3/23/18 5:30 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
If you’re chomping at the bit for LSU football news, you’re in luck. LSU held its final practice before spring break yesterday going with a situational scrimmage that provided some interesting numbers. Let’s get right to the ones everyone wants to see, the quarterbacks.
Myles Brennan: 16-12, 224 yards, 2 TDs, 1-2 rushing
Justin McMillan: 15-7, 169 yards, 1 TD, 4-48 rushing
Lowell Narcisse: 14-6, 38 yards, 2-17 rushing.
Orgeron said Brennan has gained 10 pounds to 195 but “we would like him to be 215.” He also said Brennan and McMillan had their best days and that Narcisse continues to improve. Orgeron pointed out that quarterback reps are being split evenly and that he wouldn’t name a starter until the end of preseason camp, unless one of the three separates himself before then. “Right now, I don't see that,” he said. “One good scrimmage doesn’t mean you are the starter.” Orgeron added that the offense is only about 35 percent installed at this point.
Nick Brossette: 23-58-5 (mostly goal line situations)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 16-86-1
Tae Provens: 7-29
Orgeron said Brossette and Edwards-Helaire are both getting first-team reps and that Brossette is “a good zone rusher” while Edwards-Helaire “is explosive.” He also said David Ducré might see some time in pass protection situations.
Racey McMath: 6-169-1
Drake Davis: 4-102
Justin Jefferson: 4-54
Stephen Sullivan: 2-51
Dee Anderson, Derrick Dillon, Foster Moreau, Terrace Marshall, Brossette, JaCory Washington and Trey Gallman 1 each.
Orgeron had good things to say about Jefferson and compared him to another 3-star LSU wideout, D.J. Chark. “I think he’s going to start,” Orgeron said. He singled out Drake Davis as having improved and said Jonathan Giles, who missed Tuesday’s practice, was out but should return after spring break.
Another spring star, OG/C Damien Lewis, scrimmaged despite battling an ankle injury that kept him out of Tuesday’s workout. He played only at guard but has been working at center also.
Orgeron said TE Foster Moreau should be in the running to wear No. 18 in the fall. “I’m sure he’s going to be mentioned,” Orgeron said.
DE Breiden Fehoko sat out of the scrimmage but that gave Neil Farrell a chance to shine and man did he ever. Farrell had 10 tackles, five of those for losses, including two sacks. Farrell and Justin Thomas are running as the No. 2 DEs when everyone is healthy.
More Defense Stats:
John Battle: 7 tackles
K’Lavon Chaisson: 6 tackles, 1 sack
Jacob Phillips: 5 tackles
Eric Monroe: 5 tackle
Rashard Lawrence: 5 tackles
Tyler Taylor: 4 tackles
Orgeron said NT Ed Alexander is out but should return soon: “We believe he’ll practice after the break. Looks like he’s in the best position he's been in.”
All in all, it sounds like it was a very productive scrimmage, especially for the offense. Asked why the offense fared so much better this time around than it did on Saturday, Orgeron pointed to pass protection as the main reason.
The LSU football team is now off for spring break and will return on Sunday, April 1. No fooling.
Turning to baseball…
The No. 15 LSU Tigers (15-7, 2-1 SEC) embark on their first SEC road test tonight when they face the No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville. As you can tell by Vandy’s ranking and record, this is going to be one heck of a test for the Tigers.
Here’s this weekend’s start times, TV coverage, and pitching match-ups:
Game 1 - Friday, 8 p.m. CT, ESPNU
LSU – So. RHP Zack Hess (3-2, 5.08 ERA, 28.1 IP, 14 BB, 42 SO)
VU – So. RHP Drake Fellows (3-0, 1.91 ERA, 28.1 IP, 12 BB, 36 SO)
Game 2 - Saturday, 7:30 p.m. CT, ESPNU
LSU – Jr. RHP Caleb Gilbert (2-1, 4.21 ERA, 25.2 IP, 6 BB 15 SO)
VU – Jr. RHP Patrick Raby (2-2, 1.45 ERA, 18.2 IP, 9 BB, 22 SO)
Game 3 - Sunday, 12 p.m. CT, ESPN2
LSU – Fr. RHP Ma’Khail Hilliard (5-0, 0.77 ERA, 23.1 IP, 8 BB, 20 SO)
VU – TBA
As we’ll likely do before each SEC series this season, we’ve put together the following stat comparison to get a better feel for how the two teams stack up. (SEC ranking is indicated in parenthesis.)
• The Commodores opened SEC play last weekend with a three-game sweep at Mississippi State. Obviously, anytime you earn a sweep in the SEC that’s big. They also lost 8-5 to Belmont on Wednesday night in Nashville. That’s baseball.
• Junior infielder Ethan Paul is Vanderbilt’s top power source. He has team highs of seven doubles, four homers and 27 RBI. Junior infielder Connor Kaiser and freshman outfielder Pat DeMarco have produced 19 and 18 RBI, respectively, on the year.
• Vanderbilt has a huge statistical advantage in steals per game and leads the SEC in that category. That makes for an interesting matchup as Hunter Feduccia is the best in the league at throwing out would-be stealers.
LSU has a 57-41 edge over Vanderbilt, and tonight’s game will mark the 99th meeting between the schools in a series that began in 1954. The teams are meeting for the first time since April 7-9, 2016, in Baton Rouge, when LSU won two of three games over the Commodores. Vanderbilt has won six of the past seven regular-season series between the schools; however, LSU has captured five of its last six SEC Tournament games against Vanderbilt. LSU is seeking its first series victory in Nashville since 2005, when the Tigers won two of three games over the Commodores.
Quoting Paul Mainieri:
“Nashville is a beautiful city, as everybody knows, but it hasn’t been real pleasant for us since I’ve been the coach here. We haven’t had great memories of our series there in recent years, though back in 2014 we got a big win in Nashville when Aaron Nola was pitching for us. We have had good fortune against Vanderbilt in SEC Tournament games over the years, and we won the series against them in Baton Rouge two years ago, but it would be nice to go to Nashville and play well in their ball park. We got off to a good start in league play last week with a series win over Missouri, and now it’s time to focus on our first road series of the season.”
• In softball news, the 10th ranked Tigers won their sixth game in walk-off fashion this season with a 2-1 victory against BYU in 12 innings. With the win, LSU improved to 24-4 on the year and extended its home winning streak to 23 games. More on the win, including video highlights, can be found here. LSU continues the LSU Round Robin event today, taking on BYU for the second time at 4 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed online via SEC Network+.
• Big news for gymnastics fans in Louisiana: The SEC announced yesterday that the 2019 SEC Gymnastics Championships will be hosted at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on March 23. This means gym fans will have eight chances to see LSU in the state of Louisiana during the 2019 season. LSU will host six meets during the regular season inside the Maravich Center. The Tigers will then compete in New Orleans at the league meet. Two weeks later, the squad will compete in the PMAC for an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2014.
• Lastly, here’s a good read by The Advocate on LSU football’s new offense: Opening it up: LSU implementing new pass and run game in 'West Coast' style system
Have a great day, Tiger Fans.