LSU Tigers: Jadaveon Clowney

Mailbag: Chances for Nkemdiche? 

January, 18, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. -- GTN writer Gary Laney takes your questions on LSU football and recruiting:

From Scott: It's common knowledge that LSU uses the RB by committee approach, and it has worked well. But what I've noticed is it becomes somewhat of a flavor of the month. In late 2010 and 2011 (Spencer) Ware and (Michael) Ford were the tandem; then in 2011 Kenny Hilliard emerged and fell back in line; this year it was Alfred Blue until he got injured, and Jeremy Hill emerged and took the spotlight. All those guys have unique qualities, but it seems they burn bright and then fade into the depth chart. Ware wasn't the same after his suspension, but how would you explain Ford and Hilliard's lack of use at times? Could the same happen to Hill with the new recruits coming in?

Big 3: No rush with run

October, 10, 2012
With both LSU and South Carolina possession fearsome pass rushes, the theme for LSU's Les Miles and South Carolina's Steve Spurrier Wednesday morning seemed to be more on how they will be marginalized this week when they meet. With both teams leaning on the run, perhaps this won't be the best showcase for pass-rushers like South Carolina's Jadaveon Clowney and LSU's Sam Montgomery.

1. Low impact?: Asked about the possible impact of the two teams' star defensive ends, Spurrier said "If there isn't a lot of passing going on, those pass rushers aren't going to get to show off their skills." In last week's 35-7 win over Georgia, South Carolina only threw 10 passes. Spurrier noted that "LSU doesn't throw it a whole lot" either.

2. Cut, then run: Spurrier said his desire is to get the ball into the hands of running back Marcus Lattimore "as much as possible," but added that he doesn't want to overuse the star running back, who has more carries (116) than any other SEC back and is sixth in yards per game (549 in six games). But Lattimore's presence is a big reason why quarterback Connor Shaw has been an effective runner, often using fakes to Lattimore in Shaw's cut/read option run game.

"[Shaw] has good feet and makes good decisions," Miles said. "He's not going to stay in the pocket any length of time."

3. Get it fixed: Miles said getting LSU's struggling offense moving was his "day job."

"It's the thought process you have when you wake up and go to bed," Miles said. "The players realize nobody's going to get this corrected but us."

LSU's offense has scored one touchdown in its last three games against SEC teams.

LSU faces defense much like its own

October, 10, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Every day at practice, LSU's offense gets to see an elite defense.

Aaron Murray
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesJadeveon Clowney has 6.5 of South Carolina's 25 sacks this season and will stress a patchwork LSU offensive line.
The Tigers have arguably the top defensive line in the nation, two defensive ends projected by some to be top-five NFL draft picks and a secondary it calls "DBU" because of its recent production of NFL draft prospects. Throw in fast-emerging Kevin Minter at linebacker and it adds up to a unit that, as a team, is ranked third in the country in total defense (221 yards per game).

Given that, one would think LSU would be comfortable playing another elite defense comparable to its own.

Instead, there is an assumed mismatch this week when the struggling LSU offense faces No. 3 South Carolina's vaunted defense, ranked 11th in the country at 278 yards per game. It's a Gamecocks defense that, in many ways, mirrors LSU's own defense and comes into Saturday's game at Tiger Stadium at the peak of its powers coming off a 35-7 shellacking of Georgia.

It starts up front where, like LSU's tandem of Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo, South Carolina has dominant ends in sophomore Jadaveon Clowney and senior Devin Taylor.

"This is definitely going to be one of the bigger challenges we've had this fall," said LSU offensive tackle Alex Hurst. "Both guys that play at both ends, they are definitely NFL caliber and they are going to be high NFL draft picks. This is a challenge we're going to have to be ready for."

Clowney's name is one that is particularly interesting to those who follow LSU recruiting. The Gamecocks leader in sacks with 6.5, he was the top-ranked player in the country coming out of high school in 2011, just ahead of LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson.

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Injuries continue to haunt LSU

October, 8, 2012
Josh DworaczykSteve Franz/Louisiana State University/Getty ImagesWith Josh Williford being perhaps the third LSU OL starter to be knocked out of action, Josh Dworaczyk might get another crack at the starting lineup this weekend against South Carolina.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU, a team that has become increasingly dependent on freshmen, lost arguably its best one Saturday against Florida and might call on another to make his first start this weekend against South Carolina.

Tigers coach Les Miles said Monday linebacker Kwon Alexander, who had started the last two games, is likely out for the season with a foot injury suffered in the 14-6 loss to the Gators. Also questionable for this weekend's game against No. 3 South Carolina at Tiger Stadium is right offensive guard Josh Williford, who Miles said was "nicked" after suffering an apparent head injury against the Gators.

They are the latest in what has been a rash of injuries and attrition for No. 9 LSU, which has lost five starters, likely for the season, since August camp.

"Our football team is going through some change," Miles acknowledged Monday. "We need to play better in a number of ways."

While Williford might play, his potential loss for the South Carolina game could have a huge impact. The junior has been one of the better players on an offensive line that has, in general, struggled in the Tigers' 5-1 start. The Tiger are going up against a Gamecocks defense that is third in the league in total defense (278 yards per game) and leads the SEC in sacks (25, eight more than the next team).

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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.