Newly-appointed LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger doesn’t care about statistics, even after the Tigers posted a record 634 yards of total offense.
“I don’t get involved in stats,” Ensminger said on LSU Sixty, a weekly radio show aired on 104.5 FM. “I try to stay grounded.”
Ensminger called offensive plays for the first time on Saturday since 1998 when he was the coordinator for Clemson.
The former tight ends coach was interviewed on LSU’s weekly radio program LSU Sixty. Excerpts from the Q&A is posted below and the full audio can be listened to here.
Give us an idea of what you were hoping to accomplish last night?
“I thought our kids played hard and physical. Our running backs ran hard. We spread the ball around. Going into the game we thought if we could spread the ball around and make them cover the whole field we could have success.”
What led to the success of the running game?
“The success of the running game was our ability to play-action pass. We got more six man boxes than we usually get, or anticipated. We did that because of our play action pass.”
We saw a lot of two wide receiver sets with Russell Gage and Jazz Ferguson. Talk a little bit about using those two guys.
“Our running backs played a lot. Darrel played a lot and did a great job. I kind of just gave it to our coaches. Darrel can be productive for us. Those young wide receivers can be productive for us. I said keep them fresh, keep them in the game. I had nothing to do with the substitution. I put it on our coaches. I said ‘You know what you’re doing and put the best ones in the game’ and they did.”
That was the third start for Danny Etling last night, how have you seen his game progress?
“I thought he did well. I thought he got the ball out of his hands last night. I thought he missed three big down the field throws that could’ve been big plays for us. I thought he missed a couple plays in the flat to the fullback that could’ve been first downs for us. That goes back to saying we left three touchdowns on the field, which we got to get corrected.
Give the fans an idea of what you did to make the offense more successful.
“We didn’t change the offense, we only had three days, so we couldn’t change the offense. Nothing changed. It’s the same running plays, the same passing plays. A little tweak here and there. I just felt like we run the ball so well that we had to be a more play-action team. It gave us a chance to isolate our fullbacks and tight ends.”
Did you get a sense as the game was going on that Missouri had no idea they were caught off balance by the different play calling?
“I think the personnel gave them a little challenge. We did some one back stuff out of two back sets. We split our tight ends out and our full backs out as wide receivers. I thought it gave us a good matchup. During the course of the game they were waiting for us to get lined up. They didn’t know when we were in a fullback or tight end set if we were going to be in the I, be in the spread set. I think it played to our advantage.”
Other than just being on the practice field less, what are some other advantages of not practicing as much?
“I thought we played fast last night, whether that’s the reason why, I don’t know. They were on the field off the field. They were off their feet and everything else. I look back at the Auburn game, there was a couple plays that were big plays where I thought should’ve been scores. I think Derrius got run down. I think Leonard got run down. Derrius did get ran down. I think it helps. Our kids are fresh and they played fast.”
How fun was it personally for you to call plays again?
“It was fun. Walking up there for the first time, probably a little nerve wrecking. I enjoy seeing a game plan coming together and enjoy seeing them execute it.”