NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
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8/26/14 5:50 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
As promised, today I have posted part 2 of 2 of my interview with College Football & NFL Analyst Mike Detillier on the topic of the 2014 LSU football team, and it’s full of great insight. In this segment, I get Mike’s thoughts on who will be the the top-three playmakers on defense, what it will take to generate more turnovers this year than last, how much better the linebacker corps will be, and much more. I even get Mike to give an early prediction on the season-opener (I’ll give you my prediction later this week when I post my weekly college picks.) Give it a quick read and let us know your thoughts.
Part 1 of 2 (For those of you who missed it yesterday):â€¨
DandyDon.com Interviews Mike Detillier About LSU’s 2014 Offense
Coach Les Miles held his first Lunch with Les press conference yesterday and spent about half an hour speaking about Saturday's season-opener and taking questions from the media. You can read a full transcript of the conference here, and below is a summary of the most interesting points:
• Miles did not say whether Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris would start at quarterback, but said whoever starts is not real significant because both will play. Later he said that there hasn’t been significant separation between the two.â€¨
• Miles said safety Jalen Mills “is healthy and preparing to play.” He did not comment definitively on whether Mills would miss any playing time because of his arrest this summer.
• As expected, Miles said that Ethan Pocic will likely start at center (over Elliot Porter) and Hoko Fanaika will likely start at right guard (over Evan Washington).â€¨
• Miles guessed that six freshmen will play key roles Saturday, and a total of 6-12 will see playing time. â€¨
• When Miles was asked who running back Leonard Fournette remind him of, his answer was “Leonard Fournette. He looks just like him.” He went on to say that he’s going to let Fournette define who he is. (Good answer, Coach!)
Before Miles spoke, a hardcopy of a depth chart was handed out to the media in attendance, but several things Miles mentioned about likely starters contradicted it. When asked about it, Miles said, “I didn't give you that. That was given to you by somebody else.” I’m mentioning this just so that when you look at my unofficial depth chart (which I updated yesterday with the latest heights/weights according to LSU’s official roster) and realize that it doesn’t match the “official one” you’ll know why.
Before moving on to our countdown, I want to point out that tomorrow I will begin posting our position-by-position comparisons of LSU and Wisconsin. We’ll probably do the offense tomorrow and then the defense later in the week. I’ll also post my weekly college predictions and keys to an LSU victory later this week.
With only four days remaining until the much anticipated season-opener against a very physical Wisconsin team, today we’ll continue our Countdown to Game Day by remembering one of my childhood heroes who wore No. 4 - Charles Alexander. “Alexander the Great,” as he was known, was a two-time All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist who played running back at LSU from 1975-78. Some of my earliest football memories include going with Dad to Tiger Stadium to see Alexander take the field. During his time at LSU, Alexander set nine SEC records and tied for another. At the end of his stellar career, which included a pair of All-America and All-SEC honors, Alexander’s name sat atop 27 LSU records. In fact, he still holds the school records for most rushes in a game (43), most yards in a season (1,686) and most yards gained per game in a season (153.3). After his days as a Tiger, Alexander was selected as the 12th pick in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft by Cincinnati where he played for seven years and participated in Super Bowl XVI. In December of 2012, Alexander became only the eighth player in LSU history to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and one of just four living LSU members along with Billy Cannon, Tommy Casanova and Jerry Stovall.
One more football-related tidbit: LSU announced yesterday that it has sold its entire allotment of 35,000 tickets for the Wisconsin game in Houston. If you’re still looking for a ticket, please note that we have several listed in our Ticket Exchange.
A basketball brief in closing: Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin were named to the Athlon Sports National All-Sophomore Team for 2014-15. Mickey was named to the first team, while Martin was named to the third team as it broke down players by class for the upcoming season.
8/25/14 5:55 am CT
Good morning, Tiger Fans, it’s Game Week!
I’m happy to announce that I have a new interview with College Football & NFL Analyst Mike Detillier on the topic of the 2014 LSU football team to share with you today, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. In today’s segment (part 1-of-2), Mike gives his overall concerns about the 2014 team and answers a variety of questions about LSU’s offense. Tomorrow I’ll post part 2-of-2 of the interview, in which Mike gives his thoughts on defense and special teams before closing out with his prediction for the season-opener. Good stuff!
With the start of LSU’s 2013 football season only five days away, Coach Miles will hold his weekly “Lunch with Les” press luncheon today at 12:10 p.m. CT before putting his team through a practice this afternoon. The program will be produced each week by the LSU Sports Radio Network and can be heard in the Baton Rouge area on 104.5 FM and on affiliates of the network across the state and region. Free audio of the press conference is also available each week in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live or via the LSUsports Mobile App. Paid members of the Geaux Zone have access to a live video stream of the press conference each week, and that's how I'll be watching so that I can give you an update on what was said in tomorrow's report.
During the last couple of days I’ve heard from many of you who are excited about not only the start of LSU’s football season, but also the start of prep football and our Louisiana High School Football Pickem Contest. If you haven’t yet signed up to play, please consider doing so today. It’s a lot of fun and its completely free. Picks for this week’s games are due by Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Even if you decide not to participate, please note that you can always refer to our weekly schedule, which will also serve as a statewide scoreboard once the games are played. For more information on how this all works, please click here.
Now let’s jump to our Countdown to Game Day, which is at the 5-day mark, by remembering a huge come-from-behind victory by the top-ranked Tigers over the 9th ranked Florida Gators in 2007. LSU entered the contest 5-0 (with big wins over No. 9 Virginia Tech and No. 12 South Carolina) and had just vaulted to the No. 1 spot in the AP poll for the first time since 1959. By this point in the season, it was plain to see that this was a very special LSU team, and the Florida Gators (led by quarterback Tim Tebow) were a powerful bunch as well. ESPN’s Game Day crew setup on the Parade Grounds and Mike VI made his Death Valley debut for what would be a truly epic contest. Although LSU trailed by double digits entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers would prevail thanks to the gritty play of fullback Jacob Hester and the gutsy play-calling of Coach Les Miles who went for it on fourth down on five different occasions and was successful on all five attempts. What a game! If you’ve got 12 more minutes to spare on this Monday morning, do yourself a favor and check out these video highlights of the game. I can think of no better way to get pumped for Game Week!
A few quick reminders in closing:
• Those of you who are still looking for tickets can check out our Ticket Exchange. I added lots of listings last night, including a few for the Wisconsin game.
• If you’re looking for a place to join Tiger Fans to watch the game, check out my newly updated View-In Parties page. And if you represent an alumni association and would like for me to add your listing, please contact me.
Reader Comments: Hello, Scott. I thought you might want to let your readers know about the Thursday night LHSAA high school football game of the week presentation on Fox Sports New Orleans. Pre-game starts at 6:30 with the kickoff at 7. The coverage includes post-season playoff and championship games.
8/24/14 6:00 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Well folks, the wait is almost over. Only six days until the Tigers take the field!
In all my time following LSU football, I don’t remember very many years when there were this many unknowns heading into game week. Unknowns like: Who will lead the Tigers at quarterback? Just how good is this hotshot, Leonard Fournette? Who will be the go-to receivers? Will the talented but inexperienced defensive front be able to stop a power rushing game like the one the Tigers will face against Wisconsin and Melvin Gorgon? I could go on and list several more questions, but you get the point. I’ve already written a lot about these unknowns, and tomorrow we’ll get College Football and NFL Analyst Mike Detillier’s expert opinion on these questions and more in a new three-part interview that I’ll begin revealing in my next report. As they say, stay tuned!
With game week upon us, one player who is still not cleared to practice with the team is defensive tackle Travonte Valentine. There has been no new information this weekend, but when Miles met with the media a couple of days ago he confirmed that Valentine has been cleared by the NCAA to enroll at LSU, but that there’s still one hurdle at the SEC office that he has to overcome before he can begin practicing with the team. From what I understand, the hiccup has to do with the fact that he changed schools for his senior year. If and when Valentine is cleared to practice, he’ll still have to face the four-practice acclimation period before he can put on the pads and fully participate.
In other news, LSU issued a reminder to fans that the NFL bag policy will be in effect for the season opener against Wisconsin in Houston’s NRG Stadium. The NFL Bag Policy is implemented at all NFL venues and it limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into stadiums. Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to, the following: all purses, bags or containers larger than a small clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, binoculars case, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags. For more information on what is and is not permissible, please click here for the full press release issued last night.
Before going any further, I want to thank all of you who signed up to participate in our free Louisiana High School Football Pickem Contest. Based on the number of people who signed up yesterday, it’s easy to see that prep football fandom is alive and well in Louisiana.
If you are one of the many folks who love to keep up with Louisiana High School Football, I highly recommend that you get a copy of Lee Brecheen’s 2014 Louisiana Football Magazine Annual Preview. It’s a great resource for information on all 300+ high school football teams and 12 college teams in Louisiana, and it’s on shelves now. It can also be ordered online at lafootballmagazine.com.
Speaking of high school football, LSU 2015 commit Darrious Guice (RB, 5’11”, 219, Catholic of Baton Rouge, No. 2 on our list of Top LA Prospects) had a great outing in last week’s scrimmage against Breaux Bridge. Here are video highlights from the game in which Guice rushed for over 200 yards and scored three touchdowns. I tell you what, if LSU holds on to Guice and fellow commits Nick Brosette (RB, 6’0", 207, University High) and David Ducre (RB/FB, 6'0", 228, Lakeshore), numbers 3 and 5 respectively on our list of Top LA Football Prospects for 2015, plus current freshmen Leonard Fournette and Darrell Williams, the Tigers’ backfield will be stacked for the next several years.
Now for a bit of encouraging news on the recruiting front: Last night I heard from my best source on in-state offensive lineman Jerry Tillery who is currently committed to Notre Dame. I was told that Tillery is not at all happy about the mess Notre Dame is in (they’re being investigated for academic misconduct), and that LSU is definitely gaining ground. The Tillery family will be attending the LSU-ULM game (Jerry’s father played at ULM and his sister is in nursing school there), and then Jerry will take his official visit to LSU for the Alabama game. Tillery (6’7”, 325, Evangel, No. 4 on our list of Top LA Prospects) is a 4.0 student and a huge priority - literally and figuratively - for LSU.
Let’s close out today’s report with our Countdown to Game Day, which is at the six-day mark, with an interesting story I found about former Louisiana Governor Huey Long and his beloved LSU Tigers. Now, at this point I have to disclose that Huey Long is a relative of mine. Yes, we’re that same Long family from the red-dirt hills of Winn Parish. Huey and his brother Earl were my grandfather’s second cousins. Anyway, back to the story, as quoted from the great writings of Herb Vincent in his book, LSU Football Vault…
“[As Governor of Louisiana, Long] did everything he could to improve the state of LSU football. When a scheduled performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Baton Rouge affected ticket sales for the LSU - Southern Methodist home opener [in 1934], he resurrected a long-forgotten animal-dipping law to run the circus out of town. Circus patrons turned their attention to football, and 20,000 fans packed into Tiger Stadium.”
“When Long envisioned a student train trip to Nashville for a key mid-season game against Vanderbilt, railroad officials refused to give LSU students a reduced ticket price. After he threatened to reassess the value of all the railroad bridges in Louisiana, and thus levy a higher tax for their use, officials suddenly found a way to offer a $6 fare.”
Long’s efforts led to six trainloads of LSU followers, including the Tiger Band, making the trip to Nashville to watch not only the Tigers defeat Vanderbilt 29-0, but also Long leading the Tiger Band on a march downtown!
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