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There are still players at LSU who went through the previous in-season head coach firing.
One of those is sixth-year senior defensive tackle Glen Logan, who was a redshirt freshman when Les Miles was fired on the Sunday morning after an 18-13 loss at Auburn on Sept. 24, 2016, to drop his team to 2-2 on the season. Miles had nearly been fired the previous season after a three-game losing streak late, but he rallied to win his final two games and finish 9-3.
Ed Orgeron was secretly fired as LSU’s coach last week after a 3-3 start, but agreed to coach out the rest of the season, and the Tigers upset No. 20 Florida, 49-42, on Saturday. News broke of is dismissal on Sunday.
“Things are going to get ugly before they get better,” Logan said on a teleconference Tuesday.
And Logan promises things will stay better for LSU (4-3, 2-2), which plays at No. 12 Ole Miss (5-1, 2-1 SEC) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS. The Rebels are 9.5-point favorites by FanDuel.
“We’re in a good situation. We’re at a great program. And this program is not going to die down,” Logan said, emphasizing the word “not” defiantly.
Logan signed with LSU in 2016 from Destrehan High near New Orleans after being recruited by Miles and Orgeron, who was defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator under Miles and replaced him as interim coach.
“I just feel like we’re going to be OK,” Logan said. “Through everything, LSU is still going to be a dominant program. We’re still going to be great. Still going to go to bowl games, go to championships – do everything that everyone expects us to do.”
LSU fell to 5-5 last year – its first non-winning season since 1999. It could have gone to a bowl, but LSU athletic director Scott Woodward and his NCAA compliance office decided to include the bowl opportunity in its self-imposed penalties package for the NCAA, which has been investigating the football and basketball programs for a number of rules violations for several years.
“Some of the advice I could really give is just stay humble and believe in the process,” said Logan, who played for the first time this season against Florida after missing the first six games with a foot injury.
“What we have to do is keep blocking out the noise,” he said. “Coach O says it every week. And we have to believe it. We just have to eliminate all distractions. Go out there, practice, watch film, keep executing our plan, listen to the coaching staff and really just go out there and have fun.”
Orgeron went 5-2 as interim coach in the 2016 regular season and was promoted to head coach. He won the bowl game for an 8-4 overall finish, then went 9-4 and 10-3 before the 15-0 national championship of the 2019 season.
“We’re handling it just like it’s any other week,” Logan said of the preparation for Ole Miss. “Keep bringing the same energy we were even before everything happened. Just sticking together as brothers, standing together.”
The players found out of Orgeron’s firing on Sunday like virtually everyone else.
“We had a team meeting called for Sunday afternoon, but then it kind of leaked to the media,” said senior center Liam Shanahan, who tranferred to LSU from Harvard before the 2020 season. “I’m happy that he (Orgeron) is going to be with us for the rest of the year.”
Senior linebacker Damone Clark was recruited by Orgeron out of Southern Lab High in Baton Rouge for the 2018 signing class.
“It feels the same to me,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m going to be forever grateful for everything Coach O’s done for me – giving me an opportunity to play for this great university. We hate to see something like that happen. But that’s just part of the business. He wouldn’t want us to be sad.”