Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
LSU running back Darrel Williams

Evaluating LSU football’s running backs without Derrius Guice

Nick Suss

Welcome to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football, with LSU beat writer Nick Suss. Today, in Briefing we discuss LSU’s running back situation, preview a busy weekend, catch you up on the latest news and much more. Enjoy!

LSU football’s running backs: Who’s got next?

LSU superstar running back Derrius Guice is out of practice for the moment with a swollen ankle. He says he feels fine, but it’s probable that LSU is going to play this injury super conservatively after the complications with Leonard Fournette’s ankle injury last season.

That leaves the Tigers without a true feature back for their scrimmage on Saturday, and possibly longer as spring progresses. So, let’s take a closer look at the men behind Guice on the depth chart, and what the expectations should be for them during the next month.

Darrel Williams

The most veteran member of the LSU backfield, Williams is the senior off the bench and LSU’s resident bruiser. Coach Ed Orgeron indicated on Tuesday that Williams has looked good this spring and trimmed down to around 228 pounds, looking a little more svelte than the 233 pounds he’s listed at.

Williams has spent most of the spring working as Guice’s No. 2 and will probably get most of the carries in Guice’s absence. That said, Williams’ downhill style is quite different from Guice’s, so it’ll be interesting to see how the offense has to adjust around him.

Nick Brossette

More similar in playing style to Guice, Brossette can step in for Guice’s quick-cut action and be a useful asset in the passing game.

RELATED: Nick Brossette is poised for a breakout season

Brossette actually earned first-team reps in one pass-based drill Thursday, but quickly yielded the first-team duties to Williams afterward. In fact, there was one drill where Brossette ran third, but that wasn’t in team activity, so it’s not too much to speculate.

Lanard Fournette

The younger Fournette has looked pretty good in practice this spring and has garnered most of the third-string reps. He’s definitely the contingency plan LSU has in place if everything else falls apart.

But right now he’s in a non-contact yellow jersey in practice, so he’s probably not a great option to replace Guice if he can’t even go full speed.

Big weekend for baseball

The LSU baseball team kicks off a huge three-game series versus Florida Friday night in Gainesville. I’ll have a full preview of the series up on SEC Country later Friday for those of you interested.

But for now, I’ll keep things simple. The series opener will be broadcast on the SEC Network beginning at 6 p.m. CT. Game 2 on Saturday is at 2 p.m. CT and will be on ESPN2. And the series finale on Sunday starts at noon on SEC Network.

The Tigers will run their regular starting rotation of Alex Lange, Jared Poché and Eric Walker and aren’t expected to deviate from the lineup that scored 42 runs in its last four games.

Your weekly LSU non-revenue sports preview

Baseball isn’t the only sport going on this weekend. In addition to the national pastime and the football scrimmage on Saturday, there’s plenty of other sports you can follow along with. Here’s a primer:

  • The LSU women’s golf team hosts the LSU Tiger Golf Classic beginning Friday at 8 a.m. and continuing through Sunday afternoon.
  • LSU softball plays its annual “Gold Game” on Friday night versus SEC foe Georgia. The two teams will also face off in Baton Rouge on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Days three and four of the men’s swimming and diving national championships in Indianapolis are Friday and Saturday.
  • The LSU beach volleyball team heads to Fort Worth, Texas, for the Horned Frog Challenge. Opponents include TCU, Arizona and Arizona State.
  • LSU’s soccer team holds its spring scrimmage this Saturday at noon.
  • Women’s tennis hosts Texas A&M on Saturday at 11 a.m. Men’s tennis hosts Texas A&M on Saturday at 2 p.m.

What to do if sports aren’t your bag

If you’re reading this column but you don’t particularly enjoy LSU sports, I have two observations. One: Why? Two: Here are some suggestions of what you can do in Baton Rouge this weekend, no sports necessary:

  • 1980s cover band “The Molly Ringwalds” is playing at L’Auberge Casino Baton Rouge on Friday night at 9 o’clock if you’re into nostalgic music and more nostalgic costumes.
  • If you like dancing and good causes, Perkins Rowe is being opened up for this year’s “Dancing in the Streets” on Saturday. There’ll be live music, raffles and local food. Tickets cost $55 in advance and $65 at the door.
  • Ready to get your exercise on? Saturday and Sunday mark the first of two straight “Chase the Sun” running and walking challenges. The quest for 93 million miles starts now.
  • As it does every Sunday, Tin Roof Brewers is hosting Juke Joint night on Sunday. There’ll be live music and food catered by Secret Lair Taqueria.

ICYMI

I did a 50-minute Facebook Live chat with our Facebook followers Thursday night. It’s attached down below. Give it a watch and skip around for conversations about football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics and the three greatest football players in LSU history.

And be sure to like us on Facebook for future LSU Insiders FB Live chats.

LSU in the NBA

The NBA regular season is slowly winding down. So, let’s take a look at what LSU’s alums in the NBA have done in the last couple of weeks and what chances they have at contributing in the playoffs.

  • Justin Hamilton: Hamilton is averaging 11.7 minutes per game over the Brooklyn Nets’ last 10 games. He’s posted 3.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game over that stretch. The Nets are in last place in the East and have been eliminated from playoff contention.
  • Garrett Temple: Temple has appeared in nine of the Sacramento Kings’ last 10 games. In those games, he’s averaged 26.3 minutes, 9.1 points, 3.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds per. The Kings are seven games back of a playoff spot and are close to being officially eliminated.
  • Brandon Bass: Bass has played in all 10 of the Los Angeles Clippers last 10, posting 10.5 minutes and 6.2 points per game. The Clippers currently rank fifth in the Western Conference and are eight games ahead of the team in the eighth seed for playoff contention.
  • Jordan Mickey: Mickey has played in four of the Boston Celtics’ last 10 games. The power forward has averaged 3.8 minutes per appearance, with 1 rebound and 0.3 points per appearance. The Celtics have clinched a playoff berth and are one game back of the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

This weekend in made-up holidays

According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, this Saturday is “National Tolkien Reading Day.” J.R.R. Tolkien, for those of you who aren’t nerds or movie buffs, is the author of the Lord of the Rings saga. And as someone who owns all three of those books and is very slowly going through them, I’ll  probably take advantage of this holiday.

But let’s celebrate it LSU style. If I had to recast the roles in Lord of the Rings to be played by LSU football coaches and players, here are my choices:

Gandalf

This one’s easy. The old, grizzled veteran who has wisdom aplenty? Sounds like LSU football defensive line coach Pete Jenkins to me. Just call him the Pass Rush Wizard. Or Pete the White.

The Hobbits

I’ll just make all of LSU’s quarterbacks our hobbits. Danny Etling will be Frodo, tasked with carrying the one ring for LSU fans everywhere. (Wink wink) Justin McMillan and Lindsey Scott Jr. get to be Merry and Pippin, carrying out the comic relief and doing the dirty work in the background for none of the glory. And offensive coordinator Matt Canada is Samwise Gamgee, here to lead Etling to Mount Doom (Bryant-Denny Stadium), but has to let Etling make the successful decisions for himself.

Elrond

Elrond is the wise, immortal elf who guides the fellowship silently but devises the plan by which the entire journey is supposed to go. So, yeah, I’m picking Dave Aranda. No-brainer.

The Ents

If we’re assuming LSU football’s quarterbacks are the hobbits, then LSU’s receivers have to be the Ents. Giants who carry hobbits through treacherous land? Yeah, I’m comfortable listing 6-foot-6 receiver Stephen Sullivan, 6-5 receiver Dee Anderson and 6-3 targets D.J. Chark and Drake Davis as giants who’ll carry the offense. Indeed I am.

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