You’ve made it to Wednesday, LSU fans, and as your reward, here’s another edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing. Today in the Briefing, we look at Auburn’s quarterback situation, catch up with Shaq and let you in on everything you need to know about LSU today. Let’s get to it.
After their underwhelming offensive performances in Week 1 losses, it looked like LSU and Auburn would both be mired in quarterback controversies deep into the season. But heading into Week 4, LSU seems to have found a suitable answer in Danny Etling and Auburn coach Gus Malzahn announced Tuesday that he will be sticking with Sean White as his starter.
White, a more conventional pocket passer, was replaced in the second half of Auburn’s loss to Texas A&M last Saturday by John Franklin III, Auburn’s more mobile option. Malzahn voiced his confidence in White, saying that he feels White “gives us the best chance of winning,” adding that Franklin will be available, but there’s no guarantee he will play.
While Malzahn believes playing White will give Auburn the best chance of victory, it might also inadvertently help LSU too. In the post-Cam Newton era of the Auburn/LSU rivalry, LSU is 4-1. In those five games, LSU has allowed just 150 passing yards per game. By comparison, LSU has allowed 210 passing yards per game against Arkansas, another team that likes to run the ball, over the same span.
What happened the one time Auburn did beat LSU over this stretch though? Auburn passed for 268 yards, the most LSU allowed in all of 2014, en route to a 41-7 victory. So by using its pocket passer, Auburn is trying to give itself a chance to win. But if recent history is any indication, that might be exactly what Les Miles and LSU want them to do.
It’s been a busy week for LSU football. Here’s a short list of some of the stories you might’ve missed from across the web covering the Tigers.
- Ross Dellenger of The Advocate explained how play-calling hasn’t been anywhere close to the offense’s real problem over the past two weeks.
- Glenn Guilbeau of the USA TODAY Network wrote about how the 2015 LSU scout team has become the 2016 LSU starting offense.
- ESPN’s David Ching marveled at how LSU’s offensive line was able to succeed Saturday despite a whole slew of injuries.
- NOLA.com’s Jim Kleinpeter hosted a live chat and answered a lot of questions about Danny Etling.
- Dellenger also spoke with ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch to examine just how severe Leonard Fournette’s ankle injury actually is.
Wide receiver Wednesday
The biggest wide receiver news at LSU this week was Malachi Dupre’s recovery from whatever yips-adjacent ailment he was suffering from the first two weeks of the season.
After dropping as many passes as he caught through the first two weeks of the season, Dupre went dropless against Mississippi State, catching 4 passes for 54 yards. Dupre primarily lined up from the slot in that game, freeing himself from press coverages and giving Etling easier throwing lanes to get the ball to arguably his most talented target.
According to fellow wide receiver Travin Dural, Dupre regaining his confidence took a huge weight off the shoulders of the rest of the receiving corps, freeing them to play looser and with less pressure. But more importantly, the performance returned Dupre to his old self.
“After the first catch, I would say he had his confidence back,” Dural said. “He came to the sideline and I would say he’s a completely different person. He wasn’t the same person he was the first couple of weeks after that one catch. So after seeing him catching four or five balls, he’s back to himself.”
Arbitrary Analysis, Part 3
This week in the Briefing, we’ve been counting down the top 5 tigers in pop culture in honor of this weekend’s Tiger Bowl between Auburn and LSU. Over the past two days, we’ve unveiled No. 5, The Jungle Book’s Shere Khan, and No. 4, Life of Pi’s Richard Parker. Today, we look at No. 3 on our list.
No. 3 — Tigger, The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Try getting that song out of your head today. Yes, today we come to Tigger, a much-less-terrifying entry than our last two. He’s the adorable comic relief sidekick to the huge downer that is pretty much every other character in the Pooh-niverse. Pooh is a loner who just wants to eat food straight from the container, Piglet is always trembling, Rabbit is pretty much an above-ground Squidward and Eeyore is a name that is literally synonymous with depression.
But then there’s Tigger. A beast who is perhaps best known for repeating the word “fun” five times in a row. That’s three more funs than The Beach Boys. That said, Tigger would probably be a nightmare to hang out with. You know that friend of yours who is always bouncing off the walls? That’s Tigger, except his bottoms are actually made out of springs.
The most wonderful thing about Tigger is certainly that he’s the only one, but that’s still only good enough to get him up to No. 3 on our countdown.
Tuesday in the Briefing, we explained the convoluted saga that was Will Clapp accusing Danny Etling of letting Foster Moreau play a game of Madden in his place. We left a poll in the post for you to vote to see who’s side you were on.
Not so surprisingly, you sided with the quarterback. Etling and Moreau received 50 percent of the votes, with Clapp only received 12 percent and general apathy earning the other 38 percent. So there you have it, the quarterback didn’t cheat. The fans have spoken.
The injured infielder and the 7-foot-1 travel adviser
We’ll round out today’s Briefing with notes on two former LSU athletes who made the news Tuesday.
- Astros rookie infielder Alex Bregman who, after jumping out to a hot start in his first few weeks of the season, sustained a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for almost a full week. Now, reports are saying that Bregman may be deactivated for the whole season, including the playoffs if the Astros were to make a deep run. It’s all about playing the long game if you’re the Astros, and there’s no reason to jeopardize a promising prospect’s future over two weeks, but it’s definitely disappointing that the former first round pick won’t be able to help his team down the stretch.
- News about The Big [fill in nickname here], Shaquille O’Neal, is alway just a Google search away since it’s hard to find a spotlight that isn’t shining on Shaq, and this week is no different. In an article published on CNN’s travel page, O’Neal explained his favorite parts about living in LA. Well, LA as in Los Angeles, not Louisiana. Anyway, watch the video here to see what Shaq has to say about the town he won three NBA championships, an MVP and two not-so-critically-beloved hip hop albums in.