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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:

Clemson (2/19)
Michigan (4/18)
LSU (10/22)
Syracuse (12/15)
Kentucky (20/10)
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.





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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:

Clemson (2/19)
Michigan (4/18)
LSU (10/22)
Syracuse (12/15)
Kentucky (20/10)
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.

11/12/18 5:30 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

First, it was great hearing from so many of you yesterday about LSU’s 24-17 win over Arkansas and our initial post-game thoughts. In yesterday’s opening line, we wrote that LSU experienced the taste of victory. Well, usually it tastes pretty sweet, but in this case, the way the game ended left a bad taste in a lot of Tiger fans’ mouths. It also didn’t sit well with the pollsters. Despite the win, LSU dropped one spot to No. 10 in the AP rankings and stayed put at No. 10 in the Coaches Poll. Here are the complete rankings. The more-important CFP rankings will come out tomorrow evening.

As promised, I’ve selected a handful of your comments and question to share today, along with our responses.

DANDYDON.COM MAIL CALL - POST ARKANSAS GAME EDITION

From Ed: Love the Tigers. Hated the strategy to slide and not score. In this day and age, style points are critical. A 14-point win is much more impressive than squeezing by in a one-score game over lowly Arkansas. It is not the aggressive mentality that appeals to recruits. Step on a throat damn it!

My Response: Thanks for your message, Ed. First off, I agree. But just to be clear, the decision was not about “playing nice” it was about taking time off the clock and giving LSU the best probability for a win. That said, I didn’t like it. (And I didn’t like the decision to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking the field goal, either, but I digress.) Taking the touchdown on that last drive would have put LSU up by two scores with what, a minute-and-a-half to play? Sure, you would have risked Arkansas scoring a quick touchdown, recovering an onside kick and scoring again, but the probability of that happening was very low. To me, the reward of a 14-point win to show the pollsters and playoff committee, as well as the boost to team and fan morale, would have been well worth the risk. That said, I don’t blame Nick Brossette one bit since he was selflessly doing what he was taught to do, according to Coach Orgeron.

From Mark: Scott, long time reader here. Thank you for this website and all the effort you and your crew put into keeping us up to speed on all things LSU. With Arkansas having one of the worst secondaries in the country, I find it very unsettling that we ran the ball as much as we did, with the game being close like it was. With the passes we did attempt, we were very successful in moving the ball and scoring. Although it was a great SEC win for our Tigers, it should have never been that close. I think the play calling in games like this should have been opened up more…

My Response: Thanks, Mark. Yeah, this Arkansas team’s weak pass defense should have been an ideal opportunity for LSU to work on its passing game. And it looked like LSU would do just that early on. The Tigers came out throwing on back-to-back first downs in the first series and then completed the 40-yard TD pass on first down in the second series. After that, the Tigers didn’t throw on first down until about two minutes left in the half, and then threw successfully on first-down three times in the third quarter before almost completely shutting down the passing game in the fourth. I get that the staff is concerned with protection issues and that late in the game they lost some confidence in the defense after suffering three injuries in the secondary, but I feel like this was an opportunity missed. I was pleasantly surprised to look back and see that LSU’s limited passing game was actually pretty effective with a 71% completion rate and an average of 13 yards per completion. Wish we would have seen more of it.

From Virgil: Mounting injuries in the backfield where the Tigers are already thin is concerning with Texas A&M on the horizon. Jimbo Fisher will have his team jacked up and ready for his season finale at home. What are the latest injury updates and your thoughts looking ahead two weeks from now?

My Response: I agree, Virgil. At this time, we don’t have much of an injury update. It appears that safety Kelvin Joseph was nursing a hamstring injury, while safety Todd Harris and cornerback Kristian Fulton were dealing with ankles. Coach O didn’t seem overly concerned after the game when he said that “most should be back” and “most were just ankles.” LSU is really fortunate to have Rice this week so that they can rest these guys and get them healthy for College Station. You’d better believe Jimbo Fisher would like nothing more than to be able to exploit a weakened LSU secondary with his relatively strong passing attack.

From Bo: Discipline!!, the Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties are killing LSU. Coaches should be able to bring this out in film room about players loitering over downed opposing players and running their mouth over the recent play. Do your job, make the tackle or disrupt the pass, or hurry the play and get back on your side of the line of scrimmage. Show the opposing team with your talent and ability and not with your mouth. Be smart, play wise, and stop the unnecessary penalties that hurt the winning cause.

My Response: Couldn’t have said it better myself, Bo. 

From Gerald: I am a pro Coach O fan, and big time LSU supporter and love this season, as not much was predicted from most (I said 9-3). We are #7 BUT it’s pretty apparent our offense needs a better OL impact, QB is a good kid and warrior but red zone and passing stats are paltry. Here is my question - do we need to consider another OC to really build an offensive scheme that is able to protect time on the field and support our great defense? This looks too much like Les Miles offensive “results” dressed up a little. Thanks for your great LSU coverage - Thoughts?  

My Response: Thanks, Gerald, for the compliment, and for phrasing your question in a way that’s easy to answer: Do we need to consider another OC? Yes, absolutely. Look, I think Steve Ensminger is a great man and I wish him well. But when a team’s passing offense, which was supposed to be its most improved area, is ranked 101st in the country, something’s gotta give and nobody should be beyond scrutiny. That said, this is really not the time for this kind of talk. Overall, the staff has done a remarkable job of exceeding expectations and putting LSU in a position to record its best season in several years. Let’s see how this thing plays out and enjoy the ride. 

That’s it for now. Thanks to all who chimed in. 

Closing Tidbits:

• Here are LSU’s video highlights from Saturday’s game that weren’t available at the time of yesterday’s post.

• If you have LSU tickets for sale, please send me your information for posting. I’ll be updating our Ticket Exchange later today.

• Congratulations to the LSU soccer team for advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament by outlasting Boston U. in shootout. Here’s more from The Advocate.

One more thing: I regret that I overlooked yesterday being Veteran’s Day when I posted my morning update. What I meant to say, and as I tweeted last night, is this: To all the veterans who have served to protect the liberties we cherish and too often take for granted, we at DandyDon salute you. Thank you for your service.



 

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