The LSU football team worked through their second scrimmage of the fall on Saturday – a 150 snap, “thud” event in Tiger Stadium. The first team offense ran against the first team defense for much of the morning, with all phases of special teams incorporated into the play calling.
According to LSU sports information, Jordan Jefferson completed 16-of-24 passes for close to 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Brandon LaFell had five catches for 72 yards – highlighted by a 40-yard touchdown grab from Jefferson. Chris Mitchell added a 3-yard touchdown reception.
The woes continued for Jarrett Lee, who connected on 10-of-18 passes with two interceptions. Newcomer Russell Shepard saw limited time under center, where he completed 2-of-6 passes.
On the ground, Keiland Williams’ 60-yard touchdown run was the marquee play. The senior finished with 71 yards rushing on the day.
“I thought our quarterback and offense played pretty well,” said head coach Les Miles. “I think the rushing was probably a little bit lighter than what we actually achieved, but I thought we played well.”
On the defensive side, linebacker Harry Coleman and strong safety Brandon Taylor each intercepted passes. Coleman added four stops, while Ryan Backer led the way with seven tackles, including one for a three-yard loss.
“I think the defense looked good,” Miles said. “Again, I don’t know that they were tested as much considering it wasn’t tackle football today, but the defense played well. The defensive front pressured the ball, and it gave them every opportunity to defend against the rush and to pressure the passer.”
With Pep Levingston, Rahim Alem and Lavar Edwards sidelined with injuries, two freshmen Tigers showcased their skills.
“Michael Brockers appears to be a guy who will just have to play in some place, whether it be on special teams or some downs out there at end,” Miles said. “He just has a heady feel to him, and he is big and strong and tough to block. I like Sam Montgomery, and I think Sam is going to be another very good player.
“Both those guys got really key snaps [Saturday], and they are two young guys on the defensive side that I could see taking it to the field,” he added. “There are guys that they are in front of, so I think it is their abilities rather than need. And, I think [Morris] Mo Claiborne probably is going to be a back up corner.”
With game week in sight, Miles stressed the importance of the next seven days of preparation.
“This is a great week for us, because we just came off an extended learning situation, and now we are going to shrink that and take it live,” he said. “We will have a short, tackle go [Tuesday], and then we have on opportunity for extra healing days. This Tuesday will be big, and I think we will go 35 [plays] live.”
Linebacker Jacob Cutrera missed the scrimmage after being sidelined for much of the week, one of many Tigers in and out of action during preseason camp. Yet, Miles said that if the season started tomorrow, most of the injured Tigers would suit up.
“This is a preemptive hold,” he said. “Some guys are just a little nicked.”
At the end of the presser, the Tiger headman commented on the academic status of five-star safety Craig Loston.
On Friday, The Advocate’s Gary Laney reported that, per Houston-Aldine Eisenhower head football coach Ray Evans, “the (NCAA) Clearinghouse accepted it (a summer school course Loston took) and he’s good to go.”
Miles said that he was not quite ready to make the same call.
“I don’t know if [Loston] is necessarily official to go,” he said. “I read the paper, and that’s great news. I don’t know that that’s official. I am going to wait until I hear, but we are optimistic.”