LSU head coach Les Miles hints change could be coming at wide receiver for Tigers

After a woeful group performance against Eastern Michigan, LSU's wide receiving corps could be shuffling in fresh blood according to head coach Les Miles.

Change could be in store for the LSU wide receivers, at least if what head coach Les Miles said Monday is any indication.

"We're looking at shuffling the lineup," Miles conceded during his weekly press luncheon. "I'm not ready to do that in any wholesale fashion."

The Tigers sleptwalk their way to a 44-22 home win over Eastern Michigan Saturday night, and part of the reason the 45-point underdog Eagles hung around as long as they did was dropped passes from wide-outs in purple and gold.

Fourth-year junior Travin Dural let at least two balls go through his hands, including a likely touchdown right before the half, and sophomore Malachi Dupre, Scout's No. 1 receiver exiting high school in 2014, failed to corral a second-half pass in the end zone.

"Our wide receivers expect more of themselves," continued Miles. "Several guys played hard and fast. There were times when energy to the ball didn't match their abilities. It would be easy to say they weren't good enough, but they gave quality effort. Sometimes there are reasons why they didn't have success.

"We'll press those a little bit this week."

Dupre and Dural, the Tigers' two normal starters, have caught a combined 18 passes for 242 yards and only one score for LSU through four ballgames. Both are averaging well below their stellar yards-per-catch averages from a season ago as well, with Dupre at 15.2 ypr and Dural at 12.0 ypr.

"He's had plenty of opportunities," Miles said of Dural, who also had a bout of the dropsies at Syracuse. "We just need to capitalize on them and allow him to do the things he can do."

Is it likely the first duo up takes a seat for LSU when it travels to South Carolina this weekend? No, there's too much talent and size with Dupre and Dural, both 6-foot-2 and taller.

But, borrowing Miles' cue, don't be surprised if other receivers get additional playing time and targets in the passing game from quarterback Brandon Harris.

Chief among the next men up are sophomores John Diarse and Trey Quinn as well as true freshman Tyron Johnson.

Diarse, who has three catches for 31 yards this season, has played quite a bit in 2015, but he's primarily used as a perimeter blocker in the slot. Quinn, a starter in 2014 as a first-year player, has taken more of a back seat so far with only one grab for 14 yards. Johnson, a legitimate playmaker, could provide a welcome alternative as both a pass-catcher and jet-sweep rusher behind the line of scrimmage.

There's also the curious case of D.J. Chark, a player who stepped into the spotlight in spring and fall camps only to fall flat - and out of favor - in LSU's opening four games. The Alexandria native brings plenty of height and leaping ability, something that the Tigers could use some of when it comes to attack footballs in the air.

"Our wide receivers are poised to have a good year," concluded Miles, "and this was uncharacteristic of them dropping those balls."

Whether that's true or not, the latest goings on from the position corps has Miles, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and receivers coach Tony Ball mulling a shift in personnel.


Tiger Blitz Top Stories