Ed Orgeron entered the night in the conversation for SEC Coach of the Year. That conversation could very well be over after his atrocious decision-making in LSU's primetime matchup against Alabama.
The Tigers were never going to beat Alabama, that much was evident about halfway through the first quarter. However, Orgeron's blatant mismanagement and arguable lack of faith in his team was borderline indefensible.
Ed Orgeron was at the top of my SEC Coach of the Year list entering this game but he's making some truly horrific decisions tonight. Not sure if he's trying to outsmart himself or if the moment is too big for him— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) November 4, 2018
Even though his team was down against the No. 1 team in the country (and perhaps one of the most dominant in college football history), Orgeron refused to take any chances. He played scared, and it cost LSU any opportunity or momentum.
Orgeron frequently punted inside the Alabama 50, despite the fact that his offense was struggling and his defense was gassed. The most damning evidence, however, occurred in the fourth quarter. With LSU down three scores (22-0), Orgeron elected to kick a field goal on a short fourth down. Three points, at this stage of the game, was relatively meaningless considering LSU was down three touchdowns. Math is hard, but this was surely just a ploy to avoid a shutout.
If you're Ed Orgeron and LSU and you're in plus territory on 4th & 8 at the Alabama 38, why are you punting???— Andrew Doak (@AndrewDoak_WWL) November 4, 2018
You're waving the white flag. You haven't stopped them, and you're not scoring.
Play to win even if you won't.
As previously stated, LSU was never going to come back and win this game. But playing this conservative is effectively quitting on your team. We've come to expect better from Coach O.