LSU under Les Miles, which was sort of like coaching designated hitters in the National League. Before that, he was the passing game coordinator at Smiths Station High School in 2009 near Auburn, where he was let go. Before Auburn, he was West Monroe High's wide receivers coach in 2002 and Central High's head coach in 2000 and 2001. The last time he was a college offensive coordinator was at Clemson in 1998.
If Orgeron and Ensminger do not get to make their current jobs permanent ones, they are going to land somewhere. Because this offense is buzzing.
Maybe Ensminger has been getting into the energy drinks, too.
If LSU continues on this theme, things could really get interesting for the Tigers, not to mention the up-and-down careers of Orgeron and Ensminger. Have Red Bull, will audition for all permanent jobs..