College Sports

LSU players said this about UCF’s physicality compared to the SEC

UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr., middle, gets his face mask pulled by LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips (6) as UCF tight end Jake Hescock, right, attempts to make a block during the second half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. LSU defeated UCF 40-32.
UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr., middle, gets his face mask pulled by LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips (6) as UCF tight end Jake Hescock, right, attempts to make a block during the second half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. LSU defeated UCF 40-32. AP

After winning the Fiesta Bowl, LSU players and coach Ed Orgeron were asked about the team they just beat 40-32.

Specifically, the Tigers were asked about UCF’s physicality.

Orgeron complimented UCF as a great team, while the players — quarterback Joe Burrow, linebacker Devin White and defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence — refuted the Knights as a physical team.

“As far as physicality, their offense was mainly speed, get to the outside,” White said. “It really wasn’t a trench game. I don’t really think they could play in the SEC week in, week out with the style they play with.”

Lawrence said the Knights were a big speed team and once the defense shut them down on the inside and forced them outside, it played into LSU’s hands.

“They’re a hell of a team, but as far as a physical game, we play in the SEC every week,” Burrow said. “So I’ve played more physical games than that, for sure.”

Orgeron said the difference was how much pressure LSU’s defense put on UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr.

Mack started in place of McKenzie Milton, who suffered a crushing knee injury late in the season against USF.

Burrow was hit hard in the first quarter during a 93-yard interception return for a touchdown, but returned to lead the Tigers past UCF. While Orgeron told reporters after the game he felt it was a targeting hit, officials ruled it a legal shoulder-to-shoulder hit.

The two teams did see some ejections for targeting later with LSU star Grant Delpit and UCF star Kyle Gibson leaving for targeting hits. LSU also lost a player for throwing punches.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.


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