By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Change of plans.
LSU running back Derrius Guice will start against Syracuse on Saturday night, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday, one day after the Heisman hopeful was ruled out for the game with an injury.
Guice, who hadn’t practiced all week, told the staff he felt better Thursday and participated fully. He’ll play in a limited role.
“As of yesterday he wasn’t going to be able to play,” the coach said. “Today he said ‘Coach, I’m feeling better and want to practice.’ He practiced pretty good today, so he’s going to get some snaps.”
He continued: “Great news for us. Guys want to play; guys who are hurt, questionable want to come out and play.”
Senior Darrel Williams, junior Nick Brossette and freshman Clyde Edwards-Helaire figure to take on more significant workloads depending on how limited Guice’s role turns out to be.
– Defensive end Rashard Lawrence will also play in a limited role, Orgeron said. He’s practiced fully this week after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury. LSU is going to “play it by ear” in terms of a snap count. “Obviously were going to have a rotation there, but it brings us some stability on the defensive line,” Orgeron said. “We’re very thin there as it right now. Rashard is the leader. It gives us confidence going into the game.”
– Free safety Ed Paris will miss Saturday’s game and potentially much longer after suffering a “freak injury” in practice, Orgeron said. The coach said he hurt himself on a field goal block in practice Tuesday. “It doesn’t look good for Ed,” Orgeron said. “I’ll have the doctor’s report by tomorrow, but it doesn’t look good.” Grant Delpit will continue to start at free safety backed up by Eric Monroe.
– Freshman Tyler Taylor will start in place of Donnie Alexander at inside linebacker on Saturday night. Alexander has to sit out the first half due to a targeting ejection against Mississippi State.
– Orgeron confirmed that freshman JaCoby Stevens has been working at the F-back position and could assume a more versatile role: “We’re moving JaCoby around, obviously to find him more reps. He’s played at the ‘F’ position. Could be a receiver, could be a tight end, could be a fullback, could be a hybrid. He fits that mold, so we’re going to get him more snaps.”