BATON ROUGE, La. — The opinion of anyone not named Les Miles is unavailable following Saturday’s closed scrimmage, but if you trust his judgement, it was a productive outing for a number of LSU running backs not named Leonard Fournette.
Fournette, the name that draws the most buzz nationally in the SEC this year, is still in a walking boot after spraining his ankle last Monday.
“I think he plays this week,” Miles said of the Heisman contender. “But that’s up to the trainers, not the coach.”
In the meantime, the rest of LSU’s backfield is set to prove the Tigers can survive this year should they need to go a drive, quarter or — gasp — entire game without Fournette at some juncture.
Over the course of the 100-play scrimmage, sophomore Derrius Guice had a “handful” of carries for 60 yards. The numbers were similar for junior Darrel Williams, while sophomore Nick Brossette gained approximately 25 yards. Specific statistics, obviously, were not compiled for public consumption.
“We’re rushing the ball very well,” Miles said. “And I didn’t see a lot of missed tackles.”
His praise was particularly strong for Williams, the 6-foot-1, 233-pounder from Marrero.
“Darrel had a hell of a day,” Miles said. “We really enjoyed his performance.”
Last season, Williams carried the ball 60 times for 296 yards and four touchdowns. Even assuming a fully healthy Fournette, it sounds like Miles would not mind giving him more touches in 2016.
“He’s always given us enough. When we ask him to give more, there’s more there,” Miles said. “He had a really nice day.”
Saturday’s scrimmage, which started at Tiger Stadium before lightning chased the Tigers into their indoor facility — weather is impossible to dodge in Baton Rouge these days — was the last official act of training camp. LSU turns its focus to the start of school next week as well as preparation for the Sept. 3 season opener against Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.