NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
10/30/14 5:50 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
In just a bit we’ll get to our normal order of business by recapping last night’s Les Miles show, but first I need to do something I should have done yesterday – that is, recognize a couple of Tigers for the honors they received this week. The two are Kendell Beckwith, who was honored as the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, and Leonard Fournette, who was honored as Freshman of the week.
Beckwith led the team and shattered his career high with 10 tackles in LSU’s 10-7 win over No. 3 Ole Miss. He also had one tackle for a loss and added one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry in LSU’s outstanding defensive performance. Perhaps his most significant play of the game came on a 4th-and-1 at the LSU 47-yard line when he made a key tackle to stop Ole Miss’ ensuing drive after LSU took the lead late in the fourth quarter. It took a little longer than many of us expected for Beckwith to obtain the starting role at middle linebacker, but it sure hasn’t taken long to see what a difference maker he’s been in that role.
As for Fournette, he rushed for 113 yards on 23 carries, added two receptions for 41 yards and returned two kickoffs for 57 yards to finish with 211 all-purpose yards against the Rebels. The 100+ rushing performance was his third of the season, and the 200+ all-purpose outing was his second. Fournette led the Tigers in what was clearly one of their most impressive rushing performances in quite some time, as the Tigers tallied 264 yards on the ground against an Ole Miss defense that entered the game only allowing 97 rushing yards per game. It’s also worth noting that Fournette has rolled up 1,209 all-purpose yards on the season, which places him 30th amongst all players in the NCAA. He is one of only three freshman in this category’s top-50, and he’s the highest ranking freshman on the list in the SEC. It’s amazing to think that despite such huge numbers put up by Fournette, he still hasn’t lived up to the expectations of many due to the unprecedented, and dare I say unfair, hype that surrounded his entrance into college football. Fournette will only get better from here on out, and I expect a big game from him next week against Bama.
Now let’s move on to the Les Miles show….
The first caller of the night was Rickey from Birmingham who expressed his sympathy to Coach Miles for the loss of his mother and commended LSU for making a Land Shark defense look like a fish out of water. He then asked about the false start penalty called against LSU late in the game. Miles said they reviewed the play and that it was the right call.
The next caller, Jim, mentioned that pass interference should have been called a couple of times against Trey Quinn and asked whether the staff teaches the receivers to sell the call. Miles said he doesn’t think the refs buy those things too much, but agreed that several of Ole Miss’ “well covered” plays were assisted by a shirt tug.
Sadie from Denton, Texas asked about the Tigers’ schedule this week. Miles said the team took Monday off to focus on academics, then had a nice practice Tuesday and yesterday. Tomorrow they’ll “do a little more Bama work” and on Friday they’ll lift and run. The team will take Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday off. Sadie then asked Coach Miles what his favorite play was in Saturday’s win. Miles named the faked handoff and touchdown pass to tight end Logan Stokes and then added that he also really enjoyed Ronald Martin’s interception to seal the victory.
Robbie from Baton Rouge asked which players Coach Miles has coached at LSU who have really put a smile on his face. Miles said there have been several, and named Jacob Hester, Tyson Jackson, Chad Jones, Joseph Addai, Trindon Holliday, Rueben Randle, and Steven Ridley as examples.
Jason from the live audience called to say that when the playoff committee announced Ole Miss at No. 4 he almost choked on his corndog. He then asked Coach Miles how he balances family life with coaching. Miles said it’s very difficult and there’s no recipe for it, but that he is fortunate to have a great partner, his wife. He added that at yesterday’s practice he had two daughters, a son on crutches, and his wife stop by.
Also from the live audience, the Evil Twin asked Coach Miles what he attributes the improvement of the defense to. Miles was quick to give credit to his coaching staff, and said the players have a daily ritual and have been committed to getting better each day a little bit at a time.
Back to the phone lines, Steve from Alexandria asked about the status of Terrence Magee. Miles said that in every game Magee gives everything he has and leaves pretty worn out, but that he’s fine. Magee will be given a bit of time off this week to fully recover, but if there was a game to be played this Saturday he would be ready.
Don from West Monroe commended Coach Miles and his staff for a “masterpiece of a coaching job” last week and said the score wasn’t indicative of how badly LSU beat Ole Miss. Miles credited his staff and players and said they had one more fan in heaven operating on their behalf.
Jude from Baton Rouge asked whether any attention is being paid to Jennings locking-in on his receivers. Miles said that’s something they always work on and that there has been improvement. He added that both quarterbacks continue to get better a little at a time.
I realize it’s been a while since I’ve written much about recruiting, so tomorrow we’ll take a look at where the Tigers stand and some of the top targets on LSU’s board. As they say, stay tuned. Oh, and I’ll also give you my weekly predictions.
Tidbits in closing:
• I’d like to remind all of participating in our Louisiana High School Football Pickem that the deadline for making this week’s picks is today at 5 p.m.
• I’ll be updating our ticket exchange page later today, so if you have tickets for sale, please email me the info for posting.
Reader Comments: Scott, you mentioned the injustice of LSU being ranked No. 19 in the CFPC rankings and I agree 100%. Thought your readers might like to see these BCS Proxy Rankings (for an indication of where LSU would be if we still used the BCS formula), and this writeup by CollegeFootballNews.com who calls LSU’s ranking “absolutely absurd.”
Reader Comments: Hey Scott, because this story won't get old for the next week or so, here is another breakdown with fan pictures of LSU's victory over Ole Miss.
10/29/14 5:40 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Yesterday the College Football Playoff Selection Committee revealed its first ever Top-25 and LSU came in at No. 19, which I think is too low, especially considering who the committee has in their all-important top-four. Topping their list is Mississippi State at No. 1, followed by Florida State at No. 2, Auburn at No. 3 and Ole Miss at No. 4. Considering that LSU’s only two losses have come against their No. 1 and No. 3 teams, and that LSU beat their No. 4 team, I just don’t get how they could possibly put LSU at No. 19. At the very least I would expect LSU to be the highest ranked two-loss team, but you’ll see in the full CFB Playoff Rankings that Oklahoma (5-2) is ranked one spot higher than LSU (7-2) at No. 18. Oh well, ç’est la vie. Moving on…
Lately there’s been speculation about freshman quarterback Brandon Harris being unhappy and considering transferring, but yesterday he tweeted something that makes me think there’s nothing to the rumors. At 10:52 AM, Harris tweeted a photo of himself and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and wrote “The Greatest..... Taking notes, and learning is all part of the process! #4yearsjourney #StriveForGreatness” It’s the hashtag “#4yearsjourney” that I find reassuring.
In other football related news, yesterday Athletic Director Joe Alleva released a statement in which he offered condolences to the family of Mr. Brian Tingley and addressed the issue of the players storming the field. I’ve posted Alleva’s entire statement here. LSU was fined $5,000 by the SEC when Tiger fans rushed out onto the field, and according to this article by nola.com a second offense would result in a $25,000 fine. If it happens a third time, it would set the LSU athletic department back $50,000. Just a few days ago, Alleva was quoted as saying, "I hope I have to spend it again two weeks from now," referring to the Alabama game. I’m not going to go so far as to say I hope to see the same thing two Saturdays from now, but I do not have a problem with it happening last week. I can’t help but believe that the tremendous sign of appreciation by the fans had to be a huge confidence booster for the Tigers, and had to make quite an impression on the recruits visiting.
One more tidbit on the Ole Miss game: ESPN says 4.95 million viewers watched the game, making it the most-viewed game of 2014 season. I have a feeling next week’s LSU-Bama game in primetime (7 p.m.) on CBS will give that record a run for its money.
Next week we’ll take a close look at the upcoming LSU-Alabama match-up, but for now I have a little bit of interesting news to share with you from Alabama Coach Nick Saban’s post-practice interview yesterday. According to Marc Torrence, an Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report, Saban said that offensive tackle and West Monroe native Cam Robinson will be out for at least two weeks. Robinson suffered a high-ankle sprain in the third quarter of last week’s Alabama-Tennessee game. Of course, I wouldn’t wish an injury on anyone, but if the news is accurate it could be a big break for LSU. Saban also said that running back T.J. Yeldon and tight end Brian Vogler were 'beat up' and will be held out of practice this week, although both are expected to return to practice next week. As for LSU’s injury status, yesterday it was reported that Terrence Magee took an “inadvertent finger” to the eye in last week’s game but should return to practice later this week. That’s certainly good news for the Tigers.
In basketball news, Coach Johnny Jones held his first “tipoff luncheon” of the season yesterday and spoke about his 2014-15 Tiger Team. Before Jones took the stage, special guest and LSU basketball coach Nikki Caldwell said a few words about her “amazing group of young ladies.” I encourage you to read the full transcript of what was said, but here are a few quick tid-bits.
• Jones said Jordan Mickey and Jarrell Martin, both of whom made the All-SEC Freshmen team last season, have the ability to really lead the team and take them where they want to go.
• JUCO transfer Josh Gray, a member of this year’s signing class, was described as “good as advertised” and Coach Jones said he will probably start at the point guard position.
• Jones also praised Keith Hornsby (singer Bruce Hornsby’s son who sat out last year) and said he has an amazing 40-inch vertical jump.
• Post player Elbert Robinson III came in at about 315 pounds and is down to 275 and Coach Jones said the staff is very excited about what he can do.
For the full report on what Coach Jones said, including quotes, please see this article by LSUSports.net. Later this week, we at DandyDon will take a closer look at the 2014-15 team, as the season is quickly approaching. Tiger Fans will have a chance to see for themselves just how good this team looks when they take to the court for a free exhibition game at the PMAC next Friday, Nov. 7, against Morehouse.
Lastly, our Ticket Exchange has been updated with a few new listings. Have a great day, Tiger Fans.
10/28/14 6:05 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
After an open week to rest and get healthy, the No. 16 LSU Tigers (7-2, 3-2) will host the third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on November 8 in another epic night contest in Tiger Stadium. It was announced yesterday that CBS will televise the game to a national audience and that it will kickoff at 7 p.m. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the LSU-Alabama game will be shown in primetime on CBS, and the seventh straight night game for the Tigers at home. This also marks the first time since 2009 that all of the Tigers’ home games will have been played at night. At the beginning of the season, Athletic Director Joe Alleva promised there would be more night games this year, and he certainly kept his word.
It was also announced yesterday that the SEC Network’s traveling pre-game show, SEC Nation, will be on LSU’s campus for the big game. The show, which features former LSU All-American Marcus Spears along with Joe Tessitore, Tim Tebow, Paul Finebaum and Kaylee Hartung, will air from 9 to 11 a.m. The crew will setup shop in lot 106 on the LSU campus, which is located just west of the Carl Maddox Field House off of Nicholson Drive.
Yesterday I heard from a lot of you about two particular topics: 1) The injury status of RB Terrance Magee, and 2) Whether DT Davon Godchaux would have to miss any playing time because of being ejected from last Saturday’s game after receiving two unsportsmanlike penalties.
Let’s start with Magee. According to reports, Magee suffered a cut on his eye during the Ole Miss game and also needed a knee brace. Magee left the game in the 3rd quarter and never returned to the field. I suspect we’ll learn more about his status after the media meets with Coach Miles this evening for his post-practice interview.
As for Godchaux, he will not be forced to miss any playing time because neither of the two personal fouls involved physical contact, and that is certainly good news. Godchaux has started at defensive tackle for the last six games and has been a big factor in the defensive line’s improvement. He will certainly be needed against Alabama.
Changing gears here: I’m a little under the weather and was thinking I might just have to keep today’s report brief, but then I received the following write up from a longtime DandyDon.com reader, Brad Nolan, that I think is very interesting and fits nicely with the flow of today’s report. It’s Brad’s rationale on why he’s predicting LSU to defeat Alabama, and I tend to agree. Here we go.
Why LSU will win against Bama
by longtime DandyDon.com reader, Brad Nolan
As I look toward Alabama, I am striving to find an angle; some view from which I can see us winning this game. So, I took a look at the past 4 games played by both LSU and the #3 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. They have the advantage in nearly every statistical category. Yet, we have both played 4 games and both lost 1 of those games to a top 5 team. Bama to Ole Miss, who we beat. And, LSU to Auburn, who Bama is yet to play.
So, let me give you the bottom line first.......Over the past 4 weeks both LSU and Bama have played 4 conference games. Amongst those 4 teams, both LSU and Bama have played 1 highly ranked opponent. Both LSU and Bama are 3-1 in those contests. Yet the combined record of the teams LSU has played is currently 21-8 Overall, and 11-8 In-Conference. The combined record of the teams Bama has played is 19-13 Overall and 6-12 In-Conference. Bottom Line, LSU has played better competition over that same time period.
Whether we win or lose has more to do with how well we are playing today, than how we were playing 5 or 6 weeks ago.
Over the past two weeks, LSU has faced KY and Ole Miss who possess a 6-3 combined conference record. LSU's Defense has allowed:
530 Total Yards in those two contests
217 Total Yards Rushing
313 Total Yards Passing
Over the past two weeks, Bama has faced Texas A&M and Tenn, who hold a combined conference record of 2-7. Bama's Defense has allowed:
555 Total Yards in those two contests
172 Total Yard Rushing
383 Total Yards Passing
In Head to Head matches, we only have two common opponents, Florida and Ole Miss. We beat FLA and Ole Miss. Bama literally rolled FLA, I certainly do not want to skirt over that result as if it is equal to our narrow defeat of FLA. But, they lost to Ole Miss. If LSU had not had all of the miscues on Offense and had held on to 1 or 2 of their dropped interception chances, the Tigers may have rolled Ole Miss by 20 points as well. And, Ole Miss is a much better team than FLA.
I have more reason to hope than just being an optimistic fan and Alumnus. I see statistically, that LSU has beaten better competition over the past 4 games. The Tigers statistically had better defensive outcomes against those better teams. And, if we get into a slug fest with Bama in Tiger Stadium, I can easily see the Tigers hitting the Tide in the mouth one too many times for them to stand until the final whistle. I am predicting an LSU victory 21-17 in a knock down drag out brawl of a football game.
Two tidbits in closing:
• I heard from a few of you who were unable to watch the LSU-Ole Miss Highlights that I posted in our Media Gallery because of the Flash format LSUSports.net uses. I searched last night for other non-flash LSU-Ole Miss highlights and came across these Raw LSU-Ole Miss Highlights by LSUTigerTV which I think you’ll enjoy. The video is a little different than most in that it was shot from a single camera at ground level, without any voice-over. Makes for an interesting perspective. It’s interesting to note that the fake handoff on pass play to Logan Stokes was so good that the camera man was even faked out.
• I’d like to point out that I updated our Ticket Exchange yesterday with several new listings, including some for the Bama game.
* If you’d like to watch LSU’s big win over Ole Miss again, there will be replays tonight at 8:00 p.m. and tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m. on the SEC Network.â€¨â€¨
• Lastly, my prayers and condolences go out the family of Brian Tingley, the 59-year-old LSU fan from Gretna who died in Tiger Stadium Saturday night. Tingley was a 35-year season-ticket holder who never missed a home game. I know I speak for the Tiger Nation when I say our hearts go out to his family. For more on Tingley, please see this article, “Gretna man who died in Tiger Stadium was 'one heck of a fan,' brother says”
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.