Light rain awaits LSU, Towson

A light rain has been falling on Tiger Stadium most of the afternoon as the No. 3 Tigers prepare to play Towson in a nonconference game Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6:02 p.m.

The playing surface seems unaffected by the rain, but the crowd has been slower than normal to arrive. LSU will wear purple jerseys for the second consecutive home game.

The Tigers are 4-0 and preparing to play their final nonconference game of the season. The Towson Tigers, an FCS team, are 2-1 and ranked No. 12.

For in-game updates, follow @LesEast, @Scott Rabalais and @s_hotard on Twitter.

Join Scott Hotard and Pierce Huff for an in-game chat at www.theadvocate.com.

 

 

In-game chat during the Towson-LSU game

Times of interest: LSU-Towson

Times of interest for Saturday’s LSU-Towson game at Tiger Stadium:

9 a.m.-LSU SportShop opens

Noon-LSU Ticket Office opens

2 p.m.-L-Club Tailgate (L-Club Room at PMAC)

2:30 p.m.-TAF Tailgate Party (PMAC)

3 p.m.-Club level and Suites open at Tiger Stadium

3:15 p.m.-LSU Student gates open at Tiger Stadium

3:30 p.m.-All remaining gates open at Tiger Stadium

3:50 p.m.-LSU walks down “Victory Hill”

4 p.m.-LSU Game Day radio show at Zatarain’s Tiger One Village

4:05 p.m.-Mike VI comes down Victory Hill

4:10 p.m.-LSU band comes down Victory Hill

5:27 p.m.-Mike the Tiger and LSU Cheerleaders field parade

5:43 p.m.-Guest captain presentation: Merle Schexnaildre, 1958 Chinese Bandits

5:45 p.m.-LSU band takes the field for pregame performance

5:51 p.m.-Playing of LSU alma mater and National Anthem

5:56 p.m.-LSU intro video

5:58 p.m.-LSU takes the field

5:59 p.m.-Towson takes the field

5:59 p.m.-Coin toss

6:02 p.m.-Kickoff: LSU vs.  Towson on ESPNU

 

LSU football chat with Scott Rabalais

Pick Six with CST analyst Greg Bowser

This week’s Pick Six isn’t with a beat writer covering LSU’s opponent, but with Cox Sports Television color analyst and former Tiger defensive lineman Greg Bowser. Bowser has been doing CST replay telecasts since 2005. When not calling football, Bowser is executive vice-president of the Louisiana Chemical Association.

What is your impression of LSU’s team so far this season, and did that impression change greatly after the Tigers’ close call at Auburn?

I think this team has some very good talent, but they have to find a leader on offense and their receivers have to catch the ball better.  That impression did not change after the Auburn game.

With Alfred Blue probably out for the season, LSU has now lost four starters from the preseason. Which of these losses – Mathieu, Jones, Faulk or Blue – has been the toughest blow for the Tigers and how does the team deal with that particular loss?

The toughest blow has been the lost of Faulk. Offensive line is the one position where LSU has very little depth. Also, it is hard to get a good left tackle.

Give us your thoughts on quarterback Zach Mettenberger, how he may (or may not) be an improvement over Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee and what he still needs to work on.

I think Zach has everything you look for in an SEC starting quarterback, but he just has not played much football at this level (SEC).  I believe Zach will have to make some plays in the passing game for LSU to have a really successful season.

Which area of the team or position or player has been the biggest surprise to you so far?

The biggest surprise to me has been the play of the young defensive backs. The loss of Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu meant the lost of a great deal of experience. Also, we must remember there is a new defensive back coach this year (Corey Raymond). But those young guys have played much better than expected.

What is something about calling a game on television that the viewers don’t know about?

The amount of time and the number of people it takes to make it all work. We spend a great deal of time during the week preparing for the game. While it takes time,  broadcasting the actual game is so much fun.

Is this really the No. 3 team in the country right now, and by that we mean a true BCS contender? If not, where does LSU have to improve to be that kind of team that can beat any team on its schedule?

I think at this stage in the season LSU is a true BCS contender. But I also think LSU has to improve in some key areas to really be a contender at the end of the season: 1) It has to get better play from the wide receiver position (has to catch the ball better); 2) solve the left tackle problems; 3) Mettenberger has to complete the long passes when the defense gives it to him; and 4) avoid any more key injuries (especially the offensive line).

Les Miles says Alfred Blue may be out for year

For the first time Wednesday, LSU coach Les Miles admitted that injured running back Alfred Blue may be lost for the season.

“I’m not overly optimistic,” Miles said as he met with reporters following Wednesday’s practice for Saturday’s home game againts Towson (6 p.m., ESPNU).

“I think he’s going to come back, but I don’t know the length of time,” Miles added.

Asked if Blue might be out for the entire season, Miles said yes.

Blue suffered a knee injury Sept. 15 in LSU’s 63-14 victory over Idaho. There has been speculation that he will would be out four to six weeks but could possibly return this season, but apparently that may not be the case.

Beating out a deep and talented group of running backs to be named LSU’s starter in August, Blue rushed for 123 yards on 16 carries in the Tigers’ season opener against North Texas. He had 101 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries against Washington, and had 10 carries for 49 yards and a TD against Idaho before leaving the game.

Blue’s injury leaves LSU with four healthy tailbacks: juniors Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, sophomore Kenny Hilliard and freshman Jeremy Hill. Hilliard assumed the starting role in Blue’s absence last Saturday at Auburn, but it was Ware (16 carries, 90 yards) who led LSU in rushing.

If he doesn’t return, Blue would be the fourth LSU starter lost for the season, following cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (dismissal), linebacker Tahj Jones (academics) and left tackle Chris Faulk (knee).

LSU works on being smarter

LSU coach Les Miles said the Tigers have addressed the mistakes they made in their 12-10 victory at Auburn last weekend as they prepare to play Towson in a nonconference game Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

 “It’s the responsibility of every position group and every guy in our room to understand that we not only have to do things that are tough and hard, but also smart,” Miles said Wednesday morning during the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference. “We’re coaching technique and what to do and when to do it. We’re about improving.”

No. 3 LSU was penalized nine times against Auburn, bringing its four-game total to 32. The Tigers turned the ball over for the fourth consecutive game and had their first multiple-turnover game, losing two fumbles.

Miles said the team can benefit from playing its first tight game of the season. LSU didn’t have the game in hand until Tharold Simon made an interception with no time left on the clock.

“A time comes in a game where you win the game,” Miles said. “Sometimes last year we won in the third quarter or demonstrated to our opponent that it was not going to be their day. This was good for us because we had to play well in a timely fashion on the road. We were comfortable in our own skin with how we were going to handle the game.

“I think an identity can be formed with the back end of that game as we go forward.”

Miles said it has always been his philosophy to play freshmen when they are ready to contribute and that it’s more important than ever to play freshmen because the most talented players can leave for the NFL after their junior seasons.

“You’ve got to get them ready earlier because they can leave earlier,” Miles said. “It’s something you have to do. They can give you strength. It’s a very important piece.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recruit Tahaan Goodman still good with LSU

Nationally recruited safety prospect Tahaan Goodman of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., continues to have the LSU Tigers high on his radar, telling 24/7 Sports earlier this week that his only currently scheduled official visit is to Baton Rouge for the Nov. 3 game against Alabama.

Goodman (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) also has plans to take officials to USC and UCLA. He’s also being pursued by Oregon, Washington, Florida, Florida State and USF, schools that could also factor into his last two official visits.

Goodman and Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza cornerback Priest Willis have said they would like to go to the same school, though Goodman said in the article he could see them going their separate ways despite their close friendship.

Willis (6-2, 200) will also visit LSU for the Alabama game after scheduled trips to Notre Dame (Oct. 13) and Nebraska (Oct. 27).

Goodman is No. 44 on the Rivals 100, No. 53 on the 24/7 Sports Top 247, No. 58 on the Scout 300 and No. 96 on the ESPNU 150.

Willis is No. 23 on the 24/7 Sports Top 247 and Scout 300, No. 58 on the ESPNU 150 and No. 84 on the Rivals 100.

LSU-TCU to meet Aug. 31 in Cowboys Classic

It’s official: the Tigers and Horned Frogs will tussle at Jerry World.

LSU and ESPN announced Tuesday that, as expected, LSU and TCU will open the 2013 season against each other in the fifth annual Cowboys Classic at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The game will be played on Saturday, Aug. 31. According to ESPN, the game will either be on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

“The Cowboys Classic has become one of the premier events in college football and we are excited about making another appearance there to start the 2013 season on national television,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said. “The Dallas-Fort Worth area is also rich with LSU supporters and we look forward to taking the Tigers to a great LSU following.”

This will be LSU’s second appearance in the Cowboys Classic in three years. The Tigers beat Oregon there 40-27 to open the 2011 season.

This will be the first football meeting between LSU and TCU since 1968. The Tigers lead the series 5-2-1 against the Fort Worth-based school, whose campus lies just 18 miles west of Cowboys Stadium.

TCU, which joined the Big 12 this season, is currently 3-0 and ranked No. 15 in The Associated Press Top 25. The Horned Frogs lead the nation in scoring defense (4.3 points per game).

This game will cancel a planned home-and-home series between the two schools previously scheduled to begin in 2013.

LSU still has two other non-conference games scheduled for Tiger Stadium: Sept. 14 against UAB and Oct. 26 against Furman. Barring an unexpected switch by the SEC from eight to nine conference games, LSU has one non-conference game to schedule.

 

LSU football to start 2013 against TCU in Arlington

The LSU football team will open the 2013 season against TCU in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas, the schools announced Wednesday afternoon.
According to the news release, the game “will take place on Saturday, Aug. 31 and will be televised by either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.”
“The Cowboys Classic has become one of the premier events in college football and we are excited about making another appearance there to start the 2013 season on national television, “ LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said in a statement. “The Dallas-Fort Worth area is also rich with LSU supporters and we look forward to taking the Tigers to a great LSU following.”
Next year’s season-opener will mark the second time that the Tigers will appear in the Cowboys Classic as fourth-ranked LSU beat third-ranked Oregon, 40-27, to open the 2011 season at the event in Arlington.
LSU opened the 2011 season by facing Oregon in Cowboys Stadium. The Tigers won that game 40-27.
According to LSU, LSU leads the series with TCU 5-2-1. LSU and TCU first met on Jan. 1, 1936 in the Sugar Bowl with the Horned Frogs winning, 3-2.