UPDATE: LSU’s athletic media relations office sent a release at 3:30 p.m. Thursday confirming that Shepard will be eligible to return for the fourth game of the season.
A source close to the program confirmed late Wednesday night that Shepard’s NCAA-imposed suspension has been set at three games, which means he will sit out this week’s game against Northwestern State and next week’s SEC opener at Mississippi State.
Shepard tied for second on the team last season with 33 receptions, which covered 249 yards and included a touchdown grab against North Carolina in the first game of the season. Shepard also rushed for 226 on 32 attempts and scored twice on the ground.
His first game this season will be a road trip on West Virginia on Sept. 24, the Tigers’ last game of September.
Since being suspended late last month, Shepard has continued to practice.
Miles with the media
LSU coach Les Miles had two sessions with the media Wednesday, as well as his weekly radio show.
Sticking to the script he introduced Monday, Miles said the focus this week is strictly on Northwestern State and that neither he nor his players are peeking ahead at the Thursday road trip to Starkville on Sept. 15.
He talked about a goal of turning the page and said the Demons have the Tigers’ full attention.
“I look at one thing,” Miles said. “I look at how my team is planning and how the plan is for that game. I do not go to the next opponent. It just would not be something that I would allow.”
Miles also said there is work to do across the board after a 40-27 triumph against No. 3-ranked Oregon to begin the new season and said there could be personnel changes on some of the special teams units.
Asked specifically about a passing game that was efficient but unspectacular, Miles said “I just think we can be a little more consistent. There were a lot of good things in that game for an opener, but we need to hit some of these throws a little more consistently.”
The topic of Texas A&M’s imminent entry into the SEC was also a hot topic, first on the SEC coaches teleconference and again in the afternoon when he brought up the topic himself.
“How about A&M?” Miles said. “You guys want me to talk about that?
“I think it’s a great opportunity to be involved with the prospective student-athletes in the state of Texas.”
With the addition of the Aggies, it’s likely only a matter of time before the SEC expands further and moves toward a 14- or 16-team mega-conference.
That’s not unexpected, Miles said, calling it “just a matter of time.”
More hardware for Mathieu
LSU sophomore Tyrann Mathieu picked up another honor Wednesday when he was named the national Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week.
The Tigers’ mercurial cornerback/nickel back recorded 10 tackles, one forced fumble, two pass breakups and a tackle for a loss in the victory against Oregon, playing all 82 defensive snaps
Black, Byrd at Cook Hotel on Saturday
Former LSU stars Demetrius Byrd and Ciron Black will meet fans and sign autographs from 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday at The Cook Hotel and Conference Center at LSU (3838 West Lakeshore Drive).
Fans will be limited to two items per person to be autographed. Real Sports Fundraising will have a variety of items for purchase to be signed as well as an array of other autographed memorabilia.
City police and LSU police have listed the best traffic routes for motorists driving to Tiger Stadium for games this fall.
From the North: Use either River Road, Nicholson Drive, Highland Road or Dalrymple Drive. From these routes, parking will be available north of the stadium, on Nicholson Drive near the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse and at Kirby Smith Residence Hall lots.
Southbound traffic on Nicholson Drive will be forced to turn at McKinley Street except for vehicles that have parking passes.
Southbound traffic on Highland Road will be directed to McKinley westbound to River Road.
From the East or South: Use either College Drive, Acadian/Stanford exit, Highland Road or Burbank Drive and Nicholson Drive. Parking for those using these routes is available on Gourrier Lane south of the stadium, off River Road near the Mississippi River and or additional lots east of the stadium in the vicinity of the John M. Parker Coliseum.
Traffic traveling north on Highland from Dalrymple will not be allowed to turn onto Roosevelt once the band lot is full; traffic will be directed to McKinley westbound at that time where it can proceed to River Road.
From South on Nicholson/BurbankFans coming from the south on Nicholson Drive or Burbank will be routed to Gourrier Lane, then River Road. One-Way Traffic to Stadium (90 minutes prior to kickoff).
Approximately 90 minutes prior to kickoff, police will direct one-way traffic only toward Tiger Stadium on the following routes: Highland Road from Lee Drive, West Lakeshore Drive from Stanford, Nicholson Drive Extension from Parker Boulevard, Dalrymple Drive from the I-10 overpass.
Going South: After the game, southbound traffic from the stadium will be directed onto Nicholson Drive and Burbank Drive or to River Road.
River Road will be one-way traffic from Gourrier Drive to Brightside Lane, and fans who are traveling in the left lane of River Road will be directed to turn left onto Brightside Lane while fans traveling in the right lane of River Road will be directed to continue straight.
Going North: After the game, northbound traffic west of Tiger Stadium will be directed onto Nicholson Drive or to River Road. River Road from Skip Bertman Drive to South Boulevard will be one-way traffic. Northbound traffic east of Tiger Stadium will be directed onto Highland Road. Dalrymple will be one-way traffic from Highland Road to I-10.