Tigers return to soggy practice field

Early-afternoon storms made for soggy, spongy fields at the Ponderosa, and Tuesday became one of the most humid practices for the LSU football team in recent memory.

Nevertheless, the Tigers hit the grass at 3 p.m. and continued to prepare for the second game of their season, a 7 p.m. battle with Utah State this Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

"Utah State is capable of giving us a lot of problems. They do a lot of different things that are going to be different for us," LSU head coach Nick Saban said Monday. "We will have to have a good week of preparation in order to be successful. Our focus is primarily on us and what we need to do. We need to take another step toward being a dominant team and try to improve relative to that."

Three players showed up wearing jerseys and purple shorts Tuesday and watched the length of practice from the sidelines. Fullback Solomon Lee (knee) appeared with his left knee wrapped in bandage. Tailback/dime back Domanick Davis (bruised knee) and left guard Stephen Peterman (hip pointer) also stayed out of practice. John Young, a junior, took Peterman's place with the first team. Fullback Jason Baggett, who left Saturday night's game with a stomach bug, was back in practice.

"We had questions about the line at the beginning of camp," tailback LaBrandon Toefield said Monday. "But the three (returning) starters got those guys ready. I think the offensive line is going to be good."

Ryan O'Neal (shoulder) practiced in a red no-contact jersey.

Michael Clayton, who missed Monday's sessions with a bruised knee, slightly favored the knee Tuesday afternoon, but practiced with the rest of his teammates as the LSU offense took a look at the scout team that mimicked the Aggies' defense. Utah State allowed 360 yards of total offense in its 23-19 loss to Utah.

"They've got a good defense," Toefield said. "I think it's going to be a good game."

As expected, Saban has made one change in the secondary after Tulane quarterback Patrick Ramsey threw for 343 yards Saturday against LSU. Robert Davis, a senior, worked with the first-team defense at left cornerback Tuesday afternoon. Norman LeJeune, a junior, practiced with the second team.

Saban said he expected the Utah State offense to use an even blend of running and passing. 

"They'll do anything they can in the game to get a cheap score," Saban said.

SOMEBODY'S WATCHING: Scouts from the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on hand to watch practice Tuesday but declined to say which players they were evaluating.

BUTTER-FINGERED: LSU middle linebacker Treverance Faulk was the last player off the bus and jogged to the center practice field amid teasing from his buddies.

"Come on, No. 7," bellowed free safety Ryan Clark. "Come on, scissor-hands!"

Faulk dropped an interception in the end zone against Tulane.

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