LSU will be without one of its starters up front for the remainder of the season.
Defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko will not play again this season, LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced at his press conference Monday. Fehoko underwent surgery Monday to repair a biceps injury suffered back in the Georgia game.
“Fehoko will not be with us the rest of the season,” Orgeron said. “He’s out.”
Fehoko, a first-year starter, has played both nose tackle and defensive end for the Tigers this season after transferring from Texas Tech. He’s been credited with 16 tackles (3 TFL) with 1.5 sacks and a pass deflection.
Ed Alexander and Tyler Shelvin have solidified the nose tackle position with the latter playing increased snaps in recent weeks. Glen Logan has taken over at defensive end with Neil Farrell rotating in for both Logan and Rashard Lawrence at end.
The defensive ends have been steadily improving since fall camp, but the emergence of Alexander and Shelvin have solidified the interior of LSU’s 3-4 front. Both have always had the talent, but their respective health and level of conditioning have been in question.
“Ed, we’ve been going at it since we got here, and I knew once he got that chance he was going to take off,” center Lloyd Cushenberry said. “He’s a great player, and the young guys, Tyler and all those guys have been stepping up.”
LSU even got a look at a handful of freshmen in the second half against Rice. Dominic Livingston, Nelson Jenkins, Davin Cotton and Jarell Cherry saw their most extensive action of the season to date.
“I was pleased,” Orgeron said of his young linemen. “Tyler Shelvin has come along. He’s making some improvement. He’s becoming a nose tackle that we all thought he could. Dominic Livingston went behind him, did a good job. He’s still losing weight, but I think that once he loses his weight he’s going to be a really good player. I was really pleased with Nelson Jenkins, he made a big play, busted up a double team, was very physical. Davin Cotton was running around, Davin has a lot of energy, he’s going to be a good football player for us. Jarell Cherry got in made a couple of plays, I wish I could have played him more. Jarell’s gained like 30 pounds this off season. He’s gained 65 pounds on his power clean. He’s long and he’s lean, I think he’s going to be a really good rusher.”
While the defensive line takes a hit, LSU will be getting a trio of players back in the secondary for the regular-season finale against Texas A&M on Saturday night.
Cornerback Kelvin Joseph and safeties John Battle and Todd Harris are all expected to play against the Aggies, Orgeron announced. Battle has been out since the Alabama game with an ankle injury while Joseph (hamstring) and Harris (undisclosed) didn’t play against Rice.
“They’re all going to be ready to play,” Orgeron said. “They should be ready to play. Yes. All three of them.”
QUEEN ON THE OUTSIDE
Inside linebacker Patrick Queen got the start at outside linebacker against Rice after a week of practicing at the position. After reviewing the tape, Orgeron was pleased with what he saw.
Queen made five tackles against Rice, two of which were solo stops. Orgeron, who cited a need for more juice coming off the edge, said Queen will continue to see time there moving forward.
“He did some good things,” the coach said. “He’s getting used to it. It’s different when you’ve been a stack linebacker. When you’re on the line of scrimmage everything’s a lot quicker. He needs to use his hands a little bit better, but I think he provided some rush, he did some good things, he made some mistakes but I think that you’re going to see him there.”
LES IS BACK
Orgeron was out of coaching entirely for a year before Les Miles hired him as a defensive line coach heading into the 2015 season. Orgeron offered well wishes when asked about the coach he replaced taking over at Kansas.
“Very happy,” Orgeron said of the news. “I think Kansas made a great move. I can see the happiness on his face, the excitement, he’s going to do a great job there. We wish him the best.”
Tight end Foster Moreau, who played for Miles for a season and change, echoed those sentiments.
“I’m happy for the ole Mad Hatter,” Moreau said. “It’s hard to get away from the game no matter how hard you try. Sometimes you look forward to breaks in the action; bye weeks, Mardi Gras, breaks in the huge training schedule that you have. But you can never really shake it. I can’t imagine how that’s been for Les these last year-and-a-half or two years. I wish him the best and I’m sure he’ll do his best.
“He’ll have a great time up in Kansas and we really wish him the best. We love him.”
TRIO UP FOR AWARDS
A trio of Tigers are finalists for national awards at their respective positions.
Cornerback Greedy Williams is up for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s best defensive back. DeAndre Baker of Georgia and Julian Love of Notre Dame are the other finalists.
Linebacker Devin White is up for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation’s top linebacker. Dylan Moses of Alabama, Josh Allen of Kentucky, Devin Bush of Michigan and Tre Lamar of Clemson are the other finalists.
Kicker Cole Tracy is up for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation’s best kicker. Cooper Rothe of Wyoming and Andre Szmyt of Syracuse are the other finalists.