LSU Tigers: Alabama

SEC lunchtime links

August, 23, 2013
Just think, the next time you click on the SEC lunchtime links post it will be Monday of the first game week of the college football season. Ready or not, it's that time again.
  • Tennessee lost two defensive ends over the course of the preseason and spent much of the past week or so looking for their replacements. In 6-foot-5, 260-pound Jordan Williams, the Vols may have found their man to start.
  • Damiere Byrd is already the fastest player on the South Carolina roster. Now the speedy wide receiver wants to make the biggest plays in the biggest situations.
  • Matt Elam was a playmaker and an All-American at safety for the Gators last year. Marcus Maye, his replacement, worked with Elam this offseason and has impressed coaches with his work ethic so far. With the season nearly underway, Maye hopes to be the same type of presence on defense as his predecessor.
  • Vanderbilt's seniors Kenny Ladler and Javon Marshall have so much familiarity with one another that they rarely need to speak. The Commodores are hoping that experience and comfort level pays off as the two form what could be a stellar safety net for the secondary.
  • It won't be easy, but Missouri's defensive linemen must replace Sheldon Richardson's disruptive presence on the Tigers' defense.
  • Arkansas struggled to defend the pass last year, finishing dead last in the SEC in passing yards allowed. Eric Bennett and Rohan Gaines are hoping to change that. The two safeties expect big years.
  • Keihl Frazier surprised many when he dropped out of the quarterback race to start over in the Auburn secondary at safety. That move happened less than two weeks ago. And ready or not, he'll need to be ready to play just over a week from now when the Tigers host Washington State in their season opener.
  • Arie Kouandjio was starting at guard for all spring and most of preseason camp before an abrupt move to tackle last week. Austin Shepherd experienced the same thing, switched from tackle to guard in a position experiment by the Alabama coaching staff. Now, it appears that those experiments are over and the Tide can get to the job of establishing chemistry.
  • The Egg Bowl is months away, but Mississippi State went ahead and released its new snazzy uniform combination for the rivalry game against Ole Miss.
  • D.J. Welter and Lamar Louis are expected to start, but how do the rest of LSU's inside linebackers stack up?

SEC lunchtime links

August, 21, 2013
Starters are being named, injuries are being assessed and coaches are seeking consistency. Yup, the season is drawing closer. Take a look around the SEC and see.

Back in pack, but so close

December, 18, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. -- On bowl selection Sunday, some LSU fans were fighting mad.

LSU, they felt, was one rival program and two games away from being the dominant program in college football right now. Yet, a loss in the BCS title game to Alabama in January and a last-minute, game-winning drive by the Crimson Tide this season combined to have the Tigers in the SEC's No. 5 bowl (Chick-fil-A) and just another team not in the BCS.

Never mind that the Chick-fil-A Bowl deserves to be much better than No. 5 in the SEC bowl pecking order (really No. 6 when you consider SEC is usually a lock to get two teams into BCS bowls). It's one of the best-run bowls out there, it's played in an NFL stadium and could well end up as host site for future national championship playoff games.

LSU fans get that. They honestly appreciate that a bowl matchup with Clemson is one of the best ones in the bowl season. And they are well aware that the SEC had six teams with double digit wins, all deserving of solid bowl matchups.

That's not really why Tigers fans were a little miffed about going to Atlanta and why there's a bit of a lethargy among them.

(Read full post)

David Dawson mulls options after UF visit 

October, 24, 2012
Offensive lineman David Dawson (Detroit/Cass Tech) had been committed to Michigan since February, but recently parted ways with the Wolverines. Dawson promptly set up a visit to Florida for the South Carolina game, since the Gators and Dawson had been in communication for quite some time.

The visit went well for Dawson as he got to take in the game atmosphere, check out Florida's communication department and the athletic facilities. The visit didn't yield the results Florida fans were hoping for, though, as there were rumors Dawson would be committing on the visit.

"I rushed myself into a bad situation at Michigan earlier this year by not weighing my options, so I didn't want to make the same mistake," he said. "I want to look at a few other schools close to home, and that might play a factor in the long run. That's mainly because of all the things my family has been through in the last year, so I feel that maybe I should try to stay close to my support system."

LSU lands top 100 PG Quarterman 

September, 30, 2012
Last week ESPN 100 point guard Tim Quarterman (Savannah, Ga./Johnson) expressed his intentions to commit in time for the early signing period. It didn’t take long for that thought to come to fruition. Quarterman committed to LSU today over offers from Alabama and South Carolina, giving LSU coach Johnny Jones his second top 100 commit in the last five days.

"LSU was the best fit and coach Jones has a plan for me. I was very comfortable there," says Quarterman, who will join fellow ESPN 100 standout Jordan Mickey in Baton Rouge.

Quarterman, who is the No. 65 player in the ESPN 100, had a terrific spring and a better summer and should pay immediate dividends for LSU both on and off the floor. Quarterman ran with the nationally renowned Atlanta Celtics AAU squad over the summer and his pledge could open the door for more recruits out of talent rich Georgia to land with a reloaded LSU squad.

Quarterman is a major sleeper among the guards in our ESPN 100, but he is one of the most versatile perimeter players in the class. He's also valuable on defense as he can defend all three perimeter positions.

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Countdown to kickoff: Saturday nights 

August, 1, 2012
GeauxTigerNation writers Gary Laney and David Helman get you ready for the season with a daily breakdown through August of what LSU is facing in the fall, from its opponents, to its road trips to who it's recruiting. In today's opening installment, Gary Laney looks at the return of something LSU fans cherish: Saturday nights in Death Valley:

[+] EnlargeTiger Stadium
Sean Gardner/Getty ImagesTiger Stadium is widely known as one of the best night-game atmospheres.
It's right there on page 26 of LSU's football media guide.

Per tradition, as the afternoon light fades in Tiger Stadium and LSU emerges from the locker room to take the field before the start of a home football game, public address announcer Dan Borne tells the crowd, "Ladies and gentlemen, it's Saturday night in Death Valley, and here come your Fighting Tigers of LSU!"

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Countdown to camp: A new focus 

July, 31, 2012
GeauxTigerNation writers David Helman and Gary Laney break down the competitions, issues and talking points of LSU's August camp. Players report to campus Aug. 1 and we'll have a preview segment every weekday in July leading up to the day the players report:

[+] EnlargeTharold Simon
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezLSU cornerback Tharold Simon and the Tigers' D proved too quick for the Ducks.
Every artist needs a muse and if LSU's masterful 2011 regular season was indeed, a work of art, then Oregon filled the role of muse perfectly.

The Ducks were the Tigers' 2011 opening opponent, the preseason No. 3 team in the country and an opponent that could catapult LSU smack into national championship contention.

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GTN Roundtable 

July, 26, 2012
GTN writers Gary Laney and David Helman discuss issues around LSU football.

[+] EnlargeAlabama/LSU
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesAlabama dominated LSU in the BCS national title game in New Orleans.
Question: ESPNU has been showing both LSU-Alabama games from last season. Looking back at them, what strikes you the most in retrospect?

Gary Laney: Just how badly the LSU offensive line was handled by the Alabama front. The Crimson Tide defense didn't just beat the LSU offensive line, they embarrassed the Tigers' front.

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The addition of Missouri and Texas A&M has necessitated a re-examination of the Southeastern Conference’s football schedule. One possible format would be a 6-1-1, meaning each team would play every team in its division, have one permanent foe from the other division, and play the remaining six teams in the other division on a rotating basis.

[+] EnlargeRonald Powell
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireThe LSU-Florida series might end when the new SEC schedule template is released.
Florida-LSU is one of those permanent matchups, but there’s debate about whether the series should continue. The teams have met every year since 1971, but could 2012 be the end?

Here’s a look at it from each school’s perspective …

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Marcus Spears reviews LSU Pro Day
Paul Finebaum and ESPN's Marcus Spears discuss LSU Pro Day and players that stood out.