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LSU vs. Georgia Southern - Saturday, August 31, 2019 6:30PM, ESPNU
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7/16/19 5:35 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for our quick-hitting Tuesday’s Tidbits format for today’s update. Timing-wise, this works out well as LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, quarterback Joe Burrow, center Lloyd Cushenberry, and defensive back Grant Delpit all spoke during yesterday’s SEC Media Days and dished out lots of tidbits perfect for this format. After touching on the key points from Media Day, we’ll close out with a few miscellaneous tidbits (including some tasty lagniappe). Grab yourself a cup of joe and let’s get to it.

Tuesday Tidbits – Your Daily Dose of Tiger News Delivered in a Baker’s Dozen Quick Hitters

1. At SEC Media Days, Coach Orgeron spoke highly of the freshmen who enrolled early and have already been practicing with the team. He called Derek Stingley and Apu Ika tremendous players and said Kardell Thomas has a chance to compete for the start at left guard. Orgeron also said Tyrion Davis and John Emery are “elite backs” who are going to play this year and called wide receiver Trey Palmer one of the fastest guys in the country. He also spoke highly of Marcel Brooks and the entire incoming class.

2. Coach O said the offense has gone to the spread and spoke highly of new passing game coordinator Joe Brady, who he called “a game-changer for our staff.” He added that Brady and Steve Ensminger work wonderfully together and that Ensminger has done a great job as offensive coordinator.

3. Orgeron spoke highly of quarterback Joe Burrow and said the offense they’re running is his type of offense. He also said quarterback Myles Brennan is up to 212 pounds and that they’ll play him in significant times this year.

4. The offensive line returns four starters and Orgeron said he feels like they are going to be very solid there. He did acknowledge that they need to improve in pass protection but added that he knows they will. 

5. Orgeron said the strength of the offense will be the wide receiver corps, led by Justin Jefferson. “He and Ja’Marr Chase are two outstanding football players, along with Terrace Marshall, who has come along into his own, was one of the best wide receivers coming out of high school,” he said. He also spoke of Stephen Sullivan who is a 6’6” receiver. “We can use him on the inside or at tight end,” he said. 

6. On defense, Orgeron said he has the best group of defensive backs he’s ever coached in his 35 years in the business. He called Grant Delpit the best player in the country coming back on defense and said Kristian Fulton is one of the top cornerbacks in the SEC, if not America. “Derek Stingley is going to be a phenomenal player,” he said, and “JaCoby Stevens, who was a great athlete out of Tennessee, is coming back. And then we have Kary Vincent who ran a 10.07 100 meters, one of the fastest guys in the country.”

7. Orgeron likes what he has at linebacker and was quick to praise Michael Divinity, who moved from inside to outside linebacker,  as well as Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen who he said are all fighting for starting positions.

8. Coach O stated that he will be more involved in coaching the D-line this year and is happy about who he has back. “We have K’Lavon Chaisson back. We’re excited about him. He’s our best pass rusher. Rashard Lawrence is returning for his senior year. Breiden Fehoko, Glen Logan, all those guys have started, so we have our rotation.” He also added that Tyler Shelvin is down to a slim 340 pounds and is battling with Apu Ika for the starting nose tackle position.

9. Asked for his thoughts on new Athletic Director Scott Woodward, Orgeron called him “phenomenal” and said he’s the most knowledgeable of any AD he’s been around when it comes to recruiting. “He's into recruiting. He knew every player on our board. In fact, he gave me a couple players,” Orgeron said. “He knows the game and has given me everything I need as the head football coach to be successful as LSU.”

We’ll have more on what was said during SEC Media Days in upcoming reports. 

10. In yesterday’s report, I included a YouTube video by Chris Forester showing every one of Joe Burrow’s throws and runs during the first half of last season. Several of you I heard from commented on all the dropped passes, and one reader pointed me to this tweet by CBSSports’ Tom Fornelli that shows LSU with the eighth highest drop rate (10.9%) among Power 5 schools. Conversely,  he has Alabama and Ole Miss tied for the eighth-lowest drop rate (5.5%). 

11. In other news, defensive back Kelvin Joseph is back in the NCAA transfer portal. He entered the portal in May before withdrawing later in the month. Now he’s back in. I suspect this is about his status on the depth chart, which is very deep in the secondary.

12. In basketball news, The Athletic reports that former Tiger Ben Simmons has agreed to a 5-year, $170 million maximum contract extension with the 76ers. It’s hard for me to justify anyone making that kind of money for playing a game, but that’s the world we live in today. Congratulations to Simmons for getting his. 

13. Lagniappe: It’s been a while since I’ve added to our collection of recipes, but I have an interesting one for you today. Last night I took my best stab at reproducing a fantastic dish my family and I enjoyed during our time last week in Basel, Switzerland. It’s veal in a creamy mushroom sauce, served alongside a hash brown-like dish called Rösti. I couldn’t reproduce the magic of enjoying a meal in an outside café on a picturesque street 5,000 miles away from home, but it was pretty darn good, if I must say so myself. 

Oh, and I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange page, as promised.

One more personal tidbit in closing: I stated yesterday that we made out well in the storm, but that wasn’t exactly the case for my mother-in-law. We discovered yesterday that a Water Oak has fallen on her rent house here in Lafayette and that the roof is now leaking. If any of you own a tree service company or are in a position to help us with getting the tree down, please let me know. Your help would be much appreciated. 

Have a great day, Tiger Fans.





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7/16/19 5:35 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for our quick-hitting Tuesday’s Tidbits format for today’s update. Timing-wise, this works out well as LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, quarterback Joe Burrow, center Lloyd Cushenberry, and defensive back Grant Delpit all spoke during yesterday’s SEC Media Days and dished out lots of tidbits perfect for this format. After touching on the key points from Media Day, we’ll close out with a few miscellaneous tidbits (including some tasty lagniappe). Grab yourself a cup of joe and let’s get to it.

Tuesday Tidbits – Your Daily Dose of Tiger News Delivered in a Baker’s Dozen Quick Hitters

1. At SEC Media Days, Coach Orgeron spoke highly of the freshmen who enrolled early and have already been practicing with the team. He called Derek Stingley and Apu Ika tremendous players and said Kardell Thomas has a chance to compete for the start at left guard. Orgeron also said Tyrion Davis and John Emery are “elite backs” who are going to play this year and called wide receiver Trey Palmer one of the fastest guys in the country. He also spoke highly of Marcel Brooks and the entire incoming class.

2. Coach O said the offense has gone to the spread and spoke highly of new passing game coordinator Joe Brady, who he called “a game-changer for our staff.” He added that Brady and Steve Ensminger work wonderfully together and that Ensminger has done a great job as offensive coordinator.

3. Orgeron spoke highly of quarterback Joe Burrow and said the offense they’re running is his type of offense. He also said quarterback Myles Brennan is up to 212 pounds and that they’ll play him in significant times this year.

4. The offensive line returns four starters and Orgeron said he feels like they are going to be very solid there. He did acknowledge that they need to improve in pass protection but added that he knows they will. 

5. Orgeron said the strength of the offense will be the wide receiver corps, led by Justin Jefferson. “He and Ja’Marr Chase are two outstanding football players, along with Terrace Marshall, who has come along into his own, was one of the best wide receivers coming out of high school,” he said. He also spoke of Stephen Sullivan who is a 6’6” receiver. “We can use him on the inside or at tight end,” he said. 

6. On defense, Orgeron said he has the best group of defensive backs he’s ever coached in his 35 years in the business. He called Grant Delpit the best player in the country coming back on defense and said Kristian Fulton is one of the top cornerbacks in the SEC, if not America. “Derek Stingley is going to be a phenomenal player,” he said, and “JaCoby Stevens, who was a great athlete out of Tennessee, is coming back. And then we have Kary Vincent who ran a 10.07 100 meters, one of the fastest guys in the country.”

7. Orgeron likes what he has at linebacker and was quick to praise Michael Divinity, who moved from inside to outside linebacker,  as well as Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen who he said are all fighting for starting positions.

8. Coach O stated that he will be more involved in coaching the D-line this year and is happy about who he has back. “We have K’Lavon Chaisson back. We’re excited about him. He’s our best pass rusher. Rashard Lawrence is returning for his senior year. Breiden Fehoko, Glen Logan, all those guys have started, so we have our rotation.” He also added that Tyler Shelvin is down to a slim 340 pounds and is battling with Apu Ika for the starting nose tackle position.

9. Asked for his thoughts on new Athletic Director Scott Woodward, Orgeron called him “phenomenal” and said he’s the most knowledgeable of any AD he’s been around when it comes to recruiting. “He's into recruiting. He knew every player on our board. In fact, he gave me a couple players,” Orgeron said. “He knows the game and has given me everything I need as the head football coach to be successful as LSU.”

We’ll have more on what was said during SEC Media Days in upcoming reports. 

10. In yesterday’s report, I included a YouTube video by Chris Forester showing every one of Joe Burrow’s throws and runs during the first half of last season. Several of you I heard from commented on all the dropped passes, and one reader pointed me to this tweet by CBSSports’ Tom Fornelli that shows LSU with the eighth highest drop rate (10.9%) among Power 5 schools. Conversely,  he has Alabama and Ole Miss tied for the eighth-lowest drop rate (5.5%). 

11. In other news, defensive back Kelvin Joseph is back in the NCAA transfer portal. He entered the portal in May before withdrawing later in the month. Now he’s back in. I suspect this is about his status on the depth chart, which is very deep in the secondary.

12. In basketball news, The Athletic reports that former Tiger Ben Simmons has agreed to a 5-year, $170 million maximum contract extension with the 76ers. It’s hard for me to justify anyone making that kind of money for playing a game, but that’s the world we live in today. Congratulations to Simmons for getting his. 

13. Lagniappe: It’s been a while since I’ve added to our collection of recipes, but I have an interesting one for you today. Last night I took my best stab at reproducing a fantastic dish my family and I enjoyed during our time last week in Basel, Switzerland. It’s veal in a creamy mushroom sauce, served alongside a hash brown-like dish called Rösti. I couldn’t reproduce the magic of enjoying a meal in an outside café on a picturesque street 5,000 miles away from home, but it was pretty darn good, if I must say so myself. 

Oh, and I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange page, as promised.

One more personal tidbit in closing: I stated yesterday that we made out well in the storm, but that wasn’t exactly the case for my mother-in-law. We discovered yesterday that a Water Oak has fallen on her rent house here in Lafayette and that the roof is now leaking. If any of you own a tree service company or are in a position to help us with getting the tree down, please let me know. Your help would be much appreciated. 

Have a great day, Tiger Fans.

7/15/19 4:50 am CT 

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

After 11 days off for a most enjoyable vacation, I was ready to return home to my normal daily grind, recharged and raring to go. Instead, I returned just in time to spend one day preparing for Hurricane Barry and another day watching his floodwaters surround my property, overtop my garden boxes, and come within inches of flooding my external office. Fortunately, no real damage was done here, though I know that’s not the case for many of you reading this. For all of you affected by the storm, my thoughts and prayers are with you.  

My point in saying all this is that things still haven’t returned to “normal” here, but we should get back in the usual groove of things tomorrow with a report on LSU at SEC Media Days. Head coach Ed Orgeron, quarterback Joe Burrow, center Lloyd Cushenberry, and All-America defensive back Grant Delpit will take the podium this afternoon at around 3:55 pm CT and should dish out plenty of info to digest over the coming days. 

In the meantime, today we’ll conclude the series I had Jim Kleinpeter write on LSU’s six toughest games of the 2019 season. If you missed the first five installments – No. 6 Mississippi State, No. 5 Texas, No. 4 Florida, No. 3 Auburn, and No. 2 Texas A&M – you can find those write-ups here. I’m not certain that I agree with Jim putting Texas at No. 5, and I’ve heard from a few of you who feel the same, but I’m certain that everyone will agree with today’s selection for No. 1. The following are Jim’s thoughts’s on the game that will undoubtedly be the most anticipated of the season, followed by my brief comments.

LSU FOOTBALL’S SIX TOUGHEST GAMES OF THE 2019 SEASON

1. LSU at Alabama, Nov. 9, Bryant Denny Stadium

Today we wrap up the top six games on LSU's schedule and no matter how you slice it, Alabama is No. 1. Like death and taxes, we can all be sure this is the game LSU has to win if it ever wants to climb back into the same stratosphere with the Crimson Tide. The losing streak stands at eight and in last year’s game, it looked like LSU took a step or two backward. The problem is Alabama gears for LSU as if the Tigers are their biggest threat. Saban even said his team wasn't the same after dominating the Tigers 29-0. Maybe the Tide is slipping and maybe this is the year LSU catches Bama on the downside after watching the Tide get manhandled 44-16 in the CFP title game. It won't be easy in Tuscaloosa but LSU should enter that game with a better chance than it’s had in quite some time.

Alabama lost some good players but no team reloads better, and they still have quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He's got his receiving group back intact, led by Biletnikoff winner Jerry Jeudy. Tua is going to be the Heisman favorite after 3,966 yards and 43 touchdowns last year. The coaching staff may try to encourage him not to run so much after injuries slowed him. The top Tide backs are off to the NFL but there is talent aplenty with Najee Harris and Brian Robinson ready to step up into a full-time rotation. 

For the first time in a while, there are some concerns on defense, thanks to the NFL draining off a lot of underclassman talent. Raekwon Davis, who turned down the NFL, is the next great defensive tackle in the pipeline. Former LSU commitment Dylan Moses is the only returning starter at linebacker. There is concern that pass rush threat Terrell Lewis is not recovering well from an ACL tear that cost him the 2018 season. Patrick Surtain and Trevon Diggs return at corner but were last seen being lit up by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Alabama will be the favorite to win the SEC again, but the rest of the league might be catching up and LSU wants to be one of those teams. 

My thoughts: Jim writes that LSU “wants to be one of those teams,” but that’s putting it too lightly for me. LSU needs this win in the worst of ways. Eight straight is far too long. With a deep and talented defense featuring the nation’s best backfield, a senior quarterback, veterans returning at all of the skill positions, and a supposedly reinvigorated uptempo offense, the Tigers have no excuse to not put points on the board this time around. My biggest concern this season – especially for this game – is LSU’s offensive line. If this unit improves, and if LSU’s RPO offense helps nullify Bama’s pass rush, this should be the year LSU stems the tide. 

In recruiting news, could center Sedrick Van Pran of Warren Easton High School (No. 6 on our list of Top LA Prospects) be showing greater interest in staying home and playing for the Tigers? Up until recently, most assumed he was dead-set on going out-of-state, but a pair of tweets from Saturday have many thinking otherwise. First, LSU DT target Jaquelin Roy of University Lab (No. 2 on our list of Top LA Prospects) directed a simple tweet to his good friend Van Pran that simply said “Package deal” (followed by a pair of wide-eyed emojis). Van Pran replied, “interesting.” There’s no indication that the school they were referring to was LSU, but there’s a lot of unofficial chatter out there suggesting just that. LSU needs O-linemen in this class and the center position has become a greater priority in light of Cole Smith entering his name in the transfer portal a few weeks ago. 

Speaking of big-time in-state prospects, DT Jacobian Guillory (No. 1 on our list of Top LA Prospects) tweeted while I was away that he will be signing with his school of choice in the the early signing period (Dec. 20). I continue to feel good about LSU’s chances with Guillory, and appreciate the fact that he won’t leave the staff and fans on the edge of their seats until February like last year’s top prospect did. 

Now let’s continue our countdown to the start of the 2019 LSU football season, which is 47 days away, by recalling the January 1, 1947 Cotton Bowl contest between LSU and Arkansas, which came to be known as the Ice Bowl. (I mentioned this game in previous countdowns, but it’s such a good story that I thought it was worth repeating.) On that frigid day in Dallas, ice, sleet, snow, rain, and sub-20 degree temperatures produced horrid conditions for the players and fans alike. In fact, fans actually burned game programs in the stands to keep warm, which made that publication one of the rarest programs in LSU history. (There’s this pic of the program cover in our Media Gallery. If you’re lucky enough to own one of those, hold on to it!) The Tigers entered the contest with a 9-1 record behind the outstanding play of their famous quarterback Yelberton Abraham "Y. A." Tittle and running backs Jim Cason and Dan Sandifer. Most were predicting total domination from the Tigers, and in a way they got just that, although the score didn’t reflected it. LSU ended the game with a 15-1 advantage in first downs and a 271-54 advantage in total yardage, but was never able to get into the Razorback end zone despite having the ball within their 20-yard line on five occasions. Tiger fans who managed to weather the almost unbearable conditions until the very end were treated to a dramatic, yet disappointing finale. On the last play of the game, LSU was faced with a fourth and goal from the 6-yard line and forced to attempt a field goal. When the icy ball was snapped, holder Ray Coates’ numb fingers couldn’t handle it and the ball went scooting across the ground before being picked up by kicker Holly Heard who was immediately hit and downed for a loss as time expired. The game ended 0-0 with the weather being the clear winner.

Closing Tidbits:

• YouTube user and Tiger Fan extraordinaire Chris Forester has posted a video of Joe Burrow’s every throw and run from the first half of the 2018 season, which I’ve added to our Media Gallery. 

• Lastly, later today I’ll be performing a long overdue update of our Ticket Exchange page. If you have LSU tickets for sale, please send me your info for posting

Have a great day, Tiger Fans.



 

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