dandydons-lsu-sporting-news


2007 BCS Champions

2007 BCS
National Champions

2003 BCS National Champions

2003 BCS
National Champions

1958 National Champions

1958
National Champions

NCAA Baseball Championships:

1991
1993
1996
1997
2000
2009

 

DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.

LSU vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field - September 3rd, 2:30PM
0 Day, 0 hour, 0 minute

8/28/16 5:55 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Well folks, the wait is almost over. Only six days until the Tigers take the field! In my many years spent working on this blog, I don’t remember any time in which there was such a longing for the start of LSU football. Actually, that strong longing I’m referring to is about a lot more than LSU’s highly-anticipated football season. After the recent tragic flooding that has wreaked havoc on over 100,000 Louisiana homes, and the almost continuous rains that have followed, folks down here are ready for blue skies, crisp fall days, and the return of familiar fall traditions like Game Day Gumbo and LSU football. Heck, right now I’d settle for a few dry days just so I could cut my grass for the first time in three weeks – not that I could anyway, considering my lawn tractor was submerged in four feet of water… but I digress. What I was getting at is that few things have the power to restore a sense of normalcy like a change in the season and the start of LSU football, and that time is drawing near. Bring it on!

In yesterday’s report, I mentioned that LSU 2017 quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse injured his left knee in St. James’ jamboree, and I heard from a lot of you about that. One of my longtime readers, Dr. Aaron Ellett, sent me an especially well-stated message on the topic that I thought was too good to not share. It went like this: “I give Les Miles plenty of grief for what he does wrong as a coach (stubbornness for example), but I also give him praise where he deserves it. Integrity is a word that comes to mind. I think your readers need to be reminded of why his players love him. Integrity is one of those reasons. I was saddened to see that Narcisse had an injury yesterday. However, the first news I heard is that Les Miles is going to honor his scholarship. Miles does not have to do this. It shows that he plays even-stevens with these recruits: he asks them to commit and stick with it, and he, in turn, does the same. Readers should be reminded that LSU would likely not have Godchaux if Miles operated differently. Everyone dropped that young man off their radar after his injury except for LSU. Not only did Godchaux start as a freshman, but is is arguably the most important/best defensive lineman we have this year and could be a high round draft pick. A lot of this is due to Les Miles’ character. Even in the Elliot Porter grey-shirt scandal, it turns out Les Miles' integrity prevailed and that is something Porter will attest to. Football is only a small part of life. It is enjoyable and entertaining, but is minuscule in regards to actually living life (Baton Rouge should know this with the level of tragedies in its communities this summer). It is refreshing to have a coach for our team that leads with class, honor, integrity, and loyalty to his players, his school, his community, his state, and his family on a daily basis.”

On a somewhat related note, there’s some news to pass along about LSU’s other 2017 quarterback commit, Myles Brennan. While fellow LSU commit Narcisse had a heart-breaking weekend, Brennan’s could not have gone better as he led his St. Stanislaus (Miss.) team to a 49-26 win over powerhouse St. Paul’s of Alabama. Brennan was 27-of-40 passing for 248 yards and five touchdowns, and also ran for two touchdowns. The following morning, the Elite 11 quarterback announced on Twitter that he had been invited to the Under Armour All-Star game. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if LSU can hold on to Brennan and Narcisse, they will be getting two outstanding quarterbacks that could give LSU quite possibly its best QB recruiting class of all time.  

Now let’s jump back to the series we started yesterday (which also produced a lot of welcomed feedback) by continuing to analyze the 2016 Tigers and compare them to the 2015 team. So far we have compared QB, WR, OL and RB, and have given the advantage to this year’s team in every case except for OL. Today we’ll take a look a two more position groups before concluding this series tomorrow. Here we go…

2016 Tigers Position Analysis, Compared to 2015 

DEFENSIVE LINE

Unlike the offensive line where LSU is having to replace a couple of starters who played big roles last year, LSU’s defensive line returns everyone from last year’s squad and a whole lot more. With guys like Davon Godchaux, Greg Gilmore, Lewis Neal, Frank Herron, Arden Key and Tashawn Bower returning as more experienced players (yes, I’m counting Buck linebackers as D-linemen since they will often lineup with a hand in the dirt), this group was bound to be strong. But what makes this unit even stronger is the return of former Tiger Travonté Valentine (who was dismissed from the team last Summer before ever playing a snap) and the additions of elite freshmen D-linemen Rashard Lawrence, Ed Alexander and Glenn Logan. With LSU transitioning to a base 3-4 defense, finding a big-bodied nose tackle who can eat up space and demand double teams is important, and at 6-foot-4, 345 pounds, Valentine could be the perfect fit. 

Conclusion: Last year, LSU’s defensive line was undersized and lacked depth. This year’s line is bigger, more experienced and much deeper, which should go a long way in fortifying LSU for its November clashes against physical, smash-mouth offenses like those of Alabama and Arkansas. I predict the defensive line will be LSU’s most improved unit on the team. Big Advantage 2016 Tigers.

LINEBACKER

Since we included the Buck OLB (a hybrid end/LB) in the writeup about the defensive line, this analysis will focus on the inside linebackers and the F outside linebacker. Because LSU is transitioning from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 scheme, it’s hard to compare this unit to last year’s linebackers, but it is easy to see that LSU returns a lot of experienced talent. Inside linebacker Kendell Beckwith’s decision to return to LSU for his senior season instead of going pro was huge, and he’ll be the key to this Tiger defense. Joining him on the inside will be senior Duke Riley, a player who didn’t have any starts to his name last year but played extensively as a reserve linebacker and as a special teams standout. At the F outside linebacker position, senior Corey Thompson was in position to start before suffering a lower leg injury that will force him to miss a good bit of the season. In his place will be Tashawn Bower, a senior who transitioned from defensive end to linebacker in the spring. What you might have noticed is that all the aforementioned players are seniors, and that’s a big deal. The poise, understanding and leadership skills a senior brings cannot be understated. Backing the three senior projected starters will be junior ILB Donnie Alexander, freshmen ILB Devin White (who I predict might supplant Duke Riley as a starter by the time SEC play starts) and extremely talented freshmen ILBs Michael Divinity and Ray Thornton. 

Conclusion: The Tigers will be without outside linebacker extraordinaire Deion Jones who graduated and was drafted in the 2nd round by the Atlanta Falcons, but everyone else returns. And by moving Bower and Thompson to linebacker, and adding three very talented freshmen in White, Divinity and Thorton, the Tigers were able to bolster both leadership and depth at the position. If Kendell Beckwith can remain healthy, this linebacker group should be rock solid. Advantage 2016 Tigers.

Now, with just 6 days until LSU takes the field against Wisconsin, let’s continue our countdown to Game Day by looking at the school record for most forced fumbles in a single season – 6 by Tyrann Mathieu in 2011. A St. Augustine alum, Mathieu came to LSU rated as the 13th best cornerback in the country by Rivals.com. Despite his small stature (5-9, 175) and the fact that he started only one game in his first year as a Tiger, Mathieu made an immediate impact as a true freshman in 2010 as the New Orleans native finished fourth in tackles on the team with 57 (8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks), forced an SEC best five fumbles, recovered three fumbles, broke up seven passes and recorded two interceptions. His outstanding season earned him the “Honey Badger” nickname, and Mathieu more than lived up to it as a sophomore in 2011. In the Tigers’ opener in Dallas against No. 3 Oregon, Tyrann helped a struggling offense by ripping the ball from the Ducks’ punt returner in the second quarter and returning it three yards for LSU’s first touchdown of the season. That play set the tone for LSU’s defense, and Mathieu finished with two pass breakups and 10 tackles in the dominating 40-27 victory. A few weeks later at No. 16 West Virginia, the “Honey Badger” struck again when he forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass that setup a one-yard touchdown drive and an insurmountable 27-7 halftime lead in a game the Tigers eventually won 47-21. Just one week later, Mathieu helped pump some energy into a lethargic team that was playing unranked Kentucky in a day game at Tiger Stadium when he raced past the Wildcats’ left tackle, batted the ball out of the quarterback’s hands, scooped it up off the ground and skirted 23 yards to pay dirt as part of a 35-7 victory. I could write pages and pages on the many plays Mathieu made, but instead I’ll direct you to these great Honey Badger video highlights that show most of them. Besides numerous awards that included winning the 2011 Bednarik Award for college’s top defensive player, earning First-Team All-American awards by numerous publications and being a finalist for the Heisman Award, which is a rarity for defensive players, Mathieu finished his collegiate career with a school-record 11 forced fumbles. After recording 89 tackles and five interceptions in his third season with Arizona in 2015, Mathieu signed a five-year, $62.5 million extension earlier this month. Here’s wishing Tyrann all the best in his fourth season with the Cardinals.

As I do most weeks, I’ll leave you with a couple of good reads to go along with your Sunday morning coffee: 

• This one is about Colby Delahoussaye and his thoughts on returning to Wisconsin (where he was involved in the fatal car accident). The article also mentions that fellow kicker Cameron Gamble is dealing with muscle tightness in his back, leading me to believe that freshman Connor Culp will likely be tasked with kickoff duties when the Tigers take the field. 

• This one is a “long-form” article by The Advocate titled, “LSU's 'Key': Arden Key is son to a big-rig driver, brother to a twin sister and the 'disguise' of the Tigers' new defense.”

Oh, one more thing: If you represent an LSU Alumni group that hosts LSU watch parties, please send me your information so I can post it on our LSU View-In Parties page. 

Have a great Sunday, Tiger Fans.


FONT SIZE:

font-up font-down

8/28/16 5:55 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Well folks, the wait is almost over. Only six days until the Tigers take the field! In my many years spent working on this blog, I don’t remember any time in which there was such a longing for the start of LSU football. Actually, that strong longing I’m referring to is about a lot more than LSU’s highly-anticipated football season. After the recent tragic flooding that has wreaked havoc on over 100,000 Louisiana homes, and the almost continuous rains that have followed, folks down here are ready for blue skies, crisp fall days, and the return of familiar fall traditions like Game Day Gumbo and LSU football. Heck, right now I’d settle for a few dry days just so I could cut my grass for the first time in three weeks – not that I could anyway, considering my lawn tractor was submerged in four feet of water… but I digress. What I was getting at is that few things have the power to restore a sense of normalcy like a change in the season and the start of LSU football, and that time is drawing near. Bring it on!

In yesterday’s report, I mentioned that LSU 2017 quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse injured his left knee in St. James’ jamboree, and I heard from a lot of you about that. One of my longtime readers, Dr. Aaron Ellett, sent me an especially well-stated message on the topic that I thought was too good to not share. It went like this: “I give Les Miles plenty of grief for what he does wrong as a coach (stubbornness for example), but I also give him praise where he deserves it. Integrity is a word that comes to mind. I think your readers need to be reminded of why his players love him. Integrity is one of those reasons. I was saddened to see that Narcisse had an injury yesterday. However, the first news I heard is that Les Miles is going to honor his scholarship. Miles does not have to do this. It shows that he plays even-stevens with these recruits: he asks them to commit and stick with it, and he, in turn, does the same. Readers should be reminded that LSU would likely not have Godchaux if Miles operated differently. Everyone dropped that young man off their radar after his injury except for LSU. Not only did Godchaux start as a freshman, but is is arguably the most important/best defensive lineman we have this year and could be a high round draft pick. A lot of this is due to Les Miles’ character. Even in the Elliot Porter grey-shirt scandal, it turns out Les Miles' integrity prevailed and that is something Porter will attest to. Football is only a small part of life. It is enjoyable and entertaining, but is minuscule in regards to actually living life (Baton Rouge should know this with the level of tragedies in its communities this summer). It is refreshing to have a coach for our team that leads with class, honor, integrity, and loyalty to his players, his school, his community, his state, and his family on a daily basis.”

On a somewhat related note, there’s some news to pass along about LSU’s other 2017 quarterback commit, Myles Brennan. While fellow LSU commit Narcisse had a heart-breaking weekend, Brennan’s could not have gone better as he led his St. Stanislaus (Miss.) team to a 49-26 win over powerhouse St. Paul’s of Alabama. Brennan was 27-of-40 passing for 248 yards and five touchdowns, and also ran for two touchdowns. The following morning, the Elite 11 quarterback announced on Twitter that he had been invited to the Under Armour All-Star game. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if LSU can hold on to Brennan and Narcisse, they will be getting two outstanding quarterbacks that could give LSU quite possibly its best QB recruiting class of all time.  

Now let’s jump back to the series we started yesterday (which also produced a lot of welcomed feedback) by continuing to analyze the 2016 Tigers and compare them to the 2015 team. So far we have compared QB, WR, OL and RB, and have given the advantage to this year’s team in every case except for OL. Today we’ll take a look a two more position groups before concluding this series tomorrow. Here we go…

2016 Tigers Position Analysis, Compared to 2015 

DEFENSIVE LINE

Unlike the offensive line where LSU is having to replace a couple of starters who played big roles last year, LSU’s defensive line returns everyone from last year’s squad and a whole lot more. With guys like Davon Godchaux, Greg Gilmore, Lewis Neal, Frank Herron, Arden Key and Tashawn Bower returning as more experienced players (yes, I’m counting Buck linebackers as D-linemen since they will often lineup with a hand in the dirt), this group was bound to be strong. But what makes this unit even stronger is the return of former Tiger Travonté Valentine (who was dismissed from the team last Summer before ever playing a snap) and the additions of elite freshmen D-linemen Rashard Lawrence, Ed Alexander and Glenn Logan. With LSU transitioning to a base 3-4 defense, finding a big-bodied nose tackle who can eat up space and demand double teams is important, and at 6-foot-4, 345 pounds, Valentine could be the perfect fit. 

Conclusion: Last year, LSU’s defensive line was undersized and lacked depth. This year’s line is bigger, more experienced and much deeper, which should go a long way in fortifying LSU for its November clashes against physical, smash-mouth offenses like those of Alabama and Arkansas. I predict the defensive line will be LSU’s most improved unit on the team. Big Advantage 2016 Tigers.

LINEBACKER

Since we included the Buck OLB (a hybrid end/LB) in the writeup about the defensive line, this analysis will focus on the inside linebackers and the F outside linebacker. Because LSU is transitioning from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 scheme, it’s hard to compare this unit to last year’s linebackers, but it is easy to see that LSU returns a lot of experienced talent. Inside linebacker Kendell Beckwith’s decision to return to LSU for his senior season instead of going pro was huge, and he’ll be the key to this Tiger defense. Joining him on the inside will be senior Duke Riley, a player who didn’t have any starts to his name last year but played extensively as a reserve linebacker and as a special teams standout. At the F outside linebacker position, senior Corey Thompson was in position to start before suffering a lower leg injury that will force him to miss a good bit of the season. In his place will be Tashawn Bower, a senior who transitioned from defensive end to linebacker in the spring. What you might have noticed is that all the aforementioned players are seniors, and that’s a big deal. The poise, understanding and leadership skills a senior brings cannot be understated. Backing the three senior projected starters will be junior ILB Donnie Alexander, freshmen ILB Devin White (who I predict might supplant Duke Riley as a starter by the time SEC play starts) and extremely talented freshmen ILBs Michael Divinity and Ray Thornton. 

Conclusion: The Tigers will be without outside linebacker extraordinaire Deion Jones who graduated and was drafted in the 2nd round by the Atlanta Falcons, but everyone else returns. And by moving Bower and Thompson to linebacker, and adding three very talented freshmen in White, Divinity and Thorton, the Tigers were able to bolster both leadership and depth at the position. If Kendell Beckwith can remain healthy, this linebacker group should be rock solid. Advantage 2016 Tigers.

Now, with just 6 days until LSU takes the field against Wisconsin, let’s continue our countdown to Game Day by looking at the school record for most forced fumbles in a single season – 6 by Tyrann Mathieu in 2011. A St. Augustine alum, Mathieu came to LSU rated as the 13th best cornerback in the country by Rivals.com. Despite his small stature (5-9, 175) and the fact that he started only one game in his first year as a Tiger, Mathieu made an immediate impact as a true freshman in 2010 as the New Orleans native finished fourth in tackles on the team with 57 (8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks), forced an SEC best five fumbles, recovered three fumbles, broke up seven passes and recorded two interceptions. His outstanding season earned him the “Honey Badger” nickname, and Mathieu more than lived up to it as a sophomore in 2011. In the Tigers’ opener in Dallas against No. 3 Oregon, Tyrann helped a struggling offense by ripping the ball from the Ducks’ punt returner in the second quarter and returning it three yards for LSU’s first touchdown of the season. That play set the tone for LSU’s defense, and Mathieu finished with two pass breakups and 10 tackles in the dominating 40-27 victory. A few weeks later at No. 16 West Virginia, the “Honey Badger” struck again when he forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass that setup a one-yard touchdown drive and an insurmountable 27-7 halftime lead in a game the Tigers eventually won 47-21. Just one week later, Mathieu helped pump some energy into a lethargic team that was playing unranked Kentucky in a day game at Tiger Stadium when he raced past the Wildcats’ left tackle, batted the ball out of the quarterback’s hands, scooped it up off the ground and skirted 23 yards to pay dirt as part of a 35-7 victory. I could write pages and pages on the many plays Mathieu made, but instead I’ll direct you to these great Honey Badger video highlights that show most of them. Besides numerous awards that included winning the 2011 Bednarik Award for college’s top defensive player, earning First-Team All-American awards by numerous publications and being a finalist for the Heisman Award, which is a rarity for defensive players, Mathieu finished his collegiate career with a school-record 11 forced fumbles. After recording 89 tackles and five interceptions in his third season with Arizona in 2015, Mathieu signed a five-year, $62.5 million extension earlier this month. Here’s wishing Tyrann all the best in his fourth season with the Cardinals.

As I do most weeks, I’ll leave you with a couple of good reads to go along with your Sunday morning coffee: 

• This one is about Colby Delahoussaye and his thoughts on returning to Wisconsin (where he was involved in the fatal car accident). The article also mentions that fellow kicker Cameron Gamble is dealing with muscle tightness in his back, leading me to believe that freshman Connor Culp will likely be tasked with kickoff duties when the Tigers take the field. 

• This one is a “long-form” article by The Advocate titled, “LSU's 'Key': Arden Key is son to a big-rig driver, brother to a twin sister and the 'disguise' of the Tigers' new defense.”

Oh, one more thing: If you represent an LSU Alumni group that hosts LSU watch parties, please send me your information so I can post it on our LSU View-In Parties page. 

Have a great Sunday, Tiger Fans.

8/27/16 5:55 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans, 

JUST ONE MORE WEEK! That’s right, one week from today we’ll get to find out if this LSU football team is as good as we think it is when the Tigers step onto historic Lambeau Field to take on the Wisconsin Badgers. In case you’re wondering, I saw yesterday that LSU is currently a 10-point favorite in the game, according to OddShark.com. Next week, we’ll begin looking at how LSU compares to Wisconsin, what to watch for, and keys to victory, but until then let’s continue comparing the 2016 Tigers to last year’s team in order to get a better grip on the team’s strengths and weaknesses. I’ll just tell you now, there aren’t very many weaknesses on this years team and in almost every regard the Tigers are better positioned to make a championship run then they were last year when they jumped out to a 7-0 record and No. 2 ranking before faltering in November. You’ll notice I said “almost every regard,” and that’s because there is at least one position where I am not yet convinced the Tigers will be stronger than last year, as you’ll see below. As always, your comments and feedback are welcomed. 

2016 Tigers Position Analysis, Compared to 2015

OFFENSIVE LINE

LSU’s offensive line took the biggest hit of any position with the loss of starting tackles Jerald Hawkins and Vadal Alexander. Both of those guys are in the NFL this year, and their kind of talent and experience isn’t easy to replace. The Tigers will also be without tight end Dillon Gordon, who at 6-5, 308 was essentially another run-blocking O-lineman. The team took another hit upfront when last year’s starting left guard, Maea Teuhema, suffered an ankle injury and missed much of preseason camp before returning this week. Teuhema was projected to start again this season, but due to the practice time he missed he now finds himself No. 2 at right tackle on our unofficial depth chart behind Toby Weathersby. If Weathersby does, in fact, start there, only two of the Tigers’ five “big uglies” will be returning starters (not counting Weathersby, projected starting left tackle KJ Malone and projected starting right guard Josh Boutte, who each started one game last year). By comparison, the 2015 Tigers returned three starting O-linemen, plus tight end Gordon.

Conclusion: While the above seems to paint a somewhat grim picture of the Tigers’ O-line, it should be noted that LSU is very fortunate to return Ethan Pocic who is projected to play center but has the flexibility to fill in anywhere on the line, as well as their top run-blocker in left guard William Clapp. Both of these players were great last year and should be even better this season. And, even if three of LSU’s starting O-linemen this year are not returning “starters,” that doesn’t mean they don’t have considerable experience and talent. As mentioned above, Weathersby, Malone and Boutte each started one game last season and saw significant action. In fact, Malone has been a key reserve LT during each of the last two years. This one’s a hard call, but I’ll say: Slight advantage 2015 Tigers.

RUNNING BACK

It’s hard to imagine a team that finished first in the SEC in rushing and featured the nation’s leader in rushing yards per game could possibly be better this year at the running back position. But, the truth is it should be. Why? Well, because everyone returns. Leonard Fournette is back and seems to be in great shape despite suffering a minor ankle injury a couple of weeks ago. (As reported previously, Fournette returned to practice Thursday and was said to be fine.) Derrius Guice is also back for the Tigers this year and chomping at the bit to build on his average of 8.55 yards per carry, which was best in the SEC, third best in the nation, and considerably better than even Fournette’s average of 6.51 yards. Darrell Williams, whom I consider to be one of the most underrated and overshadowed players on the team, returns as well, as does sophomore Nick Brosette who came to LSU highly regarded but hasn’t yet had his time to shine, due in part to a season-ending knee injury he suffered against Ole Miss. While the return of all the aforementioned players would be plenty of reason to believe LSU will be stronger at the position, it gets even better. One of the key components to LSU’s running game is fullback JD Moore (this became plainly obvious when he went down to injury last year) and he’ll be back at full health this year to help pave the way for Fournette and company. His replacement last year, Bry'Kiethon Mouton, also returns to give LSU great depth at this critical position in LSU’s run-intensive offense. 

Conclusion: However you slice it, it’s clear to see that LSU is stronger at the running back position than last year, and that should be a scary thought for opposing defenses. Advantage 2016 Tigers.

Speaking of LSU’s elite running back unit, it should come as no surprise to you that the topic of today’s countdown to Game Day, which is at the 7-day mark, is No. 7 Leonard Fournette. Hailing from St. Augustine High School, Fournette was one of the most highly recruited players to come out of Louisiana and was regarded as the No. 1 player in the nation by the composite rankings of 247Sports. The New Orleans native started his collegiate career by rushing for 364 yards and four touchdowns in his first six games for an average of almost 61 yards per game. While that would be a great start for most freshmen, it was less than expected from the most-hyped recruit to ever sign with LSU. In the last seven games of his freshman campaign (six SEC and the bowl game), Leonard recorded four 100-yard rushing games, totaling 670 yards and six touchdowns. His total rushing yards of 1,034 broke the previous school record for most rushing yards by a freshman (1,001 by Justin Vincent in 2001).

Despite the great end to his first season, few could have expected his sophomore year to be so successful. Gaining over 100 rushing yards in each of his first seven games, including an LSU record three consecutive games of 200 or more yards, Fournette tied the school record for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games (nine including the last two of 2014) and became the fastest player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards, reaching 1,022 in his first five contests. Despite playing just 12 games because of the cancellation of the McNeese State contest, Fournette came within 47 yards of reaching 2,000. His 1,953 yards obliterated Charles Alexander’s single-season record of 1,686 set in 1977, a record that stood for almost 40 years. Fournette set several other single-season school records, including most rushing touchdowns (22), rushing yards per game (162.8), 200-yard rushing games (4), 100-yard rushing games (10), and consecutive 150-yard rushing games (7). In just two seasons, Fournette is already fourth all-time in rushing yards (2,987), trailing legendary running backs Charles Alexander (4,035), Dalton Hilliard (4,050) and Kevin Faulk (4,557).

Assuming he stays healthy, all signs point to Fournette becoming LSU’s all-time rushing leader (he needs 1,571 yards) and all-time rushing touchdowns leader (he needs 15 touchdowns). He’s also likely to set numerous other school and SEC records and is the leading candidate to become LSU’s first Heisman Award winner since Billy Cannon in 1959. Here’s wishing Fournette another year for the history books.

Check out Fournette’s Video Highlights to get your weekend started right!

Before closing out, I have some sad news to pass along on the high school football front: Last night, LSU quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse tore his left ACL in St. James’ jamboree. That’s really tough luck for the young man. Last year, he tore his right ACL in the spring and didn’t return to action until the playoffs when he helped lead the Wildcats to the Class 3A state championship game. 

A few interesting Reader Comments in closing:

Reader Comments: Scott, here’s something to share with your readers. Athlon Sports has ranked the Top 40 players in college football and LSU is very well represented with 7 picks. It should come as no surprise to Tiger fans that Fournette is No. 1! I’m feeling it Scott, the time is now!

Note: The following Reader Comment and cool interactive map is from DandyDon.com reader Jake Sharpless of Rukkus.com:

Reader Comments: Hey Scott, I just pulled some numbers specific to LSU and found that a whopping 67% of the players on the current roster come from in-state. The only other state besides for Louisiana that has more than five players at LSU is the state of Texas, which has 16 players on the current roster. Just goes to show how incredible the talent in the state Louisiana is. 

I put together a map of just the current LSU roster here

Even though I knew they had a very local roster, I was surprised to see that LSU didn't have a single player from the west coast on their current roster and only one player from west of Texas. They, along with Mississippi State and Auburn, are the only three teams in the SEC without a player from California on their current roster.

Reader Comments: Our Bayou Bengal Booster Club of Mississippi, Incorporated (a satellite chapter of the Tiger Athletic Foundation in Baton Rouge, LA), extends a special invitation to all LSU fans in the Central Mississippi area to share in our club’s 34th Birthday Celebration on Monday, August 29, 2016. Quite an accomplishment considering we live in Rebel and Dawg country!

Our new meeting place is the PIG SKIN GRILLE, located in THE TRACE PLAZA SHOPPING CENTER, 500 Hwy, 51, Ridgeland, Miss., at 6:00 p.m. (just north of the Natchez Trace Bridge). 

Birthday cake follows a “Dutch Treat” meal of choice. Sharing our own fond memories plus new ideas and thoughts from our many members and guests is followed by two (2) very SPECIAL GUESTS spending their time with us by phone:

(1) Michael Bonnette, LSU Sports Information Director
(2) Scott Long, Owner of DandyDon’s LSU Sporting News

These two special guests will provide us with the most “up-to-date” LSU football information prior to the Badger “Kick-off!”

We are also very proud to announce that our Club is the source by which over $250,000.00 in funds were generated by our Mississippi LSU fans buying Mississippi vehicle tags which is routed to the BLAIR BATSON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL to help with children’s needs.

We need a head count. Email us at: wbhulsey36@gmail.com

8/26/16 5:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

We’ll start today’s update by congratulating the 13 Tigers who made the 2016 Preseason Coaches All-SEC Football Teams. LSU’s 13 selectees speak volumes about the amount of talent on this year’s team and were matched only by Alabama who also had 13. Interestingly, LSU and Alabama tied for the most players selected last season as well, with ten apiece. Making the first team for the 2016 Tigers were Leonard Fournette and Ethan Pocic on offense, and Kendell Beckwith and TréDavious White on defense. William Clapp, Malachi Dupre, Davon Godchaux, Arden Key and Jamal Adams made the second team, while Brandon Harris, Derrius Guice, Travin Dural and Lewis Neal made the third team. I have no problem with the selections other than the fact that Jamal Adams didn’t make the first team. I predict that will provide extra motivation for him this year and that he’ll end up having an All-American season. 

Seeing that LSU has three more preseason All-SEC selections than last year gave me the idea to start a new series today in which we compare each position on the 2016 team to the 2015 Tigers. We’ll start with the quarterback and offensive line, and then we’ll continue with two or three more positions each day. As always, your comments and feedback are welcomed.

2016 Tigers Position Analysis, Compared to 2015

QUARTERBACK

Last year, Harris started strong and then hit a big snag in November when LSU suffered three straight losses. It’s debatable as to how much of the blame for the losses can be placed on Harris’ play, but it became plainly obvious when the Tigers’ running game was stopped that the team’s short to intermediate passing game was not where it needed to be. This year, Harris has a year of experience as a full-time starter and also has his top two receivers returning. He should also benefit from the hiring of Dameyune Craig (a former record-setting quarterback) as the team’s wide receiver coach, and from having offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on the sideline. Lastly, LSU has a capable backup quarterback in Purdue-transfer Danny Etling, although I wouldn’t expect him to see any action unless Harris sustains an injury (God forbid) or really falters big-time. 

Conclusion: There are plenty of reasons to believe the quarterback position should be significantly improved. If it is, this Tiger team could have all the pieces to make a championship run. Advantage 2016 Tigers.

WIDE RECEIVER

This is a position group that has lost four players since last season – not to graduation or the NFL, but to transfer. First Trey Quinn and John Diarse left, and then Kevin Spears and Tyron Johnson followed suit. There are a couple of ways to look at this. On one hand, this could be seen as a sign that LSU is loaded with talent at the position. Most of the guys who left recognized that playing time could be hard to come by with Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre returning, as well as veterans DJ Chark, Jazz Ferguson, Derrick Dillon and highly-touted freshmen Drake Davis, Stephen Sullivan and Dee Anderson waiting in the wings. But on the other hand, one could see this as a situation where LSU only returns two receivers who registered a reception last season. Both points of view are valid and telling. So, is this group of receivers stronger than last year’s? That’s a hard call to make.

Conclusion: With Dural and Dupré back with an added year of experience, and with much more height as a unit than in recent years, and with a new wide receiver coach in Dameyune Craig, I’m going to give the edge to this year’s Tigers. But with experienced depth being a concern, it will be important for A) this unit to remain healthy, and for B) someone to step up and become that go-to third receiver. With regard to the latter, I look for DJ Chark to answer the call. Advantage 2016 Tigers.

Stay tuned as tomorrow we’ll look at the offensive line and running backs…

Sticking to the topic of football, the Tigers returned to the practice field yesterday and players spoke to the media afterward. I wasn’t there and didn’t pick up much info online, but I did see this one article by my friend Jim Kleinpeter of NOLA.com which made me feel good. In it, Jim cites guard Josh Boutte as saying Leonard Fournette returned to practice yesterday and looked amazing. Fournette missed several practices after suffering a minor ankle injury a couple of weeks ago but was said to be faster than ever yesterday after resting up.

Before closing out with our Countdown to Game Day, there’s a little news to pass along on the baseball front as LSU picked up a commitment this week from  2017 shortstop Hal Hughes. Hughes is from Norman, Oklahoma, and what makes his commitment particularly interesting is that he's the son of Oklahoma’s head baseball coach, Pete Hughes. According to PerfectGame, LSU now has 17 baseball commitments for 2017.

Now let’s close out today’s report with our countdown to LSU football’s season opener, which is only eight days away, by looking at a recent Tiger who wore No. 8 - quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Mettenberger came to LSU with huge expectations after throwing for 2,678 yards, 32 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 12 games for Butler Community College. The Watkinsville, Georgia native played sparingly in 2011 as a third stringer, completing 8-of-11 passes for 92 yards, which included a touchdown pass against Northwestern State. As a junior in 2012, Mettenberger took over the starting role for the Tigers but struggled in many games. In fact, he only passed for over 200 yards in two of his first eight contests, and both were non-conference games. He did, however, save his best game of the season for week nine against Alabama, passing for 298 yards and a TD. Mettenberger carried that momentum into the final three regular season games and passed for over 200 yards in each contest. On the season, he finished with 2,609 passing yards, 12 TDs and seven interceptions. The passing yards were good for sixth all-time for a single season. Mettenberger had an even better senior year, becoming just the third quarterback to pass for over 3,000 yards (3,082 - 3rd all-time) with 22 passing TDs and eight interceptions. Unfortunately, his college career ended early with a season-ending knee injury in the season finale vs Arkansas.  Mettenberger finished his LSU career with 5,783 passing yards (6th all-time) and 35 passing TDs (5th all-time) and posted a 19-6 mark as a starter. Check out this great highlight video that shows many of the outstanding plays Mettenberger made during his career as a Tiger.

Despite his knee injury, Mettenberger was drafted in the 6th round by the Tennessee Titans and ended up seeing much more playing time than expected as a rookie, starting six games and passing for 1,412 yards, eight TDs and seven interceptions before missing the final three games with a shoulder injury. Serving as a backup last season, Mett was able to start several games due to Marcus Mariota’s injuries and passed for 935 yards, completing 60.8% of his passes. After being waived by the Titans on May 16th of this year, the Chargers claimed him off waivers the following day and he is now competing for a roster spot with San Diego. Here’s wishing Mett all the best in earning a third year in the NFL.

Last but not least, I want to point out that I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange with several new listings.

 

Continue Browsing Reports



 

Continue Browsing Reports

 

 

 

 

This web site is not officially affiliated with Louisiana State University. Opinions expressed herein are the property of Donald Long, Scott Long and friends, not Louisiana State University.