Change of venue doesn't faze LSU

Aug 29, 2017 - 12:15 AM BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU was thrown a curveball less than a week before its season opener, but that's not unfamiliar to the Tigers.

Saturday's opener against BYU was moved from Houston to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans because of the historic rains and flooding in East Texas resulting from Hurricane Harvey. The move means the game will be played a mere 80 miles from the LSU campus instead of 270 miles.

It's the third consecutive season that at least one Tigers game has been impacted by weather.

The game against Florida last season was moved from Gainesville to Baton Rouge because of Hurricane Matthew.

LSU's opener against McNeese State two years ago was canceled after two possessions because of persistent heavy rain and lightning around Tiger Stadium. Later that season, the game against South Carolina was moved from Columbia to Baton Rouge because of severe flooding in South Carolina resulting from Hurricane Joaquin.

Tigers coach Ed Orgeron -- who was an LSU assistant for the McNeese State and South Carolina games and was interim head coach for the Florida change -- said the move won't affect his team.

"We're trained," he said. "Our focus is going to be on BYU. These guys are well prepared for this. It will not be a distraction, I promise you."

Oregeron said the status of running back Derrius Guice was still somewhat up in the air. Guice has returned to practice after missing several days. Orgeron hasn't confirmed Guice's ailment, but social media posts from teammates suggested he had wisdom teeth removed.

"We expect to ease him into practice and we're going to see how this week goes," Orgeron said. "Do I think Derrius is going to play? Yes. Am I 100 percent sure right now? No. Have to see how he practices this week."

Guice and new coordinator Matt Canada's offense will be a focus this week.

LSU averaged 21 points per game during a 2-2 start that led to the firing of head coach Les Miles last season. After Orgeron replaced Miles, the Tigers averaged 32 points, despite being shut out by Alabama, as they went 6-2.

"Since we took over, I think we're very good on offense, except for the Alabama game," Orgeron said. "I think our guys are going to improve throughout the year. So if we can get that points per game average up, from last year, I would say we'll be a lot better."

This is the first meeting between BYU and LSU.

"That's a very good football team and it's going to be a battle," Orgeron said of BYU.

"We're going to go in there and give it all we've got. I know our guys are going to play well. There are going to be some first-game mistakes that are we are going to have to fix. But we will be totally prepared if a freshman is in there and he's not doing it, we have an older guy to back him up, if we can."






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