Weather limits Tigers in final scrimmage

A violent mid-afternoon thunderstorm delayed the LSU Tigers second and final scrimmage of fall camp Wednesday afternoon in Tiger Stadium. <br><br> Dark clouds moved into the Baton Rouge area around 3p.m. just as the Tigers got finished stretching. Instead of downsizing the scrimmage by moving the rehearsal indoors, head coach Nick Saban took his team back into the locker room and waited out the storm.

After an hour delay, the Tigers were back out on the playing field in Tiger Stadium and went through a two hour workout.


"We had a little adversity out there to deal with in terms of the weather," LSU coach Nick Saban told the media following the scrimmage. "We were two minutes away from starting the scrimmage and we had already gone through 20 to 30 minutes of warm-ups before we had lightning and thunder and a little bit of rain. We then had to go sit in the locker room for 45 minutes. Like I told the players, there might be some occasion where we have to play a game and go through that."


Offensive highlights included Joseph Addai rushing for a 70-yard touchdown. Also, Michael Clayton caught seven passes for 102 yards and a score.


Addai, who had 83 yards rushing on only four carries. Addai's 70-yard run came against the No. 2 defense. Barrington Edwards, who had a 66-yard run against the No. 3 defense, has 70 yards on five carries, while Justin Vincent added 29 yards on 10 attempts and Shyrone Carey 23 yards on seven rushes.


Matt Mauck led all quarterbacks by connecting on 12 of 27 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. Mauck threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Clayton in the redzone portion of the scrimmage and he also led two drives that were capped by field goals of 22 and 21 yards by Ryan Gaudet.


Marcus Randall connected on 11 of 22 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown. Randall, who played with both the Nos. 1 and 2 offenses, threw a 12-yard TD pass to Carey to cap an 11-play, 55-yard drive against the No. 2 defense. Matt Flynn hit on 3 of 4 passes for 22 yards, including a 4-yard TD pass to Gino Giambelluca, while JaMarcus Russell was 3 of 12 for 38 yards.


Saban also praised his offensive teams for handling the weather as there were no problems with fumbles or turnovers.


"We had an interception but it was a tipped ball," Saban said. "And we only had one bad exchange on a shotgun snap."


The interception was by emerging linebacker Eric Alexander, who picked off the tipped ball from linebacker Adrian Mayes and raced for a 23-yard defensive score. LSU's first defensive unit registered four sacks, with Marquise Hill, Chad Lavalais, Travis Daniels and Kyle Williams each recording one stop.


"I think we passed rushed a little bit better on defense and we had a lot of good pressure on the quarterback, which was a good thing," Saban said. "We didn't give up a lot of big plays with the first defense and I was really pleased with the effort and intensity. The tackling was good and there was a lot of good hitting. Now the focus is we have to get everybody healed up and rested and get ready to play a game."


Cornerback Corey Webster led the way with four tackles and two pass breakups, safety LaRon Landry with five tackles, linebacker Jason LeDoux with eight tackles and linebacker Lionel Turner with three stops. Hill and Marcus Spears each added several quarterback hurries as well.


The battle at place kicker, one of LSU's major question marks, heated up Wednesday as true freshman Chris Jackson and redshirt freshman Ryan Gaudet continue to slug it out. Gaudet was a perfect 3 of 3 on field goals, hitting from 21, 22 and 42 yards, while Chris Jackson was 1 of 2, making a 40-yarder and missing from 50 yards out.


Saban said it is obvious the players are ready for the season to begin after a hot, rough and tumble fall camp.


"I think the players are ready for camp to be over, and I think the coaches are ready for camp to be over," Saban said. "I am looking forward to the challenges of the season and what this team might be able to accomplish. There are certainly some things we need to work on. I feel like we have made good progress, and I am anxious to see how we will compete when we put on the silks and get ready to roll."


The Tigers open the 2003 season Saturday, August 30 when they host the University of Louisiana – Monroe at 7 p.m.

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