Tigers working around adjusted schedule

With LSU's season opener at Mississippi State being played on a Thursday night, game week preparations began last Friday.

Last Friday, the Tigers took part in a light practice session inside the LSU Indoor Facility. That practice resembled a typical "light" Sunday workout the day after a game as the team prepares for the next opponent. LSU coach Les Miles met with the media following Saturday's practice, which was a typical Monday practice session in a normal game week.


"It has been a little awkward, but I think our guys have really responded well to it," Miles said of the revised practice schedule. "We designated a couple of weekdays as the weekend last week. (Last Wednesday and Thursday) was ‘the weekend'.


"We gave the players some time off. They came back and it appears they have handled their business well. They looked fresh and ready for practice today. The preparation will be pretty equal."


Saturday's workout also saw the return of backup linebacker Jacob Cutrera, who had been out of action since injuring his elbow in LSU's second scrimmage of camp. Cutrera, who also sees action on special teams for the Tigers, is expected to see action against Mississippi State on Thursday night.


Miles also used a portion of his post-practice session with the media to compliment the play of the LSU offensive line. The Tigers will have two first-time starters at right guard and right tackle against Mississippi State in sophomore Lyle Hitt and senior Carnell Stewart. The Tigers will also have a pair of true freshmen listed on the two-deep come Thursday night.


"They had a good practice today," Miles said of the offensive line. "The young tackles are still pursuing the field still in the two-deep. Our offensive line is coming around. The first-time starters are fun to watch. It's fun to see how they interpret how they play over the length of a game. We will have two first-time starters there (Lyle Hitt and Carnell Stewart). I think they will both play well."


Other starters on the offensive line for the Tigers include three players who started last year for LSU in sophomore left tackle Ciron Black, junior left guard Herman Johnson and junior center Brett Helms.


Thursday's opener with Mississippi State marks the first time since 1991 that the Tigers open the regular season with an SEC opponent on the road. LSU lost to Georgia 31-10 in Athens in the 1991 season opener.


"It's not ideal, but there are reasons to do it," Miles said of opening the season against a conference team. "Being on national television that day, being the first team on television to start the year and having the opportunity to come back and have a long preparation for our next opponent. There are some reasons to do it."


Miles also announced that the squad voted on game captains for the season opener and that Matt Flynn (offense), Glenn Dorsey (defense) and Craig Steltz (special teams) will serve as captains against Mississippi State.


"Every senior class has to provide that leadership," Miles said. "In this instance, the unity council has done a great job. The captains have been elected by the team for this game: on defense, Glenn Dorsey, on offense, Matt Flynn and on special teams, Craig Steltz. Those guys are part of the unity council. They are also great leaders on our team. Our leadership has been just what we need. There is a great attitude that surrounds this team. We sure have enjoyed practicing with them. This week we get to play a game."

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