11/13/18 5:40 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Tuesday Tidbits - Your Daily Dose of Tiger News Delivered in a Baker’s Dozen Quick Hitters
1. You know, in yesterday’s Mail Call I kind of wish I would have included a question one of my readers asked that went kind of like this: How can you glean anything positive from Saturday’s win? The truth is, there were several positives in the lackluster win. Some were mentioned in our game recap, like being plus-one in the turnover margin, holding Arkansas to 16 yards rushing and limiting them to just 2-of-3 third down conversions, and, of course, Justin Jefferson’s 117 receiving yards. Coach Ed Orgeron offered up several additional positives, as noted in the next tidbit:
2. Orgeron said the team was “efficient” on offense and won the game. On special teams, punt coverage was lights out. “They had a very good returner, and Coach Mack did a great job of game planning them,” he said. “They had two returns for zero yards and we won the field position battle.” He also spoke of the entire defensive line having a good game, including younger guys like Glenn Logan, Neil Farrell, and Tyler Shelvin.
3. Speaking of Shelvin, Orgeron said he came in at 385 pounds and is now down to a “slim” 347. “I’m proud of Tyler and I thought he played really good,” Orgeron said. “Tyler's matured. He hit a little bump in the road about the middle of the season, we had a discussion, he’s changed his attitude, he’s working hard.”
4. Of course, Orgeron was asked about Nick Brossette intentionally sliding at the seven-yard line with 1:38 remaining in the game instead of trying to score. Orgeron explained it this way: “He did the right thing. We call it the winning edge, Nick did it, and then we had a huddle and I said, man, I think we can score. And Steve (Ensminger) said, it’s up to you, coach. So I’m the one, I’m the one who said, you know what, let’s put seven more points on the board, let’s see if we can score. We couldn’t and it worked out. But Nick did the right thing as the winning edge. We sit on the ball; we win the game. That’s what we taught him to do.”
5. Later, Orgeron gave Brossette more well-deserved praise. “Coming into the season, we had questions at running back. There’s no question anymore,” Orgeron said. “He’s has had a tremendous season. Very proud of Nick. He’s an outstanding young man. I hope he gets a thousand yards. I don't know how many shy he is, but whatever it is, I want him to get it, give him a chance to get it, he's very deserving.”
6. On the injury front, Orgeron was asked about the health of Kristian Fulton, John Battle, and Breiden Fehoko. Fulton “is out” and “will be out for a while.” Battle might be able to play this week, but Fehoko will not be ready. “Maybe we might have him for the Texas A&M game,” Orgeron said of Fehoko. For what it’s worth, those three guys, as well as Glen Logan, Kelvin Joseph, and Ed Alexander, were all absent during yesterday’s media viewing portion of practice.
7. Orgeron was asked about the offense struggling the last few weeks and what it will take to find the offense the Tigers had against Georgia. His response: “I think somehow, someway, we lost our identity since the Georgia game. We're trying new things, maybe we're trying to put too much in. We need to simplify.” Later he answered a question about the screen game in particular not working in the last few games. “You’re exactly right, it’s not working,” Orgeron said. “We had a screen cut up and we looked at it as a staff yesterday and some things we have identified. So we have to do some things different to help us in the screen game. Obviously it’s important in our package.”
8. With the new rule that allows players to play in up to four games and still qualify for a redshirt, there’s widespread speculation that several freshmen will see action for the first time this week. Orgeron confirmed that they would like to give several guys a chance to play in the game if there’s an opportunity, but said he is not taking Rice lightly and will start his first string guys with the main objective of winning the game. “Listen, man, we learned our lesson last year (against Troy) and that’s not going to happen to us again,” he said. “We’re going full bore against these guys.”
9. Whether quarterback Myles Brennan will see playing time against Rice is still unclear. Orgeron confirmed that he experienced a “minor injury” that was hampering his throwing throughout the year. “There was one game he could have went in but I didn't think he was healthy or ready to go,” Orgeron said. “He didn't want to go in that situation and I don't blame him.” Orgeron is still very high on Brennan and called him a championship-caliber quarterback. “He has a tremendous arm, he’s gaining weight, he’s getting better, he’s healthier. So I think this year has been beneficial for him and the future of our program,” Orgeron said.
10. Of course, one reason a large number of future redshirt freshmen are expected to play this week is that Rice is by far the weakest game on LSU’s schedule. They’re 1-10 on the season and have opened as a 44-point underdog, according to the oddsmakers. We’ll have more on the Owls in a subsequent report.
11. In football recruiting news, there’s a new name to keep in mind. According to Shea Dixon of 247Sports, LSU would like to add another edge rusher in this year’s class, and the No. 1 OLB in JUCO has locked in an official visit to Baton Rouge. That would be Kuony Deng (6-6, 235) of Independence Community College in Kansas. LSU has been at 19 commitments for several weeks now with room for six more if all 19 current commitments stick. Note, three weeks ago, Orgeron said during a radio show that they had 18 commitments, which means one of the 19 we show might not be counted on to sign. We’ll have more on recruiting and how this class might finish later in the week.
12. Turning to the hardcourt, the LSU men’s basketball team moved up one spot to No. 22 in the national rankings after jumping out to a 2-0 start. That makes LSU one of just six teams ranked this week in both football and basketball:
Miss State (25/17)
The basketball team returns to action tonight when it hosts the Memphis Tigers (1-0) at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and should be a fun one to watch. This will be the eighth time the teams have met with Memphis holding a 4-3 advantage in the series. Last year, Memphis went 21-13 overall and 10-8 in the American Athletic Conference.
13. Lagniappe: Later this morning I will be heading up to my camp/house in North Louisiana to take care of a few things before the freeze and was hoping to catch the main ingredient needed to cure my envie for Catfish Courtbouillon. Sadly, it looks like Mother Nature has other plans as my fishing hole is far too high. Probably should plan on a Rainy Day Fricassée instead.
That’s it for now. Have a great day, Tiger Fans.