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Coach O Shares DC Bo Pelini's Reaction To LSU Loss To Mississippi State

Bo Pelini during his first LSU football stint.

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 07: Defensive coordinator Bo Pelini of of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates with Harry Coleman #24 after Coleman recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the AllState BCS National Championship on January 7, 2008 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Bo Pelini returned to LSU football this offseason, taking over the Tigers defensive coordinator role vacated by Dave Aranda, who is the new head coach at Baylor. His first game back with the Tigers didn't go as planned, with Mike Leach and Mississippi State torching his defense in a huge upset.

The Bulldogs, led by their new head coach, won 44-34. Quarterback K.J. Costello, a transfer from Stanford, set the SEC's single-game passing record in his first game in the league, throwing for 623 yards. Mississippi State only ran for nine yards on the day.

In the program's defense, LSU lost almost its entire starting lineup from last year's national championship run, between graduations, the NFL Draft, and opt-outs ahead of the season. Only three returning starters from 2019 played on Saturday, and the team has two new coordinators. Facing an offense that is pretty foreign to the SEC was a tough way to start the year.

Head coach Ed Orgeron said that Bo Pelini was "hurt" after how Saturday's game went. On Monday, he revealed what Pelini said after the loss.

"Coach, I should've done better," Orgeron recounts Bo Pelini saying, according to The Advocate. "He was hurt just like everybody else... Hurt that he didn't do better. Hurt that the defense didn't do better. Just like we all are."

Orgeron said that on the defensive side of the ball, the staff thought they Tigers could handle playing pretty straight-up man-to-man against Mississippi State's receivers. That was clearly not the case, in retrospect.

When asked Monday what prevented in-game adjustments, Orgeron didn't delve deeply into details.

He said "all those are Bo's decisions" and "we talked about it." There were some adjustments they could have done, he said. Not necessarily play zone defense, but perhaps different variations of man coverage where defenders hand off receivers.

[...]

"We thought we could man up with their receivers," Orgeron said. "We should have made a couple more adjustments during the game."

Senior Bulldogs receiver Osirus Mitchell had seven catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Javonta Payton, another senior, went for six receptions and 122 yards. Perhaps the most interesting wrinkle was the use of superstar running back Kylin Hill. He only ran seven times for 34 yards, but was incredible as a pass catcher, hauling in eight passes for 158 yards and a score.

Pelini and LSU football will look to get things corrected on Saturday at Vanderbilt. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network.

[The Advocate]