Offense and defense have played off one another well the last three games, and it’s turned into a more confident team all around with no shortage of momentum heading into the stretch run of the regular season. Now this group knows what it’s playing for and what’s on the line as it prepares for an Arkansas team with plenty of talent to make this game enjoyable.
“They know that there are steps along the way in this process of getting there. So this week will be another step towards becoming a champion,” Kelly said. “Let’s do the things that we need to do. It starts with today. You know, being early, being on time, making sure that they’re intentional about everything we do. We’re not going to walk in with a PowerPoint on the SEC Championship race and who has what and all those things. But, yeah, it’s there. It’s out there. They know what they’re going for.”
From the very beginning of Kelly’s tenure, his goal has been to slowly change the habits and way of thinking these players go through daily. For Kelly, it’s all about the process of winning, not the actual game on Saturday that is so important.
Not only was Kelly brought in to win the big games and eventually championships but also because of his history with avoiding slip up games en route to playoff worthy seasons. Arkansas and Texas A&M can both certainly be put into that category but what this team has shown the last three weeks is true focus and execution of a gameplan.
Dating back to his time at Notre Dame and with LSU’s win over Alabama on Saturday night, Kelly coached teams have now won 17 straight games in the month of November. That stat adds a layer of proof to how dialed in his teams typically are at this time of the season.
Where this team was week one against Florida State to where it is now is night and day difference. All of the adversity this team has faced in the two plus months in between, whether it’s the injuries, slow starts, the trust that needed to be built on offense between Jayden Daniels and his skill position players or the crippling special teams woes, it’s all made this a grittier, more substantial group.
It’s a team that’s capable of running the table and getting to Atlanta for the start of postseason football in the SEC Championship. LSU has to keep that focus level to where it’s been the last month and prove to be the contenders many now believe they are.
“You’re preparing for these moments in the first week. You handle these by being consistent in everything that you do every single day. Nothing changed last week in the way we prepared, and nothing will change this week,” Kelly said. “Our team is just evolving, and they’re playing with more of the traits necessary to be a consistent team that plays every snap the right way. So I think I would be more concerned if we played with so much emotion that we were drained out, but that’s how we’re going to play.”