Skyler Green: Tigers' ultimate dual threat

Fans love him. Defenses hate him. Punters fear him. That pretty much sums up Skyler Green and his season thus far.

In nine games this season, Green ranks second on the team in receptions with 27, but none of those have found the endzone. The only touchdown Green has on the year came off a 66 yard punt return against Auburn.

But that one touchdown has made special teams coaches around the conference wary of kicking the ball to Green. Punters have tried everything from aiming to the sidelines and squib kicks to keep the ball out of Green's hands.

This avoidance may leave Green's fans, who raise five fingers in the air before every punt as a sign of respect to number 5, with a bitter taste in their mouths, but not Green. He knows that each time the opposing punter tries to kick the ball away from him, the Tigers usually end up with good field position on their next drive, giving them a better opportunity to score.

"They help you put yourself in a position to win the game," Green said.

Green knows his chance to return a punt will come again. Instead of becoming frustrated with the lack of punts to him, he just patiently waits for his chance to make the most out of an opportunity.

"Once I get out there and get the ball in my hands, that's all I expect to do – just make a big play," Green said.

One Tiger who has been making big plays this season is quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Green said he has seen a growth in Russell throughout this season, and is only a short distance away from becoming an all around complete player.

"He's done a good job of leading his offense," Green said about Russell. "He gets on the field and he is very sound at what he does. He's pretty close. He's getting there."

Russell's development has also helped other players get better during the season. Green said as the season has progressed and the chances of an SEC Championship Game bid seem more likely, more guys have increased their intensity and stepped up their play on the field.

"You see more guys making big plays in practice," Green said.

Green acknowledged Craig "Buster" Davis as one player who has started to come out of his shell and be a huge part of the Tiger offense. Green said Davis is the best at defining his routes, and wishes he could learn how to run his routes like Davis.

Although he has not caught a touchdown pass yet this season, Green has stayed optimistic about his role in the offense.

"I have no doubt in our coaching staff that they're going to spread the ball around and give me the chance to make big plays," he said.

Green's biggest game this season came against Mississippi State where he caught 9 receptions for 64 yards. In addition to his 26 catches on the year, Green also has 6 rushes for 77 yards.

However, Green said he does not concern himself with the stats. All he worries about is the next opponent the Tigers play and how he can help his team win.

Although Green watches game film on every opponent, he tries not to focus so much on their defense as the Tiger offense.

"I think we need to be more focused on what we do, and put everything on us and not worry so much about them," Green said.

He said the best way to be successful in the conference is to find your own weaknesses and learn to overcome them.

One area of trouble Green and the Tigers have overcome is winning on the road. Last season, all three of LSU's losses came outside of Tiger Stadium. This year, however, the Tigers are a perfect 4-0 when not playing in Baton Rouge.

One of the most challenging aspects of road games to overcome is the crowd noise. Green said the noise can be a factor with the wide receivers because of their distance from the quarterback, but they just have to find a way to get the correct call.

"We're the widest guys out," Green said. "As a receiver, we have to watch the quarterback because he's making the checks and we can't hear him out there."

For Green, the noise is just one more obstacle LSU has conquered this season. With the Tigers at a 9-1 record and in the driver's seat for the SEC West title, Green is feeling pretty good about his senior season.

"That's all we do is win around here," he said.

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