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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.

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6/30/15 5:55 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

The hot topic of discussion among Tiger Fans is the news of defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao being kicked off the team. The dismissal stems from an incident that occurred a couple of weeks ago in which Lealaimatafao was arrested for rummaging through an unconscious man’s pockets and then punching the man’s girlfriend in the face when she tried to stop him. As reported earlier, this was Lealaimatafao’s third “incident” since arriving at LSU. First he punched through the weightroom’s  glass window in a fit of anger, and then later he was arrested for stealing a bicycle. It’s obvious that Lealaimatafao is a young man with some serious issues, and I hope this dismissal pushes him to get the help he needs. 

As for the other three players who were indefinitely suspended in a separate issue – Anthony Jennings, Dwayne Thomas and Maquedius Bain – I’ve heard from several of you who asked me how their suspensions affect their participation in team workouts. I have confirmed with LSU that the three will not be allowed to take part in any team activities (i.e. summer workouts, fall practice, games) until/unless their suspension is lifted. As for how long their suspensions will last, I assume that will depend on how the legal process plays out. So far, no timetable has been indicated.

In baseball news, congratulations are in order for LSU head coach Paul Mainieri and freshman pitcher Alex Lange. Coach Mainieri was named the 2015 Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year, while Lange made D1Baseball.com’s Freshman All-American team. Here is the press release on Coach Mainieri’s award, and here’s more on Lange’s recognition by D1Baseball.com

While on the topic of baseball, here’s a brief update on a couple of special former Tiger shortstops: Alex Bregman recorded his first hit with the Houston Astros Single-A farm club on Friday, and then two days later he launched his first home run as a pro with a solo dinger. Also, Bregman’s predecessor, Austin Nola, has been promoted by the Miami Marlins from Class AA Jacksonville to Class AAA New Orleans. 

Now jumping back to football… since the season-opener against McNeese State is 67 days away, today we’ll remember TreDavious White’s 67-yard TD punt return versus Kentucky in last year’s  41-3 win. In yesterday’s report I mentioned that LSU finished 6th in the SEC in punt returns, so I thought it was only fair to recognize that White did in fact have a few very impressive returns last season, the longest of which was the aforementioned 67-yarder which was aided by an incredible block by Jamal Adams. After hauling in a 49-yard punt by Kentucky’s Landon Foster, White cut to his right and headed for the middle of the field where Adams was waiting to deliver a crushing block on Kentucky safety A.J. Stamps which allowed White to race down the sideline and into the end zone for his first and only TD as a Tiger. White would go on to have a huge night on special teams, returning a total of four punts for 114 yards (average of 28.5 yards per return).  

Before going any further, I’d like to thank all of you who commented on the four keys to a successful 2015 LSU football season that I posted yesterday. I received a comment from one reader who pointed out that I mentioned every aspect of the game (offense, defense, and special teams) as areas where LSU needs improvement. While that is true, that is not to say that there weren’t many things that LSU did very well last year. LSU was No. 2 in the nation in kickoff returns, No. 8 in punting, and held opponents to fewer first downs than any team in the SEC. Interestingly, one thing that LSU did exceptionally well was defending the pass (No.1  in the SEC and No. 3 nationally) even though they were only 84th in the country in interceptions. In looking up the pass defense stats, I noticed that LSU’s number of interceptions has declined each of the last three years: 18 in 2012, 11 in 2014 and 10 last year. I guess that just goes to show you that there’s always room for improvement, even in a team’s area of strength. 

In recruiting news, LSU hosted five-star cornerback commit Saivion Smith last weekend, as well as his five-star defensive end teammate at IMG Academy, Shavar Manuel, and by all accounts it was a very successful visit. Devon Godchaux, Jalen Mills and Jamal Adams were the two prospects’ hosts during the visit, and the five really hit it off well. For more scoop on the topic, see this article by my friend Jimmy Smith of nola.com. According to Jimmy, since IMG Academy begins training on July 20, the two prospects won’t be able to attend LSU’s big upcoming camp, but the two are expected to visit again again during the season. If LSU can manage to get Manuel to commit, LSU’s class, which is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation with 17 commitments, could really further distinguish itself as the best in the nation and one of the best in school history.

In closing, I want to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Maggi Romero. The former LSU women’s basketball assistant passed away Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette at the age of 73. Romero was a member of Sue Gunter’s staff from 1982-1986. Visitation will be held from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm on Tuesday with a Rosary at 6:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in New Iberia. 

Reader Comments: Scott - LSU is in the Final 4 of the Traditions contest on Sirius XM - we are competing against Wisconsin's Jump Around (they are defending champs from last year) - our tradition is "Saturday Night in Death Valley" to vote for the Tigers geaux to siriusxm.com/traditions.

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6/29/15 6:50 am CST

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

We’ll start today’s report with some good news on the basketball front: After having landed the No. 1 player in the nation (Ben Simmons) and two other big-time players (Antonio Blakeney and Brandon Sampson) in the class of 2015, Coach Johnny Jones’s 2016 class is off to a great start after landing a commitment from U-High forward Wayde Sims (6-6, 210), Gatorade’s Louisiana Basketball Player of the Year. Sims, whose father is former LSU standout Wayne Sims, helped lead U-High to a 33-3 record and its second consecutive Class 3A state title, averaging 17.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals this past season. Not only is Sims a great basketball player, he seems to be an outstanding young man. The Baton Rouge native has maintained a 3.37 grade point average and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Coach Johnny Jones certainly has it going on.

Now turning to football, yesterday I wrote about LSU possibly going 6-2 or better in SEC play this year, and a couple of you asked me what LSU would have to do to accomplish this. With that in mind, I’ve put together the following four keys to a successful 2015 LSU football season. Give it a quick read and let me know your thoughts. Your comments and feedback are appreciated.

Keys to a successful 2015 football season:

Hit the ground running on defense
LSU’s defensive line has to be more consistent in stopping the run and applying pressure to the quarterback.  The Tigers were bludgeoned on the ground early in the season in losses to Mississippi State and Auburn, and although the run defense improved greatly as the season progressed, LSU’s defense was very poor in the Music City Bowl loss to Notre Dame, where the Tigers allowed 263 rushing yards and recorded 0 sacks.  For the season, LSU only recorded 19 sacks, and 8 of those came in non-conference games against San Houston (7) and UL Monroe (1).  The Tigers had just 11 sacks in 8 SEC games. With new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and new D-line coach Ed Orgeron, I’m optimistic that we’ll see improvements in these areas, but there will be very little time for an “adjustment period” with the Tigers traveling to face Dak Prescott and his Mississippi State Bulldogs in Week 2.  

Establish a passing game
Tiger fans don’t need any explanation for this one. Last year LSU’s passing offense was 116th in the country in passing yards and 120th in passing attempts. Part of this was due to Coach Miles’ run-first, ground-and-pound philosophy, part was due to inexperience at wide receiver, but the largest part was due to subpar quarterback play. With all of LSU’s exceptionally talented receivers back with added experience under their belts, LSU has to find a way to get them the ball. The solution might come from sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris who has been afforded a golden opportunity to show that he’s ready to lead the team now that Anthony Jennings has been suspended following his arrest. Another part of the solution could come from utilizing LSU’s very talented tight ends in the passing game. Last season, LSU’s tight ends totaled only 12 receptions for 129 yards and one TD. However,  DeSean Smith had four receptions for a career high 66 yards in the bowl loss vs. Notre Dame, and hopefully that was a sign of things to come.

Feed Fournette
I understand the advantage of the running back by committee approach and don’t expect it to stop, but Leonard Fournette is an exceptional talent and he needs to get 20+ carries in every game. It seems odd to think that even after Fournette had dominating performances against Florida (140 yards on 27 carries with two TDs) and Ole Miss (113 yards on 23 carries and 41 receiving yards), he only had five carries at Arkansas and 11 carries in the bowl game vs. Notre Dame. Of course, Fournette was sharing time with two senior running backs in Terrance Magee and Kenny Hilliard last year and it’s understandable that Coach Miles would want to give them significant carries, but this year there’s no reason not to focus the Tigers’ offensive attack around the most talented and physically-gifted player on the field.   

Put the Special Back in Special Teams
The Tigers are usually very special on special teams, but last year LSU missed two critical field goals in a 17-0 shutout loss to Arkansas, missed two more in a narrow 23-17 win at Texas A&M, and perhaps most significantly, missed the potential go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter of the 28-31 loss to Notre Dame. When it was all said and done, LSU finished 6th in the SEC in field goal percentage. Also, Tre’Davious White was 6th in the SEC with 10.6 yards per punt return. If the Tigers can get near the top of the conference in all special teams categories, the hidden yards gained will be a big help to a young quarterback and conservative offense.

With 68 days remaining until LSU's season opener vs McNeese State, let's continue our countdown to the season opener by looking at a special 68-yard play that helped set the tone in a historic win. I'm referring to Cedric Donaldson's 68-yard interception return in the Tigers’ 28-21 victory over No. 1 Florida in 1997.

After an excellent Kevin Faulk punt return and subsequent Herb Tyler option TD, Florida's QB, Doug Johnson, threw an interception that Donaldson returned 68-yards all the way to the Florida 7-yard line. Tommy Banks scored from there to give LSU a 14-0 lead less than halfway into the first half. Even after Florida evened the score at 14, Donaldson returned an interception 31 yards for a TD and 21-14 lead. Mark Roman intercepted Johnson on the ensuing Florida drive, and Herb Tyler had his second TD of the game to put LSU in command at 28-14. After a Florida TD and subsequent LSU punt, Florida still had a chance to tie the game, but Raion Hill picked off Doug Johnson and LSU was able to run out the clock and win it's only home game over a No. 1 ranked team in school history. For a reminder of what a special game that was, check out these video highlights

In closing, I want to once again hit you up for vacation destination suggestions. My family and I are planning on taking a trip the second week of July and still haven’t decided on exactly where to go. We’re thinking of a cabin on a lake/river within close proximity to a town where we can do some sight seeing and enjoy some good eats, but we’re wide open to suggestions at this point. Your input is appreciated.

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6/28/15 5:50 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans, 

Earlier in the week we wrote about the five toughest football games on LSU’s 2015 schedule and I want to thank you for all the great feedback on the series. On a related note, The Golden Nugget sports book in Las Vegas published their betting lines for the 2015 college football season and have LSU favored in six of its eight SEC contests and have the Ole Miss game as a toss  up. The only game where they have LSU’s opponent favored is the Alabama game. After going 5-3 in conference play in 2013 and 4-4 last year, going 6-2 or 7-1 this year would certainly be a welcome improvement, and I think that’s a realistic expectation assuming LSU gets improved quarterback play, as I think they will. Based on The Golden Nugget’s lines, it appears that they agree with us about four of the five toughest games, but they have the Mississippi State game as the fifth tightest whereas we had A&M. To tell you the truth, Jake (my friend who helped with the series) and I debated about putting State in the No. 5 spot instead of A&M. What’s particularly scary about the State game is that it will be LSU’s first true test of the season. The Golden Nugget also thinks Arkansas will be a bit tougher than Auburn, and they could be right. Anyway, below is a look at the lines for each of LSU’s eight conference games, and here is the full list of Golden Nugget's CFB Games of the Year.

LSU -3 at Mississippi State
Auburn at LSU -4
LSU -8 at South Carolina
Florida at LSU -14
LSU at Alabama -9
Arkansas at LSU -1.5
LSU at Ole Miss PK
Texas A&M at LSU -7.5 

With the Dog Days of Summer quickly approaching, there’s not a whole lot of LSU sporting news to report at this time, but that will soon change. Next month will be full of football camps, including Nike’s The Opening in Beaverton, Oregon which runs July 7-10. In this article by nola.com, you’ll see that several of LSU’s targets and commitments will be attending, and the state of Louisiana will be very well represented. Later in the month, LSU will hold its biggest camps of the summer – the  7-on-7 and linemen camp on the 18th, a kicking camp on the 19th and the big high school camp on the 23rd. Then before you know it, LSU’s players will report to “fall camp” on August 4 and we’ll be in the full swing of things until the start of the season, which is now 69 days away. Oh, and while I’m thinking of it, several of you have asked when I’ll be posting our countdown banner at the top of this page as in years past. I’ll shoot for getting it posted tomorrow. Speaking of the countdown, let’s get right to it with our ongoing series. Here we go…

There are 69 days until the start of LSU's 2015 football season, so today we'll continue our countdown by remembering Toby Caston who wore No. 69 for LSU from 1983-86. Caston was from Monroe, LA and played his high school ball at Neville High where he earned All-State honors. At LSU, Caston was a great linebacker who made All-SEC after the Tigers’ 1986 SEC Championship season. Caston played on the '86 team along with offensive linemen Ralph Norwood and Eric Andolsek. I mention those players in particular because they share something else in common with Caston. All three young men reached the NFL only to suffer untimely deaths under circumstances that were eerily similar. During Norwood's 1989 rookie season with the Atlanta Falcons, he died in a one-car accident. Andolsek, a starter for the Detroit Lions, was struck by a truck while weed-eating in his own front yard at his home in Thibodaux in 1992. Caston, who spent two seasons with the Houston Oilers and two with the Detroit Lions, was killed in an automobile accident in 1994 on a suburban expressway. I really feel for the families of these former Tigers.

In women’s basketball news, LSU issued this press release yesterday about the start of summer workouts and in it stated that Danielle Ballard will not return to LSU for her senior season. Ballard is an exceptional talent and losing her is obviously a huge blow to the Lady Tigers’ team. You might recall that last season Ballard was suspended and missed the first 14 games before returning in time to lead LSU to the NCAA Tournament. No reason was specified for her suspension then, and no reason has been given for her departure now. As pointed pointed out in this article by the Advocate, Ballard’s is not the first high profile departure during Coach Caldwell’s five-year tenure at LSU. 

Before closing out, I want to extend a congratulatory tip of the cap to former LSU running back Kevin Faulk and former LSU softball coach Yvette Girouard for being inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame last night. Faulk and Girouard were joined by six other inductees – Frank Brothers, Pat Collins, Jake Delhomme, Avery Johnson, Leonard Smith and Otis Washington – and all are very deserving of the honor. For more on the topic, please see this article entitled, “Journey leads to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame for prolific 2015 class.

In closing, here is another good read to go along with your Sunday morning coffee. It’s Mike Detillier’s take on LSU Football Difference Makers.

 

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