Week one of training camp is in the books, and the Tigers had a scrimmage...excuse me, preseason game...Saturday afternoon at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility. From the official release...
“It was a balanced scrimmage,” Orgeron told the media after the workout. “The first offense went against the first defense and they scored twice. The offense had a good day for the installation that’s been taking place this week. The defense had a tremendous scrimmage. Guys were playing very well and they were playing very fast.”
Quarterback Danny Etling connected on 5-of-11 passes for 86 yards, including TD tosses of 32 yards to Darrel Williams and 28 yards to Russell Gage. Etling also had another lengthy touchdown pass dropped.
“I thought he did fantastic,” Orgeron said of Etling’s performance. “We missed a long ball that would’ve been a touchdown. It was on the money and we should’ve caught it. I thought his passes were on the money. He was under duress all day with the rush. His leadership, he’s probably out there working out right now. All through camp he’s been consistent. It looks like he’s throwing the ball better.
“Myles Brennan has made some tremendous throws. He’s a young player who’s growing. We’ve had him working some second team reps to see what he can do and give him a chance, just like we told everybody. Justin McMillan, Lowell Narcisse, all the guys have been working second team reps. We’ve been as fair as we can with the reps that we can give in camp.”
Etling led a total of six quarterbacks that took snaps during the scrimmage. Lindsey Scott Jr. and Lowell Narcisse each completed 1-of-2 passes, while Myles Brennan connected on 1-of-4 attempts.
Williams led all running back with 40 yards on eight carries, while Derrius Guice added 23 yards on seven attempts and Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed six times for 19 yards.
Jacoby Stevens, who made the switch from safety to wide receiver earlier in the week, led all receivers with two catches for nine yards. Drake Davis added a reception for a 15-yard gain.
Defensively, Orgeron singled out the play of recent LSU graduate Frank Herron, who had four tackles, including a pair of sacks and another tackle for loss. Herron graduated on Friday morning with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.
“Frank lost the starting position in the spring and he’s fought back and came back in great shape,” Orgeron said. “Today he was one of the most powerful players on defense.”
Another defensive standout for LSU during its first preseason game was that of freshman linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson, who had three tackles for loss and a sack.
“We love the play of Rashard Lawrence,” Orgeron said. “Greg Gilmore and those guys were strong in the middle. K’Lavon Chaisson has been dominant. He’s exactly the type player we thought he’d be. Jacob Phillips, Tyler Taylor and Patrick Queens are getting a lot of reps. They’re playing hard. With Matt’s offense, it makes it hard on our defense. When the game slows down a little bit I think those young guys are going to be fantastic.”
The Tigers are scheduled to watch the film from the scrimmage on Saturday night and will then take Sunday off from practice before returning to work on Monday with a morning walk-thru followed by an afternoon practice. LSU will hold its second preseason game next Saturday in Tiger Stadium.
“First of all, there’s preparation all week leading up to the game,” Orgeron said of LSU’s preseason plan. “Then we go out and play. The grades tonight on the film will be awfully important. Number one, effort. Number two, assignment. Number 3, technique. To see what they do full speed and how the compete and how hard they play is important.”
From other post-game coverage, the offensive line, unsurprisingly, is the top concern. K.J. Malone, Will Clapp and Toby Weathersby all sat for the scrimmage, with Saahdiq Charles, Austin Deculus and Ed Ingram all subbing in at left tackle, right tackle and right guard. Lloyd Cushenberry replaced Clapp at center.
In speaking with a source, Saturday’s scrimmage was largely dedicated to installation, with lots of freshmen worked in on purpose for that reason. The veterans will return in the future scrimmages. Just a guess, but if Orgeron is truly planning to conduct these with an NFL model, the third preseason game will likely feature most of the action between the first string offense and defense.
Other post-scrimmage notes worth reading include Tiger Rag’s here and here, with NOLA.com noting on the progress of the offensive installation and Jacoby Stevens’ progress at receiver.
LSU’s creative department also has a wonderful collection of all the first-week images that is worth checking out here.
Also worth a read — this breakdown of what LSU’s new offense has in store for the ‘F’ position is a strong read from Ross Dellenger. As much as the narrative will focus on the fullback not having a huge role for LSU this season, the F will play a large key in shifts and creating leverage, and still do some lead blocking. Along with sweep carries and passes.
If you want another really strong X & O read on how to train your mind to recognize what you’re seeing on a given play, you should definitely check out this piece from Get Back to Fundamentals.
In very important basketball news, Will Wade added more immediate help for the 2017-2018 Tiger basketball season by securing the transfer of Southern Utah graduate transfer guard Randy Onwuasor. He averaged 23.6 points per game last year and led the Big Sky in that stat. Onwuasor will be eligible right away for the Tigers, and should provide some obvious help in the scoring department.
The Tigers also got some good news regarding transfer Kavell Bigby-Williams, formerly of Oregon. Charges stemming from an incident in Wyoming last fall have been dropped. Bigby-Williams will have to sit out the upcoming season, but will be eligible for the 2018-2019 season.
Of course, for the most significant of transfer news — Mitchell Robinson. The Chalmette native and very brief Western Kentucky Hilltopper has spent some time in Baton Rouge and is considering LSU. This was reported widely on twitter on Saturday, although rumors that a signing was imminent proved not to come about.
The sticking point will be the NCAA’s transfer rule, by which Robinson is currently bound: he’ll have to sit out the 2017-2018 season, and as a player largely considered to be an immediate NBA prospect, that’s a less-than-ideal scenario for anybody. Whichever school he signs with would almost certainly seek some kind of hardship waiver through the NCAA, but those typically involve some sort of family illness. If any such situation exists for Robinson, it has not been reported.
We will stay on top of this situation as it develops.
The Bregman 2-RBI triple that tied it bottom of 9th today. (Then he scored on single for Astros walk-off win.) pic.twitter.com/qx5hx1tAJf— Walking With Tigers (@LSUTigersBook) August 6, 2017
In other news, former Tiger Jalen Collins has been suspended 10 games by the NFL for substance policy violations. One more and Collins will have to miss an entire year. Collins’ team, the Atlanta Falcons, happen to be pretty deep at his position, so don’t be surprised if they just cut bait altogether with the former second-round pick. Mo Claiborne is fairing much better at Jets camp. Lewis Neal is just trying to prove his worth with the Cowboys. Kwon Alexander has more than proved his in Tampa.