Derek Stingley Jr. injury: Pressure added for Ed Orgeron as LSU navigates tough slate with star CB sidelined

It has been 632 days since LSU head coach Ed Orgeron led his Tigers to a 42-25 win within the College Football Playoff Nationwide Championship over Clemson to cap off considered one of its finest seasons in program historical past. However after famous person cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. was ruled out indefinitely on Wednesday following a foot process, these days of yore have by no means felt so distant. 

Now Orgeron has but another hurdle to leap with a purpose to keep away from a two-year stretch this system hasn’t seen in additional than 20 years. 

Stingley was one of many crown jewels of the Orgeron period. Rated the No. 3 participant within the 2019 recruiting class, Stingley was the highest-rated recruit to signal with LSU within the Orgeron period and one of the best since Leonard Fournette in 2014. He lived as much as the hype in each method attainable, incomes consensus First Group All-America honors as a freshman and rising into one of many leaders on the nationwide championship protection. 

With Stingley sidelined, solely two members of LSU’s nationwide championship-winning beginning lineup stay: proper sort out Austin Deculus and linebacker Damone Clark. And regardless of recruiting at an almost unmatched stage since successful the nationwide title, Stingley’s damage appears like the ultimate straw connecting these two eras lastly breaking — and Orgeron maybe falling with it. 

Since successful that nationwide title, LSU is simply 8-7 with a 6-6 report in SEC play. The opener after the title featured the Tigers shedding 44-34 to Mississippi State whereas giving up an SEC-record 623 yards passing to Ok.J. Costello, a quarterback who was benched later in 2020. The season solely careened from there as LSU completed 5-5 and failed to achieve a successful report for the primary time since earlier than ex-coach Nick Saban arrived in 2000. 

Orgeron wiped the deck by firing each coordinators after the .500 season, hiring younger assistants Jake Peetz and Daronte Jones as an alternative. Thus far, the adjustments have yielded desired outcomes. The Tigers misplaced their first nonconference recreation since 2017 within the opener, 38-27 to UCLA, and sit at 3-2. The coaches are totally different, most of the gamers are totally different, however the outcomes below Orgeron stay the identical. Being named in a Title IX lawsuit concerning failure to report off-field misconduct solely makes issues worse. 

Maybe most regarding — on the sector, at the very least — is what comes subsequent. After shedding to No. 18 Auburn, LSU now has 5 consecutive video games in opposition to top-20 opponents, together with No. 16 Kentucky on the highway this weekend. Following are video games in opposition to No. 20 Florida, No. 17 Ole Miss, top-ranked Alabama and No. 13 Arkansas. 

Traditionally, LSU has finished wonderful in opposition to most of those groups. The Tigers have gained six of seven since 2000 in opposition to the Wildcats and maintain five-game win streaks in opposition to each the Rebels and Hogs. However each a type of applications could have LSU – and Stingley’s spot on the sector – circled in everlasting ink.  

The SEC’s No. 1 receiver, Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson, is up this weekend. Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, Ole Miss’ Dontario Drummond and Alabama‘s Jameson Williams all rank within the high seven amongst SEC receivers in yards per recreation. It is extremely unlikely Stingley will probably be round to neutralize any of them. 

Orgeron’s staff are projected underdogs in all 5 of the ranked video games and will even lose to a more healthy Texas A&M within the season finale. With so many losable video games, this may very well be a bottoming out in Baton Rouge of epic proportions. No coach since Saban took over this system in 2000 had gained fewer than eight video games in a season. Orgeron is on tempo to do it in consecutive seasons, an virtually inconceivable job for a program ranked within the high 5 od the 247Sports Talent Composite

CBS Sports activities’ Dennis Dodd ranked FBS coaches on the hot seat earlier this week, and Orgeron was considered one of 9 coaches to obtain both a 4 or 5 score. That places him in the identical breath with coaches like Washington State‘s Nick Rolovich, Colorado State‘s Steve Addazio and New Mexico State‘s Doug Martin. No coach ought to ever need to be in that dialog, a lot much less a local son of one of many proudest faculty soccer applications in America. 

Stingley’s draft stock is safely within the top-five vary no matter whether or not he performs one other recreation for LSU. Nonetheless, the junior stated in a press release that he hoped to rehab and return in some unspecified time in the future this season to play at the very least another recreation in Loss of life Valley. 

However two years after reaching the head of this sport, any return could also be too late for Orgeron. Stingley was one of many few remaining items of the glory days simply two years in the past. Now, there’s virtually no reminder of these days passed by. | Derek Stingley Jr. damage: Stress added for Ed Orgeron as LSU navigates powerful slate with star CB sidelined


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