Notebook: LSU may start three freshmen on the offensive line, but no plans to simplify the attack

By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor

LSU may start three true freshmen along its offensive line against Auburn at Tiger Stadium this Saturday. It’s believed that would be the first such occurrence in program history.

Starting tackles K.J. Malone and Toby Weathersby remain “question[able] to play against Auburn,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said at his post-practice presser Thursday. Neither have participated in any of the three portions of practice made open to the media this week.

If they can’t go, Saahdiq Charles and Austin Deculus are expected to step in at left and right tackle, respectively. Charles and Deculus played much of LSU’s 17-16 victory over Florida and could join fellow rookie Ed Ingram, LSU’s right guard, in the lineup.

“We don’t know,” Orgeron said. “K.J. is questionable. Toby is questionable. Maybe three (freshmen) again if we have to.”

Despite the potential of an unprecedentedly green offensive line, Orgeron was adamant that LSU wouldn’t scale back its offense against Auburn’s top-10 defense to protect the freshmen.

That comes two weeks after LSU “simplified” its offense ahead of a disastrous home loss to Troy with the stated goal of making life simpler for Ingram and Charles, who started on the right side of the line in that game.

Orgeron made it clear since that LSU will run Matt Canada’s offense in its entirety, and as of now, that won’t change this week.

“We have to run our offense,” Orgeron said. “They’re very good. We have to do what we need to do. We’re going in there full speed running our offense and doing the things that we need to do to be successful.”

Adrian Magee, who LSU practices at a number of positions, could also play a role against Auburn. Orgeron said he and backup center Lloyd Cushenberry took more reps than normal with the first-team line in practice this week.

Here’s more notes and quotes from Orgeron’s presser:

– Defensive end Frank Herron is “full go” to make his season debut against Auburn, though Orgeron said his conditioning still needs to approve. He’s missed LSU’s first six games of the season due to a presumed suspension.

– O on running back Derrius Guice: “He looked good in practice. I think that run last week gave him some confidence. Hopefully he feels he can run like that every time … He seems like he’s fine this week. We’ll have to see.”

– The staff showed LSU’s defense film of how Clemson stopped Auburn and quarterback Jarett Stidham earlier this season. Clemson sacked Stidham 11 times in a 14-6 win.

– Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda charted each of LSU’s missed tackles against the Gators last weekend. Orgeron said LSU found that each position group was struggling with different kinds of tackles and made tackling mechanics an emphasis in practice this week.

About James Moran 1377 Articles
James Moran was Editor of Tiger Rag from August 2018 to October 2019. He previously served as the associate editor since 2014. He is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.

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