LSU Tigers: Terrance Magee

SEC helmet stickers: Week 13

November, 24, 2013
11/24/13
9:00
AM ET
Here are five individuals (or groups) from around the SEC who earned helmet stickers for their performances on Saturday.

Missouri's running game: The backfield committee of Henry Josey, Marcus Murphy, James Franklin and Russell Hansbrough led the way, as the Tigers racked up 260 yards rushing to handle Ole Miss on the road. Josey was Mizzou's statistical standout with 95 yards, a 6.3-yard average and two touchdowns. Murphy added 67 yards and a touchdown, and Franklin chipped in 42 yards in his return to the starting lineup. The senior quarterback, who averaged 5.3 yards a carry, showed just what a challenge he presents to defenses when they must account for his snap decisions to run, throw or do both. The Tigers have a reliable offense built on the foundation of their diverse running game. It should come in handy at home next week as they aim for Atlanta.

John Chavis: With an assist from some nasty weather, LSU's defensive coordinator architected what might have been a Heisman bid-killer in Death Valley on Saturday. Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel was gunning for back-to-back trophies but ran smack into a determined Tigers' D. Manziel was only 16-of-41 passing (a career-low 39 percent) for 224 yards with two interceptions and two sacks. He also had only 54 rushing yards on 12 carries. All told, Johnny Football recorded a career-low 14.9 Total QBR on Saturday. Just as it was in a win at College Station last season, Chavis' key was having his front focus on containment in order to limit Manziel's improvisational magic. Mission accomplished.

Jordan Matthews: Any time Vanderbilt beats instate rival Tennessee in back-to-back seasons (Hint: It hadn't happened since 1925-26), a helmet sticker must be awarded. In a game that was more about two defenses fighting for every yard, the senior wide receiver caught 13 passes for 133 yards and broke the SEC record for career receptions. Matthews now has 246 career receptions and owns the mark previously held by Vandy's Earl Bennett, who caught 236 passes from 2005-07. Matthews also has the SEC record for career yards receiving (3,491).

AJ McCarron: We'll give a nod to Georgia QB Aaron Murray, who similarly feasted on an inferior opponent (four touchdown passes before leaving with an injury). But McCarron had much more on the line in leading the undefeated top-ranked Tide past Chattanooga. Like Murray at Sanford Stadium, McCarron also bore the emotional burden of playing in his final home game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. He was a brutally efficient 13-of-16 passing for 171 yards and two touchdowns (95.9 Total QBR), and he even found time to deliver brother Corey his first career reception. But the most important statistic in McCarron's sterling legacy at Bama is his 36-2 record as a starter, which broke a tie with Jay Barker for the school record.

Terrence Magee: Sure, the junior tailback has played second fiddle to Jeremy Hill all season. But Magee broke out on Saturday with a career-high 149 yards rushing in LSU's win against visiting Texas A&M. The conditions -- cold, wet, blustery and generally miserable -- called for a strong running game. Magee answered the bell early with a 65-yard sprint that put the Aggies defense on its heels and set up the Tigers' first touchdown. Magee led the way for LSU to amass 324 yards on 55 rushes, a ground assault for which A&M had no answer.
Mississippi State (2-2, 0-1) will be the clear underdog when it hosts No. 10 LSU (4-1, 1-1) on Saturday night in Starkville. The Bulldogs have had their ups and downs this season, but middle linebacker Benardrick McKinney believes that if his team just makes a few plays, they can make this game interesting.

McKinney said to expect a raucous crowd at Davis Wade Stadium when the Tigers come to town. The cowbells will most certainly be clanging at maximum volume around kickoff at 7 p.m. ET.

[+] EnlargeBenardrick McKinney
AP Photo/Don Juan MooreBenardrick McKinney was named to the Freshman All-SEC Team last season.
The sophomore preseason All-SEC selection took some time to talk about the matchup with ESPN.com on Friday. Here's what he had to say:

What's the focus been like this week for the defense?

McKinney: Just to come out and play hard. We need to execute our plays and stop the run. That's our main focus, to stop the run. We want to come together as a defensive unit. The d-linemen are going to do their job getting push up front and opening up things for the linebackers to make plays.

How's LSU different this year?

McKinney: They have good, big backs -- (Jeremy Hill, Alfred Blue, Terrence Magee, Kenny Hilliard). Their passing game is good. No. 80 (Jarvis Landry) is a very good receiver, but we're going to try to shut him down. We'll be fine if we execute our plays.

How has the secondary looked? Are they ready to stop LSU's receivers?

McKinney: Our secondary is doing pretty good at practice. They're maturing everyday and knowing to play to win. They're going to be great Saturday. They're going to make a lot of big plays for us.

What stands out about Zach Mettenberger?

McKinney: He's a pocket quarterback. He's a great player. He can throw the ball downfield. If you give it to him, he can make plays. Getting pressure is going to be very important. We have to make him try to move around since he's not very mobile. We need to get him out the pocket.

How have Dak Prescott and Tyler Russell looked in practice this week?

McKinney: Both of them are great leaders, Dak and Tyler. I mean, they're putting in extra work, working together and working with the receivers. They're working together as a team, as brothers, and staying positive.

What's Russell's attitude been like after not starting for a few weeks?

McKinney: He's been a great leader, pushing us when he's on the sidelines. He's helping with the plays and telling us to keep working hard and helping Dak a lot on his pass reads. He's giving a lot of energy to the team.

LSU camp: Biggest position battles

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
10:00
AM ET
D.J. WelterDerick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsD.J. Welter appears to be leading the battle for the middle linebacker spot.

BATON ROUGE, La. -- As August camp has continued at LSU, position battles have emerged, some expected, some not so much. Here are five worth keeping an eye on as the Aug. 30 season opener against TCU looms.

Middle linebacker
The prime competitors: D.J. Welter, Lamar Louis
Darkhorses: Lamin Barrow, Kendell Beckwith
Outlook: There was a huge assumption out there that Barrow would move to middle linebacker during August camp, creating a spot at outside linebacker for talented young Kwon Alexander while getting the best of the Tigers' linebackers to the most important position. As of this week, that hasn't happened. Instead, Welter, the starter at the end of spring, remains in a battle with sophomore Louis for the spot, with talented freshman Beckwith looming in the background, biding his time. And there's still time for LSU to move Barrow to the middle if defensive coordiantor John Chavis sees fit.
Opening day starter? Our guess is Welter.

Defensive end
The prime competitors: Jordan Allen, Danielle Hunter.
Darhorses: Lewis Neal, Tashawn Bower.
Outlook: Hunter is a huge talent who many feel has the potential to be a double-digit sack guy and could form an imposing pass-rushing duo opposite Jermauria Rasco. But Les Miles often rewards older, hard-working players (see Josh Downs last year starting over Anthony Johnson at defensive tackle), and Allen seems to fit that bill. And make no mistake, he's talented in his own right. Also, look out for Neal and Bower, two bright young true freshmen who have impressed during summer workouts and have continued to do so in camp.
Opening day starter? The guess is Allen, though Hunter will see plenty of snaps.

Running back
The prime competitors: Alfred Blue, Jeremy Hill, Kenny Hilliard
Darkhorse: Terrence Magee
Outlook: With returning starter Hill reinstated following an offseason suspension the question is, will he resume his role, or will he suffer more repercussions for his off-field issues? History tells us players who find trouble at LSU don't necessarily get booted but often find themselves somewhat marginalized. That could be the case here. Blue was the opening day starter last year before suffering a knee injury, and he looks better than he did a year ago.
Opening day starter? We like Blue, and we also think Hill might not see the field in the opener as part of his punishment.

Kicker
The prime competitors: Colby Delahoussaye, James Hairston
Darkhorse: Trent Domingue
Outlook: Delahoussaye handled most of the field goals in the spring game and seems to have the edge to replace the departed Drew Alleman as the primary kicker. But Hairston, the only scholarship kicker on the team, remains in the competition, and with his stronger leg he might be the man for longer field goals. He will retain his role as the kickoff specialist.
Opening Day Starter? Delahoussaye.

No. 2 Quarterback
Prime candidates: Anthony Jennings, Stephen Rivers
Darkhorses: Rob Bolden, Hayden Rettig
Outlook: We know Zach Mettenberger is the starter, but the burning question at LSU camp is who will back him up and thus become the heir apparent to replace him in 2014? Coaches have indicated Jennings, the talented true freshman, has a slight edge over Rivers, the sophomore younger brother of Philip Rivers. But don't discount Bolden, a former starter at Penn State who is coming off injury.
Opening Day No. 2? We still like the more seasoned Rivers to come in if Mettenberger gets banged up agianst TCU, but look for Jennings to make his presence felt as the season progresses.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU is targeting many of the top athletes in the ESPN 300, some because the Tigers' strong brand name makes it an attractive option and others because the fertile Louisiana recruiting base is strong this year, even by the state's lofty standards.

Leonard Fournette
Alex Scarborough/ESPNLSU has its eyes on top recruit Leonard Fournette.
But what needs is LSU trying to meet?

That's a little trickier to figure out at LSU than many other schools because the frequency of underclassmen departures. But we can take a guess based on likely attrition.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

It was a huge weekend for LSU football.

It was also a bit of a black eye for Tigers football.

On the same weekend LSU set an NFL record with six defensive players drafted in the first three rounds and a school record with nine players total getting picked, the Tigers also had two players arrested -- their leading rusher and a draft prospect two nights before he was picked.

[+] EnlargeJeremy Hill
AP Photo/Gerald HerbertJeremy Hill's arrest over the weekend was the latest in a series of disturbing events involving LSU football players.
For as much as LSU makes news with the talent it possesses, it seems like it spends as much time being discussed lately for off-field behavior of its players. After a weekend where LSU should have been celebrating its prolific production of pro talent, the Tigers are instead dealing with questions yet again about player conduct.

Jeremy Hill, who rushed for 755 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman in 2012, is the one dominating the headlines Monday.

Already on probation after pleading guilty to carnal knowledge of a juvenile, Hill was arrested Saturday night after allegedly punching someone outside a bar near LSU and subsequently has been charged with simple battery. He was suspended from the team indefinitely by coach Les Miles on Monday.

His arrest came two nights after former Tigers cornerback Tharold Simon was arrested on several charges, including public intimidation, in a dispute with police in his hometown of Eunice, La. Despite the arrest, Simon was drafted in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks.

(Read full post)

LSU spring football primer

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
10:00
AM ET
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Here are things to know as LSU starts spring practice:

Practice dates: March 14, 15, 16, 19, 21, 23 (scrimmage), 25, 26 and 28. After spring break, resumes April 9, 11, 13 (scrimmage), 16, 18 and 20 (spring game).

What's new: Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will install his new offense, and four new starters will man the defensive line.

What's old: The Tigers have eight returning starters on offense, led by quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

Offensive outlook:
Starters returning (8): QB Mettenberger, RB Jeremy Hill, FB J.C. Copeland, WR Jarvis Landry, WR Odell Beckham, LT La'el Collins (moved from left guard), LG Josh Williford (moved from right guard), RG Trai Turner, RT Vadal Alexander.

New starters: TE Dillon Gordon or Logan Stokes, C Elliott Porter. Key reserves -- QB Stephen Rivers, RBs Alfred Blue, Kenny Hilliard and Terrance Magee, FB Connor Neighbors, LT Jerald Hawkins, RG Fehoko Fanaika, RT Ethan Pocic, WR James Wright, Kadron Boone, John Diarse and Travin Dural, TE Travis Dickson.

(Read full post)

BATON ROUGE, La. -- GTN's Gary Laney took your questions on a SportsNation chat Tuesday, but ran out of time to get to all of them. Instead, he turned them into a mailbag:

Ricky (New Orleans): How is our offensive line shaping up, since we had problems protecting Zach Mettenberger last year and our running game was not as productive as previous years?

GL: The offensive line could be the strength of the offense next year. With so many young players getting playing time, LSU has a lot of guys coming back. There are two key areas.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

After Ford, does LSU look for a RB? 

January, 8, 2013
1/08/13
8:00
AM ET
Jeremy HillNelson Chenault/US PresswireJeremy Hill will be the leading returning rusher on a stable of LSU running backs that suddenly looks thin.

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The future of the running back position seemed to be figured out for LSU.

All five backs in the Tigers' 2012 stable were underclassmen. Freshman Jeremy Hill led the group with 755 rushing yards, meaning none of the three juniors had done enough to warrant leaving early for the NFL.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Where LSU will need help: Offense 

January, 4, 2013
1/04/13
10:17
AM ET
BATON ROUGE, La. -- There are some unknown variables when trying to figure out where true freshmen might play a big role on a team.

Avery Johnson
Davide De Pas/ESPN.comClass of 2012 wide receiver Avery Johnson looks to re-enroll after going to prep school for a year. He could contribute to LSU as soon as next season.
Take LSU right tackle Vadal Alexander. The 2012 signee became a true freshman starter at right tackle halfway through the season, something nobody saw coming. But when left tackle Chris Faulk suffered a season-ending knee injury, it opened the door for Alexander to move into the lineup, and he took the job and ran with it after another veteran starting tackle, Alex Hurst, left the team.

Similarly, with a veteran stable of running backs returning, few saw true freshman Jeremy Hill emerging as a primary running back for LSU this year. Yet, it took only one injury -- to original starter Alfred Blue -- to get Hill the break he needed to start getting carries and eventually become the starter and the Tigers' leading rusher.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

LSU fans almost forgot what a regular-season loss felt like for a bit. Considering the undefeated 2011 regular season and the 10-2 seasons that bookended it in 2010 and 2012, the Tigers haven't had to deal with defeat too often recently.

[+] EnlargeMatt Elam
Kim Klement/US PresswireMatt Elam's strip of Odell Beckham Jr. turned the tide in LSU's 14-6 loss to the Gators.
That's what made two huge miscues so glaring in LSU's 14-6 loss to Florida on Oct. 6 -- it was the first time the Tigers hadn't overcome their setbacks in 18 months.

Tuesday's post trumpeted Odell Beckham Jr.'s heroics against Ole Miss, so it's only fair that today we recall perhaps the biggest play of the Tigers' loss to the Gators, in which Beckham made a monstrous play that quickly turned into a disaster.

With LSU trailing Florida 7-6 late in the third quarter, Zach Mettenberger found Beckham on a 3rd and 7 from the LSU 21. Beckham took off along the west sideline for a 56-yard gain -- all the way down to the Gators' 23 yard line. The gain would have set the Tigers up in the Florida red zone with a chance to take the lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Instead, Florida safety Matt Elam interjected. The junior caught up to Beckham and ripped the ball from the receiver's grasp, and the Gators recovered.

That would have been a major turning point all on its own, but Florida wrested control of the game following the turnover. The ensuing possession was a smashmouth 11-play, 77-yard touchdown drive that featured nothing but running plays. Gators running back Mike Gillislee plowed into the end zone six minutes later to put Florida up by eight with just 13 minutes to play.

LSU had three more possessions in the game, and not one of them crossed midfield -- Beckham's fumble ended the Tigers' final scoring threat.

In a game where LSU managed just two field goals, this was the second time the Tigers goofed up a chance at a game-changing touchdown. A fumble by Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel set LSU up on the Gators' 7-yard line with two minutes until halftime. A Spencer Ware run got the ball down to the 4-yard line, but that was as far as the Tigers could go.

After Mettenberger threw incomplete on second down, the Tigers called two timeouts in a row. The third down play looked destined to be an unlooked-for jump pass from Terrence Magee, but the receiver wasn't there and Magee plowed forward for no gain. The Tigers settled for a field goal and did not come close to the end zone again.

Plenty of fans questioned the playcall at the time, especially considering a touchdown would have given LSU a 10-0 lead at half. The loss was the first of two painful setbacks for LSU in 2012.

Miles not ready to shuffle offense

October, 9, 2012
10/09/12
8:33
AM ET
BATON ROUGE, La. -- As its beleaguered offense has looked for answers to injury and ineffective play this season, LSU has found itself shuffling players around.

The Tigers have started three running backs at least one game this season. Because of injury, three players have started at least one game at left tackle and two at right tackle. Alex Hurst has started at both right tackle and left tackle and Josh Dworaczyk has spent time at guard and tackle.

But even with a recent trend to struggle offensively against SEC opponents, including an anemic 200-yard offensive performance in last week's 14-6 loss to Florida, there are two shuffles LSU coach Les Miles isn't considering: his offensive coaching staff and the Tigers' offensive approach.

[+] EnlargeGreg Studrawa
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireOffensive coordinator Greg Studrawa will continue to call plays from the press box, LSU coach Les Miles said.
Asked if he would consider any changes in game-day responsibility for his offensive staff heading into this week's game against No. 3 South Carolina, Miles said, "We're all doing the things we've been doing for the last number of years and there's no reason to change responsibilities in my mind."

That's not exactly the case. Offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa was promoted from offensive line coach after then-offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in August 2011. Kragthorpe is now quarterbacks coach and coaches from the field while Studrawa calls plays in the press box.

Tight ends coach Steve Ensminger is available to deal with the linemen on the sideline during games.

In recent games against SEC opponents, the approach hasn't worked well. While the issues were often masked by a forgiving early schedule in which the Tigers piled up points in wins over North Texas, Idaho and Washington, LSU has managed 18 points and one touchdown in two SEC games this season.

Dating to last season's 21-0 loss to Alabama in last season's BCS championship game, the Tigers have 18 points, one touchdown and 643 yards in their last three games against SEC opponents.

"In our view," Miles said, "we have to run it and throw it better."

And maybe call plays better.

(Read full post)

Who emerged as starters in camp? 

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
9:27
AM ET
BATON ROUGE, La. - Depending how you look at it, LSU's August camp ended on Aug. 16 with the last scrimmage before the start of the fall semester, or on Aug. 21, with the last scrimmage before the Tigers shifted their focus to preparations for the Sept. 1 season opener against North Texas.

[+] EnlargeZach Mettenberger
AP Photo/Gerald HerbertZach Mettenberger will lead LSU on offense, and the Tigers might air it out more in 2012.
Either way, camp is over and the question now is who emerged from camp as the Tigers to look for in 2012.

With the caveat that the media -- and the public in general -- did not see much of the work, here's our best guess at how the Tigers will line up, position by position:

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

It's never too early for a primer on LSU running backs because there is so much to know.

[+] EnlargeLSU's Spencer Ware
Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesSpencer Ware had 110 yards and two touchdowns against Florida in 2011.
For most teams, knowing a starter and maybe a key backup is enough.

Not at LSU.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

When Katy (Texas) High School running back Adam Taylor made public his decision to commit to LSU last week, it was a surprise in many ways.

[+] EnlargeMichael Ford
John Korduner/Icon SMIMichael Ford was LSU's leading rusher in 2011 and will be in the mix again in 2012.
Mainly, it threw people for a curve because running back did not seem like a pressing need for the Tigers. LSU has its four best running backs returning and it got even better with the addition of Jeremy Hill, a much ballyhooed 2011 prospect who had to wait a year to sign because of off-the-field legal issues that have since been resolved, clearing the way for him to be part of the 2012 class.

And to make adding a running back even more perplexing is the fact that not one of the six running backs on the 2012 Tigers roster will be a senior.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Kevin Toliver II Climbs New ESPN 300
Under Armour All-American and LSU commit Kevin Toliver II, the nation's top cornerback, joins ESPN's Matt Schick to discuss the new ESPN 300, keys to managing success and the rising senior's plan to visit other colleges.Tags: Kevin Toliver II, Trinity Christian, LSU Tigers, ESPN 300, RecruitingNation, high school football recruiting, Matt Schick
VIDEO PLAYLIST video