LSU will be without at least one defensive starter — and more than likely two — when it takes on Arkansas in Favetteville on Saturday night.
Defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko has been ruled out for the game and safety John Battle (ankle) will travel with the team on a wait-and-see approach, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said conference Thursday. Neither veteran has practiced at all this week.
“Fehoko is not playing,” Orgeron said at his post-practice press conference. “Battle, he hasn’t practiced at all. He’s going to travel with the team. I think he would only play in an emergency. If he had to, he’s ready, but I don’t foresee him playing. Fehoko is not playing.”
Sophomore Todd Harris is expected to start in place of Battle. He played the duration of the game against Alabama after Battle injured his ankle on the opening drive, becoming the first player to intercept Tua Tagovailoa in the process.
“Play-maker,” Orgeron said of his young safety. “He studied. He’s an excellent example of a guy who was taking mental reps, a guy that’s waiting his turn and knows he’s one play away. He steps in and does his job, and he did fantastic.”
As for replacing Fehoko, Glen Logan will start at defensive end opposite Rashard Lawrence with Ed Alexander in the middle at nose tackle. The coach said defensive end Neil Farrell will see additional reps at both end spots with Tyler Shelvin serving as Alexander’s backup.
“Neil is coming,” Orgeron said. “Neil had a great practice yesterday. We’re going to start Rougaroo (Alexander) at nose tackle. Tyler Shelvin is going to play more at nose tackle.”
He continued on Shelvin, who he credited for getting in better shape as the season has gone on: “I think he’s coming along. He played well against Mississippi State. He lost his weight. He learned how to practice. He’s had a bumpy road and learned how to do everything right every time. He’s a good kid who wants to learn. I think he’s going to be a heck of a football player and I’m excited to see him play in this game and have a good game.”
THE RIGHT STUFF
After a rough showing against Alabama, Orgeron announced that LSU was opening up the right tackle competition in practice this week.
After four days of practice, it sounds like Austin Deculus vs. Adrian Magee finished as something of a split decision, according to Orgeron.
“Austin has had the better week,” the coach said. “I expect him to start. You’re going to see both play.”