LSU football: 5 tips for achieving a perfect spring game viewing experience
Welcome to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football, with LSU beat writer Nick Suss. Today, we drop some tips for how to best consume LSU’s spring game on Saturday, meet LSU’s newest player, appreciate linemen and much, much more. Enjoy!
5 tips to sit
It’s game week, LSU football fans. The LSU football team’s spring football game is Saturday night. And as I mentioned in Bayou Bengal Briefing on Monday, we’re going to treat this week like any week where there’s a game on Saturday.
That means today is time to talk about what to expect from LSU in the bigger picture. So, for your reading pleasure, here are 5 suggestions on how to best enjoy the game, whether from your couch or from Tiger Stadium.
1. Keep a roster nearby
The trickiest part of any spring game is figuring out who you’re looking at. Seniors are gone. Early enrollees have arrived. Players traded numbers and switched positions and moved up and down the depth chart.
For example: No. 40 isn’t Duke Riley anymore. It’s Devin White. Who plays the same position that Riley used to play. White used to wear No. 24. So, don’t look for him in that. No one is wearing that number right now.
And that’s an easy one. Don’t ask about how to remember the chain of events caused by receivers changing numbers. It’ll hurt your head. Just have a roster or a program by your seat. It’ll save you a bunch of time.
2. Don’t watch the ball
I know I’m bordering on football snob here, but most of the action in the Tigers’ scrimmage will be away from the ball. Contact will be slightly limited, especially on quarterbacks, so you won’t see all too much from the ballcarriers. But the blockers and the pursuers? You can learn a bunch from how they scrimmage.
Try to keep your eyes in the trenches. You won’t regret it.
3. Become an expert on an obscure player
Here’s a trade secret: Pick a lesser-known Tiger and read everything you can about him. That way, if he does something noteworthy, you can drop knowledge on your friends and loved ones. You’ll look like a true fan, an expert in every sense. Plus, you’ll know more about a player who deserves your respect.
And, if that player never does anything, at least you read content. Hopefully some of it was mine. This was not very subliminal advertising. (READ THE BAYOU BENGAL BRIEFING.)
4. Don’t pick favorites
There’s nothing worse than a fan who refuses to see the truth because he or she is blinded by bias. I’m looking at you, quarterback battle enthusiasts. If you think Danny Etling is the guy but he does objectively badly, don’t pretend like you saw him flat out ball.
Try to treat this as an exercise in rationality. It’s just one scrimmage. It’s not as meaningful as we sometimes make it out to be. But if you see something good from someone you weren’t expecting, celebrate it. Don’t use it to fit your own agenda.
5. Park close
No one expects you to stay for the whole game. Watching until the end of a spring scrimmage is like waiting at the finish line until everyone finishes a marathon. It’s an admirable pursuit, but it’s ultimately not the best way to spend your time.
Park in a convenient place if you’re watching the game in person. Make for a speedy escape. Beat the traffic. Watch the football and get out. Or get home quick enough to read the postgame content at SEC Country.
Man, I’m really bad at this subtlety thing, aren’t I?
Who’s the new guy?
LSU received a commitment from transfer defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko on Monday, bringing in a difference maker from Texas Tech. The Hawaii product chose LSU over Auburn and Georgia, among countless other schools that were interested.
Fehoko won’t be eligible to play in 2017 because of transfer rules, but he’ll have 2 seasons to step in in 2018 and 2019. Meaning, effectively, Fehoko is going to fill the role LSU missed out on when Marvin Wilson chose Florida State over Baton Rouge.
By the time Fehoko is eligible to play, Ed Alexander and Rashard Lawrence will be juniors ready to anchor the LSU defensive front. Where Fehoko will fit in is going to be an interesting discussion. With his 6-foot-3, 287-pound frame, he’s probably more of a nose tackle than exterior end in LSU’s system, but he could feasibly play anywhere on the front.
And if that’s what coach Ed Orgeron, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and defensive line coach Pete Jenkins see as the best option, they’ll have more than a year to figure out where to put him. He’s an experienced guy looking for a chance to play for a winner, and he might’ve found a great fit in LSU.
Seriously, who wouldn’t want to play defensive tackle for Orgeron, Aranda and Jenkins? Seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me.
LSU football poll recap
In Bayou Bengal Briefing on Monday, I asked you which LSU football early enrollee you’re most excited to watch in the spring game on Saturday. More than 600 of you chimed in with your votes. Here are your answers:
In unsurprising fashion, the quarterback and the former 5-star prospect took the crown. Quarterback Lowell Narcisse (37 percent of the vote) narrowly edged out safety JaCoby Stevens (34 percent) for a slight plurality.
Offensive tackle Austin Deculus took third place with 13 percent of the vote, followed by safety Grant Delpit at 11 percent. Wideout Mannie Netherly took 5 percent of the vote and defensive end Justin Thomas didn’t earn enough votes to be statistically relevant on the poll.
Given my words earlier, my vote shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The player I’ll be keeping an eye out for is Deculus. He’s going to slide into multiple positions, playing against first- and second-stringers. And he has the size and strength to stand out among players 3, 4 and 5 years his elder.
I’m all in on the lineman. But more on that later.
Be sure to check back to the Bayou Bengal Briefing every Monday for more LSU football poll questions.
This is LSU football. Things happen. Here are some of those things you might’ve missed Monday:
- In shameless self-promotion news, I wrote a profile of LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who really is an impressive young man. Come for the football, stay for the stories of him caring for babies with heart monitors and diabetic children.
- Why did Fehoko choose LSU? He has a couple of reasons.
- LSU students will be invited to watch spring practice on Thursday. Check it out.
- Derrius Guice talked to SEC Network’s Peter Burns about LSU football’s collective mindset this off-season.
- Is Matt Canada the man to revamp LSU’s offense? It’s sure looking like it, writes Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated.
- My weekly LSU baseball column dropped on Monday, comparing Eric Walker to Kevin Gausman, Aaron Nola, Jared Poché and Alex Lange.
Speaking of baseball …
The LSU baseball team plays a game Tuesday night, facing off against Lamar at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be played at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge and be streamed online through WatchESPN. Reliever Caleb Gilbert will start for LSU in what is likely going to be a bullpen-palooza.
Lamar is unranked at 22-15 and is coached by former LSU player and assistant coach Will Davis.
A handful of LSU football players tried their hands at Orgeron impressions for the SEC Network this week. Let’s just say it didn’t go great.
Coach O impressions by @LSUFootball players.
Closed caption not included.
SEC Now. 9 PM/ET. pic.twitter.com/mk26toLCYO
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 18, 2017
Most of the players just dropped their voice an octave or two. Some only kinda screamed and passed it off as an impression. Surprisingly, Etling might’ve had the best impression, capturing the gravel in Orgeorn’s timbre.
John Battle started off strong but lost it in the second half of his story. Will Clapp also started off strong, but he lost it, too. I’ll admit, it’s hard to do a Coach O impression. It’s a very specific voice and it’s one I hear every day, so I’m pretty particular about what makes a good impression.
So, Etling wins this battle. But if any LSU football player has a better one, I’ll be the judge. I’d like to hear someone get a spot-on mimicry. Because it’s entertaining when everything comes together.
Today in made-up holidays
Wait. It is? No way. April 18 may be my new favorite day of the year.
Upon closer inspection, Lineman Appreciation Day is a day set to honor people who work on electrical lines. And trust me, I like electricity as much of the next guy. I appreciate what these guys do. But let’s pretend today also is the day for offensive and defensive linemen. That’s exactly the shot in the arm the Briefing needs.
So, today, let’s celebrate linemen. More than usual, I mean. At practice today, I’m gonna get as good of a look at the linemen as I can and I’m going to appreciate the heck out of them. It’s their day. Forget ballcarriers. Forget the prima donnas.
It’s time for the big uglies to shed the derogatory nicknames and be appreciated for what they are: some of the most important men in sports.
Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every one of SEC Country’s daily LSU football columns right here.