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


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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.

8/25/16 5:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Last night, I had the pleasure of listening to the first Les Miles Radio Show of the season and really enjoyed the familiarity of it all. As I’ve done for the last several years, I’ll give you a brief recap of each week’s show this season, starting today. Here we go…

The first caller of the night was Sadie from Denton, Texas, and she asked Coach Miles to name a player on offense, defense and special teams to keep an eye on. Miles’ selections were running back Derrius Guice, linebacker Kendell Beckwith and kicker Connor Culp. What I found particularly interesting and encouraging were Miles’s comments on Culp when he said that during a recent scrimmage, in pouring down “sideways rain,” the freshmen kicker booted a kickoff way out of the end zone. After seeing how LSU struggled on kickoffs and kickoff coverage last season, that was great to hear.   

The second caller of the night was none other than previous Voice of the Tigers, Jim Hawthorne. After fielding questions about his experience in the recent flood, Hawthorne commended Chris Blair on the job he is doing and wished him the best of luck. He then said he’s looking forward to taking in the Wisconsin game from the comfort of his home and making it out to the Missouri game where there will be a little presentation he’s excited about.

Before taking the next caller, Miles and Blair talked a bit about the quarterback position. Miles said Harris has enough experience to know exactly what to do and what is expected of him, and that Danny Etling has achieved a certain comfort level. In summary, Miles said the team is much better at the position.

Next up on the phone lines was Richard from Colfax who asked whether Coach Miles’ team can “sustain” and make Tiger fans happy this year. Miles answered affirmatively and said he’s really excited about this team.

Rickey from Birmingham reminded everyone that during last year’s show before the A&M game he stated that rumors of Miles' demise were greatly exaggerated. He then asked Coach Miles about the intensity and attention to detail needed for a big road game like the one coming up in Wisconsin. Miles said the team’s intensity has been very good, adding that they’ve practiced hard and have prepared what seems to be a very capable game plan.

Next was a guy named Tate who asked about defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s off-the-field personality and how he connects with the players. Miles described Aranda as a quality teacher who gives the “why” and explains things more fully than some other coaches, and said the players really like that.

In a bit of a change indicative of the times we live in, the next question was taken from a fan on Twitter who asked Miles to compare Travonté Valentine to a previous player. Miles said it’s hard to make a comparison since Valentine hasn’t yet taken a snap in a game, then added that Valentine has the ability to move very quickly for a man his size.

From the live audience, Margie asked about the linebackers and how they’re progressing. Miles described the group as one of the fastest units on the team. Beckwith and Duke Riley were named as starters in the middle, while the outside linebackers were said to be Arden Key (at the Buck position) and either Michael Divinity or Tashawn Bower (at the F position). Miles noted that the slowest of the aforementioned players runs a 4.6 forty.

Next up to the microphone was a longtime supporter and super fan, the Big Ragoo. He asked about the new replay system and how it’s going to operate. Miles said there will be three experts in a booth in Alabama that will be able to look at exactly what’s going on on the field. They won’t actually make calls (the ultimate decision will be left to the in-stadium replay official), but will be there to collaborate and confirm good decisions. Miles said he believes it will be a good thing for the game and that he can’t imagine any coach disagreeing.

Genie from New Orleans reiterated how LSU football means so much to the people of Louisiana and gives us something else to focus on and look forward to during these difficult times. Miles said his players recognize the importance in playing well and look forward to doing so.

On a related note, Gene from Bogalusa asked what the team will be doing moving forward to help victims of the flood who are in dire need. Miles started by saying LSU president King Alexander did a great job of making facilities available on campus for shelter, and that the school will continue to do what it can. He added that as for the football team, it’s quite an undertaking to play championship football, go to school and volunteer extra time, but that one thing they can do is help return a sense of normalcy when they take to the field each Saturday. Amen to that.

The last caller of the night was Josh from Vidalia who asked about the running game and whether we will see a reduction in the gap between Leonard Fournette’s carries (300 last year) and Guice’s carries (51 last year). Miles said he’s not ready to say he’ll give the ball to Fournette any less, but that Guice is a tremendous back and their running game will be fine.

All in all, it was an enjoyable show. For me, it was a bit different to take it in from my patio instead of from my now-gutted office where I’ve enjoyed just about every show for the last five years, and it was a little odd hearing Hawthorne as a caller instead of the host, but I must say that the show did indeed help restore a bit of much-needed normalcy in my life, and for that I’m grateful. Oh, and Chris Blair is a heck of a host. 

While football is obviously the hot topic on Tiger fans’ minds right now, there is some baseball news to pass along as LSU has released its 2017 roster and schedule. Much like in football, the Tigers will field one of their most experienced baseball teams ever this season with the return of eight starting position players, including four who were drafted in the MLB draft but elected to return to LSU (senior left-handed pitcher Jared Poché, senior shortstop Kramer Robertson, senior second baseman Cole Freeman and junior first baseman Greg Deichmann). The Tigers also return some very talented pitchers including senior left-hander Poché, All-American junior right-hander Alex Lange and senior right-handed closer Hunter Newman, who led the Tigers with eight saves last season. Other returning veteran pitchers include senior right-handers Russell Reynolds, Collin Strall and Alden Cartwright, junior right-handers Doug Norman and Austin Bain, and sophomore right-handers Caleb Gilbert and Cole McKay. Mainieri said he is hopeful that Cartwright and redshirt freshman left-hander Nick Bush will be healthy this spring after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. 

This veteran-laden team will be bolstered by a highly regarded 2016 signing class of  13 newcomers, including four who were picked in the MLB draft but decided to play at LSU instead. For more on each of these signees, including brief bios, please click here

As for LSU’s 2017 baseball schedule, it’s a doozy. On it are 11 teams that advanced to NCAA regionals last season. “We’re going to play 22 games against teams that were in regionals last season, and that’s 40 percent of our schedule,” Mainieri explained. “Within that number, there are six Super Regional teams from last year and three that played in the College World Series. Of course, every weekend in the 30-game SEC schedule is grueling,  and we have some very attractive non-conference match-ups. I think our fans will enjoy watching us compete against some outstanding clubs throughout the year.” The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a trip to Houston’s Minute Maid Park for the Shriners Hospitals College Classic, as the Tigers will face TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech March 3-5. The Tigers open SEC play on March 17, when LSU plays host to Georgia in Game 1 of a three-game SEC series in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. 

Now let’s jump back to football and close out today’s report with our countdown to Game Day, which, believe it or not, has already reached single digits. That’s right, folks, LSU football season is only nine days away, and with that in mind today we’ll take a look at a special former Tiger who wore No. 9 – Devery Henderson. Henderson grew up in Opelousas, LA and starred at Opelousas High in football and in track and field. At LSU, Henderson remained a two-sport Athlete and was a member of LSU’s 2001 National Champion Indoor Track and Field team as well as the 2003 National Championship Football team. After beginning his LSU football days as a running back, Henderson transitioned to a wide receiver and ended his career by leading the SEC in single-season TD receptions with 11 in his senior year. Henderson was on the receiving end of one of the most memorable plays in school history when he hauled in a 75-yard TD pass from Marcus Randall as time expired to beat Kentucky in 2002. The play was dubbed “The Bluegrass Miracle” and was named the AP Play of the Year. You can relive the memory here by watching this video. After graduating from LSU, Henderson was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2004 NFL draft by the New Orleans where he remained until 2012. In 2009, Henderson had seven catches for 63 yards when the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.

Lastly, please note that I will be updating our Ticket Exchange later today. If you have tickets for sale and would like me to add your listing, or if you have a listing that you would like me to remove, please let me know

8/24/16 5:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Coach Miles put his football team through its final “tackle scrimmage” of the preseason yesterday and called it an eventful outing in which they came out healthy. The team ran more than 100 plays, threw for 220 yards and rushed for another 288. Afterward, Les Miles met with the media and dished out some information, including the following key points:

• Quarterback Brandon Harris “had a nice day” and completed 12-15 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. 

• Miles also wished former LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings, who was just recently named the starter at UL-Lafayette, all the best in his future endeavors.

•  A couple of field golds were made by Colby Delahoussaye and Connor Culp. One for 30 yards and another for 37 yards.

• Jamal Adams had an interception and dropped a pick. Donté Jackson had a nice pick-six.  Miles described his secondary as physical ball hawks with great speed.

• Leonard Fournette (ankle) did not participate in the scrimmage but is expected to resume practicing Thursday.

• The Tigers not only “looked” at Wisconsin during the scrimmage, but "looked at some future opponents."

• Miles said wide receiver Travin Dural took part in the scrimmage, which was good to hear considering he missed the last scrimmage with a hand injury.

• Wide receiver DJ Chark once again drew praise. Miles said he doesn’t know if there’s a player on the team who has made as much of an advance as Chark has. 

•  Maea Teuhema, who has been recovering from an ankle injury, rotated with Toby Weathersby and KJ Malone at offensive tackle.

If you are eager to hear more of Coach Miles’s thoughts on his 2016 Tigers, you can tune in to tonight’s premiere of the Les Miles Show at 7 p.m. or simply return here tomorrow for my recap. I mentioned earlier that audio of all of LSU’s football games this year would be streamed for free on LSUSports.net’s Geaux Zone (in the past, listening to the stream required a Geaux Zone membership), but I forgot to tell you that the same applies to the Les Miles Show as it will be free to stream as well. 

Before going any further, I want to give you the results of our annual poll asking you to predict what LSU’s final regular season record will be. With over 10,000 votes cast, the winner was 10-2 with 41% of the vote. Coming in at second with 36% of the vote was 11-1, while a substantial 12% predicted LSU would go undefeated. These results, which indicate that nearly 90% of all participants predict LSU will lose no more than two games, show just how optimistic the LSU fanbase is about these Tigers. By comparison, in our polls conducted for each of the two previous seasons, the top vote getter was 9-3 and only 52% predicted the Tigers would lose no more than two contests.  

Clearly, there are several reasons to be extremely optimistic about this year’s team including a veteran, second-year starter at quarterback, 18 upperclassmen projected as returning starters, Dave Aranda as LSU’s defensive coordinator, a deeper defensive line, and arguably the most loaded defensive backfield in the country. But perhaps the biggest reason of all is the return of junior running back Leonard Fournette, who is not only considered by many to be the best player in college football and the Heisman front-runner, but is also a truly special representative of LSU both on and off the field. Yesterday Fournette was featured on ESPN’s Sports Center and gave a great interview in which he spoke about how football changed his life for the better, his relationship to Coach Miles, and the what went on the night before the Texas A&M game last year when the team decided they would go to war for their coach. You can see the full video here.   

Mentioning all the reasons to be optimistic about the upcoming season reminds me to inform you that I’ve updated our unofficial depth chart. Please note that this represents my opinion only and is based on everything I’ve heard and read as well as what little bit I saw of the team before practices were closed to the media. Once LSU releases its “official” depth chart, or when more information becomes available, I will update accordingly.

Before closing out with our countdown and a few tidbits, here’s a little news on the basketball front. Yesterday LSU announced the non-conference portion of its 2016-17 schedule. Here’s some info pulled from the press release sent out by LSU’s sports information department: LSU will play three home games prior to its previously announced trip to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Tigers will host Southern Miss on Nov. 15 and will face North Florida on Nov. 18 for the second straight year. Last year’s North Florida game proved to be one of the most entertaining games of the year as the Ospreys, known for their three-point shooting, made 19 treys and LSU rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to score 71 second-half points to win, 119-108. At the Battle, LSU will open with an ESPN2 contest with Wichita State on Nov. 23 and will then play either Louisville or Old Dominion in a contest scheduled for Thanksgiving (Nov. 24). LSU’s final contest on Nov. 25 will be against one of four teams – Baylor, VCU, Michigan State or St. John’s.

The Tigers will play one more game on Nov. 29 against Houston in the Maravich Center in the second half of a home-and-home series, before the mandated break for final exams. When the schedule resumes, LSU will play four games in 10 days prior to Christmas, hosting NC Central (Dec. 13), Texas Southern (Dec. 17) and Charleston (Dec. 19 - the final game of a three-game contract) before finishing a home-and-home at ACC foe Wake Forest on Dec. 22. LSU’s one other non-conference game already announced is LSU’s trip to Texas Tech on Jan. 28 for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The complete schedule, including the Southeastern Conference games, is expected to be announced in the coming days. 

Now, with only 10 days remaining until LSU football’s season-opener vs. Wisconsin in Lambeau Field, today we’ll continue our countdown by looking back at the school record for most career touchdowns by a tight end – 10 by both Richard Dickson and Brad Boyd. Many younger Tiger Fans probably don’t remember Brad Boyd, who starred at LSU from 1972 to 1974, but Boyd put up one of the most impressive career stats of any LSU tight end back in an era where LSU was more run-oriented than they are today. With an LSU offense that had a run-pass ratio of 71.1%-to-28.9% in 1972, Boyd was one of the main receiving weapons with 22 receptions, 298 receiving yards and five touchdowns for a team that finished 9-2-1. Boyd led all receivers in 1973 (16 receptions, 259 receiving yards and three touchdowns) and 1974 (18-275-2) as the Tigers finished 9-3 and 5-5-1, respectively. Besides the school-tying record of 10 career receiving touchdowns by a tight end, Boyd’s 832 receiving yards are among the highest of all tight ends in school history. Richard Dickson (2006-2009) also had one of the greatest receiving careers for all LSU tight ends, finishing his career with 90 receptions, 952 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. His 2007 performance (32-375-5) was a vital part of LSU’s offense, which averaged a school record 38.6 points per game. His two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 38-24 victory over Ohio State in the 2008 BCS National Championship are still being shown on many highlight videos today. 

Unfortunately, Tiger offenses have underutilized tight ends in recent years. Last season, Colin Jeter had 132 receiving yards and accounted for LSU’s only touchdown by a tight end. In 2014, LSU’s only receiving touchdown by a tight end came from Logan Stokes, although it was a huge one in LSU’s 10-7 victory over No. 3 Ole Miss. Travis Dickson, Richard’s younger brother, led all tight ends in 2014 with just 60 receiving yards on seven receptions. For the Tigers to challenge defenses who are talented enough to stuff the run, more variety in play selection will be needed. Check downs to running backs in the flat and short-to-intermediate throws to the tight ends will definitely go a long way toward LSU’s success against the upper-echelon teams of the SEC. 

In closing, I regret to inform you that we will not conduct our Louisiana High School Pickem contest this year. My wife, Heather, is the one who always administered the contest by entering the schedules and the scores each Friday and Saturday night, but she has her hands full with familial obligations which were only exacerbated by the recent flooding of her parents’ home. I hope you understand. I will create a page displaying the Tweets of the those who post final scores so that you can still use this site as a one-stop shop for your Tiger news and Louisiana high school football scores.

 

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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.