Now that Green has moved on, LSU is left searching for a return specialist who will be able to set up the offense with prime field position. Against UL-Lafayette, the Tigers' heir-apparent failed to completely distinguish himself.
LSU's special teams suffered a bit of drop-disease last Saturday as the Tigers lost the handle on two punts and the kickoff to start the second half. Chevis Jackson and Trindon Holliday each had problems holding onto punts, while Early Doucet fumbled the kickoff to start the second half. Doucet was the only Tiger who managed to recover his loss.
"We cannot turn the ball over as a punt returner," LSU Coach Les Miles said. "Those two mistakes we can't make again. We need to get that fixed."
Daniel Francis was the third LSU player to field a punt. Francis, Jackson and Holliday combined for four returns for a total of 29 yards, an average of 7.25 yards per return. By contrast, Green averaged 13.3 yards per punt return in 2005 and 19.7 yards per kickoff return.
Despite the Tigers' woes on returns, Miles remains confident in the players called upon against UL-Lafayette.
"I still think that Chevis Jackson is very sound there," Miles said. "I have no problem with him returning punts. We'll probably get some other guys going in the punt return game. I think that Daniel Francis really looked good. We wanted to get Trindon some snaps. We're trying to get him comfortable on the field."
NO WIN, NO RAIN, NO LIGHTNING, ON TIME
For the first time since LSU's
season opener in 2002 against Virginia Tech, the Tigers actually started the
first game of a football campaign as scheduled. In 2003, LSU's opener with
UL-Monroe was delayed due to lightning. In 2004, the Tigers and
IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT IN
Due to LSU's usage as a triage
center last year, Public Address Announcer Dan Borné's traditional uttered
phrase as the Tigers rush out onto the field was modified. For years Borné had
proclaimed, "It's Saturday Night in
21-0 AND 957-22
Regardless what initials they've used, the Ragin' Cajuns still have never defeated the Tigers on the gridiron. In a series that dates back to 1902, with just two games being played since 1938, LSU has outscored UL-Lafayette by the gaudy total of 957-22 and now holds a 21-0 advantage in wins and losses. Prior to last Saturday the Ragin' Cajuns hadn't scored against LSU since October 4, 1924.
When JaMarcus Russell connected
with Dwayne Bowe for a 28-yard strike with 54 seconds to go in the first half,
he became the first LSU quarterback to throw for three touchdowns since Matt Flynn connected for three scores through the air against
Four-time NBA World Champion and LSU legend Shaquille O'Neal made an appearance at halftime with University Chancellor Sean O'Keefe. O'Neal, who enveloped O'Keefe with an extended hug that lasted for around five yards, received the first newly issued LSU license plate and a football jersey with his retired No. 33 and name gracing it.
"I didn't think I was going to be able to keep my balance," the over six-foot tall O'Keefe said of the embrace afterwards. "It was the first time in my life I felt like a little person."
O'Neal returned to
"I just wanted to come here and talk to the students and touch on some important issues – education, responsibility and stuff like that," O'Neal said previously.