LSU

LSU’s Coach O returns to a site of a 4th-down decision that cost him Ole Miss job

New LSU coach Ed Orgeron is returning to Starkville for the first time since being fired as Ole Miss’ head coach.
New LSU coach Ed Orgeron is returning to Starkville for the first time since being fired as Ole Miss’ head coach. AP

Kelly Orgeron knew.

Standing on the sideline in — of all places — Starkville she could just feel it: Her husband would be fired from his job as the Ole Miss head coach.

“You could tell on the field,” she said in an interview last year. “We knew we were gone.”

The Orgerons return to that place — Starkville — this weekend as the leaders of another football program.

Coach Ed Orgeron and No. 12 LSU (2-0) meet Mississippi State (2-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday in their Southeastern Conference opener. Orgeron is familiar with that place, Davis-Wade Stadium at Scott Field. He’ll stalk the same sideline as he did while making that infamous decision almost a decade ago as coach at Ole Miss.

He went for it. He regrets it, too.

Leading the rival Bulldogs 14-0 in the season-ending Egg Bowl, Orgeron’s Rebels team faced fourth-and-1 at the 49-yard line with just 10 minutes left in the game. The attempt – a run – was stuffed.

State roared back to score 17 unanswered points and win.

“I should have punted the ball. It was an emotional decision,” Orgeron said Monday during his weekly news conference. “That’s why I have mentors nowadays, especially when I get emotional and I ask them what do you think. I ask Matt (Canada) what do you think. I ask Pete (Jenkins) what do you think. I ask Dave (Aranda) what do you think. So those are the things I’ve grown in that area.”

It was a 25th and final loss in Orgeron’s 35th game at the helm of the program.

The Orgerons do not hide their feelings on their three-year stint at Ole Miss. It’s a place that Kelly and Ed, in a way, would like to forget, especially that decision on Nov. 23, 2007.

“I don’t have many memories of that place that I want to remember,” Orgeron said last October.

For the rest of this story, visit The Advocate’s website.

Game plan

Who: LSU at Mississippi State

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

TV: ESPN

Radio: 1580-AM, 96.9 FM

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