Ed Orgeron’s decision not to punt against Mississippi State helped end his Ole Miss career, but he’s glad it turned out the way it did.
Orgeron said Monday he’s thankful for the decision against Mississippi State 10 years ago.
The reason: Without that decision, Orgeron might not have gotten fired at Ole Miss – and he might not have ended up at LSU now.
Asked how his life might have been different if he had chosen to punt in the Egg Bowl, Orgeron said, “I thank the good Lord every day.”
“It’s just been a great journey. I live like this: Whatever happens, it happens for a reason and I move on to the next day,” he said.
In 2007, Orgeron and Ole Miss led Mississippi State 14-0 with just over 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter when they faced a fourth-and-1 near midfield. But rather than punt, Orgeron had other ideas.
Instead, he called for a run where running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was stuffed and the Bulldogs rallied to beat the Rebels 17-14. That game was remembered as one of the low points in Orgeron’s tenure in Oxford and, ultimately, his final game.
Orgeron now acknowledges he made a mistake.
“I should have punted the ball. It was an emotional decision,” he said.
Orgeron said that he now leans on others to help him make important decisions, naming specifically offensive coordinator Matt Canada, offensive line coach Pete Jenkins and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
Now Orgeron returns to Mississippi State for the first time as a head coach this Saturday, where he’ll hope to avoid such mistakes again.
“That’s why I have mentors nowadays, especially when I get emotional,” Orgeron said.
Both LSU and Mississippi State are undefeated entering Saturday’s game at Davis Wade Stadium. The winner will remain in, at worst, a tie for first place in the SEC West along with No. 1 Alabama.
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