Bayou Bengal Briefing: The good and bad from LSU football’s first preseason scrimmage
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The LSU football team held its first scrimmage of the preseason Saturday afternoon, fighting through some injuries with an incomplete team but ultimately showing off the talents of some of the team’s key players.
Coach Ed Orgeron released a handful of stats from the game, including star running back Derrius Guice rushing for 23 yards on 7 carries and quarterback Danny Etling completing 5 of 11 passes for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns. But the real story of the afternoon was the offensive line, which started three true freshmen and a redshirt freshman, while usual starters Will Clapp, K.J. Malone and Toby Weathersby rested.
It’s not much of a surprise that Clapp and Weathersby sat. Both players missed most of the spring with injuries and are being ushered back into the game gingerly. But Malone’s injuries might present a bit of a concern, as they’re fresher and thus have a longer chance of lingering. Still, it’s normal for players to get dinged up the first week of practice, especially linemen who haven’t hit in a while.
Elsewhere on the field, the LSU pass rush reportedly impressed. Orgeron said freshman outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson notched 3 tackles, all for losses, with 1 sack and 4 quarterback hurries. And recent graduate Frank Herron had 4 tackles and 2 sacks of his own as well.
Given the youth showcased on the offensive line, it isn’t surprising that the pass rush had a field day. But make no mistake, these guys are talented no matter who they’re preying upon. Expect to see similar numbers, even when LSU’s No. 1 linemen are healthy.
Your weekly LSU football poll question
It’s a Monday in the Bayou Bengal Briefing, so that means it’s time for our weekly poll question. Let’s make this one a confidence poll and a simple one at that:
How concerned are you about the health and depth of LSU’s offensive line? Vote in the poll below. We’ll recap your answers in the Bayou Bengal Briefing on Tuesday.
In hoopy-hoop news
The LSU women’s basketball team is across the Atlantic this week for a series of exhibition games in Italy. The squad opened its schedule Sunday with a decisive 76-40 win in Rome against a team of Italian All-Stars.
Junior Chloe Jackson paced LSU scorers with 17 points, but perhaps most impressive was reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year Raigyne Moncrief, who scored 14 points with 6 rebounds and 4 steals. As a team, LSU posted a total of 15 steals, a remarkable mark against any team, let alone a team of all-stars.
As for the men’s basketball team, it posted a video of its summer workouts over the weekend, set to new coach Will Wade’s introductory monologue. If you want to be pumped up (or shamed into working out harder), give it a watch below.
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) August 4, 2017
NFLSU news, part 1
For the second time in his three-year NFL career, former LSU defensive back Jalen Collins has been suspended. The Atlanta Falcons defensive back was suspended for 10 games Sunday for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy, his second such suspension in as many years.
Collins made 28 tackles and intercepted 2 passes in eight games played for the NFC champion Falcons in 2016. Prior to his suspension, Collins was expected to figure heavily into a defense stacked with former LSU football players in linebackers Deion Jones and Duke Riley.
Guice chimed in about the Collins suspension, tweeting a critique he later backed off from slightly.
NFLSU news, part 2
In more positive former LSU defensive backs news, recent LSU graduate and Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White explained to the Bills’ official website on Sunday why he doesn’t trash talk. Here are White’s full comments from the interview:
“I just don’t do it. I’ve never been that guy to talk trash. I just want to play. I really love the game of football and I love competing. That doesn’t come with talking for me. I just want to play. Yeah. I’m going to keep that same game face mode. So, if a guy catches a 20-yard explosive play on me, then I’m going to have the same facial expression as I did If the guy catches a 20-yard pass on me or if I get an interception. I’m going to have the same facial expression so he’ll never know what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling. I’ll never show it.”
This news might not be new to LSU fans, especially if you stay up to date on camp news. Just last week, current LSU corner and fellow Shreveport native Greedy Williams told reporters that was the biggest piece of advice White ever gave him.
Aaron Nola: Still amazing
Philadelphia Phillies ace and aptly-named LSU alum Aaron Nola continued his destruction of National League lineups Sunday, stymying the offense-happy Colorado Rockies for seven innings. Nola allowed 2 runs with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks, earning a no-decision as the Phils came back to beat the Rockies.
Sunday was Nola’s ninth straight quality start, a stretch over which he hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any start. Over this stretch, Nola’s ERA is 1.76 and he’s striking out 10.3 batters per nine innings. The last-place Phillies are 6-3 in these nine games, which might be the biggest testament to how great Nola is.
Over that same stretch, the Phillies are 12-18 in games Nola did not pitch.
Today in made-up holidays
According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, Monday is “National Lighthouse Day.” Not to be confused with the day celebrating post-alt-rock band Lifehouse, which to my knowledge does not exist.
No, Monday we celebrate lighthouses. Those things that show up everywhere in fiction, but none of us in the South have ever actually seen in person. (I speak generally. There is a chance one of you reading this has seen a lighthouse. But I have not.) I’m not actually sure what purposes lighthouses serve at this point. Everyone’s phone has a flashlight strong enough to serve as a lighting beacon. And it’s not like ships are getting lost at sea much these days.
Still, if you find yourself trapped on a foreign planet where everyone is trying to hurt you, a lighthouse seems like a good enough place to hide. Seems like, at least.
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