Tigers businesslike in Saturday practice

With its first opponent of the 2001 season warming up for a pre-season game, the LSU football team continued to prepare for its Sept. 1 opener against Tulane with a businesslike practice Saturday afternoon.

For the first three periods of practice, the Tigers conducted themselves in a professional, efficient manner Saturday as they hustled to each assignment under clear skies and 87-degree weather.

Even head coach Nick Saban, who had taken to occasionally cutting jokes with onlookers while he paced the fields during previous sessions, took the no-nonsense approach as he jogged from sideline to sideline.

Saban got his players to the field earlier than 12:20 p.m., the scheduled starting time. From there, they went through formations and worked on several formations and plays at less-than-full speed before the team assembled to stretch.

Solomon Lee worked with the first team at fullback while the Tigers worked on the I-formation, while Devery Henderson and Michael Clayton pleased coaches with a few dazzling catches in the early drills.

Scout-team members wore gold nylon bibs as they emulated the opposition.

"We won't (finalize) our preparations for Tulane until after their game on Saturday," Saban said at a Friday news conference. "We want to see if there are any significant differences in what they will do on special teams, offensively or defensively."

Meanwhile, 1,865 miles from Baton Rouge, Green Wave coach Chris Scelfo readied his team to play against Brigham Young in the Black Coaches' Association Classic in Provo, Utah, at 3:30 p.m.

"We are just looking at it as a game that is not a warm up for LSU," said Tulane quarterback Patrick Ramsey. "We are totally focused on BYU and will focus on LSU when this game is over."

Back at the Ponderosa, very few players missed the second installment of game preparations for their season opener.

Freshman defensive end Brandon Washington watched his teammates while dressed in a gray T-shirt and purple shorts with an unknown injury. Redshirt freshman Kade Comeaux wore a red no-contact jersey, as he continues to work through an injured shoulder. Senior tight end Robert Royal missed practice again with a twisted ankle, but is expected to be back in action early next week.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Lionel Turner will be out for at least one week after he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

The Tigers will not work out Sunday — their second day off in four days — but will re-convene on the practice fields Monday afternoon at 3 p.m., just a few hours after many of them will have attended their first college class.

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