All posts by Les East

Advocate sportswriter

Alexander replaces Jones at linebacker

ATHENS, Ga. — LSU linebacker Tahj Jones did not make the trip here for the Tigers game against Georgia because of a hamstring injury.

Sophomore Kwon Alexander will start in Jones’ place on the strong side.

Seth Fruge will try to handle his holding duties in spite of a sore knee, but if he’s unable to, wide receiver Chris Laborde will take his place.

Kickoff between No. 6 LSU (4-0 and 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference) and No. 9 Georgia (2-1 and 1-0) is set for 2:39 p.m. CDT.

For updates, follow @EastAdvocate, @RabalaisAdv and @MHarrisAdvocate on Twitter.


White, Hill to start again

Freshman Tre’Davious White will make his second consecutive start at cornerback for No. 6 LSU when it plays Auburn in its Southeastern Conference opener at 6:45 p.m. Saturday in Tiger Stadium.

White will start ahead of sophomore Jalen Collins, who was listed with White at the top of the depth chart. Running back Jeremy Hill make his second consecutive start as well. He is listed equally with Terrence Magee, Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard atop the depth chart.

Light rain has fallen intermittently on the stadium thorughout the day. Both teams are 3-0.

White, Eugene to start against Kent State

LSU has two changes in its starting defensive backfield for its game against Kent State on Saturday in Tiger Stadium. Kicokoff is scheduled for 6:02 p.m. on ESPNU.

Freshman Tre’Davious White will start in place of Jalen Collins at cornerback and Micah Eugene will start in place of strong safety Craig Loston, who suffered a leg injury in a 56-17 victory against UAB last week.

Eighth-ranked LSU (2-0) and the Golden Flashes (1-1) are meeting for the first time. The Tigers are waering their purple jerseys, which they often do for non-confernce home games that aren’t their opener.


Kickoff pushed back to 6:42 p.m.

Kickoff for LSU’s home opener against UAB was delayed until 6:42 p.m. because of lightning within the vicinity of Tiger Stadium.

The Tigers (1-0) and the Blazers (0-1) had been scheduled to start shortly after 6 p.m.

LSU running back Jeremy Hill, who’s expected to play in this game after being withheld from the season opener as punishment for a second run-in with the law, was working with the second-team offense in pre-game warm-ups.

Linebacker Tahj Jones, who didn’t make the trip to Arlington, Texas, for the Tigers’ 37-27 victory against TCU last week for unspecified reasons, was dressed and participating in pre-game warm-ups.


Roster mystery continues pregame

ARLINGTON, Texas — LSU coach Les Miles and TCU coach gary Patterson are taking the mystery surrounding their luneups right up to the 8:06 p.m. mickoff in the Cowboys Classic on Saturday night in AT&T Stadium.

Jeremy Hill is still listed as the Tigers No. 3 running back, behind Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard, as Miles has remained coy about whether Hill will play or his “suspension from play” will extend through the entire game. Miles has said Hill faces further disciplinary action beyond his offseason suspension for violating probation.

The Horned Frogs depth chart still list Trevone Boykin and Casey Pachall as equals atop the depth chart at quarterback, though it is widele assumed both will play. Defensive end Devonte Fields, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is listed as a co-starter with Matt Anderson, though it’s expected Fields will not play as punishment for violating an unspecified university rule in the spring.

AT&T Stadium is quickly filling up with fans clad in purple, which teams sport, but it appears the LSU crowd will be significantly larger than the TCU crowd.

For updates, follow @EastAdvocate, @RabalaisAdv and @MHarrisAdvocate on Twitter and join our live chat at


SEC coaches honor Loston and Johnson

LSU placed two defensive players on the Coaches’ Preseason All-Southeastern Conference first team that was released Thursday.

Senior Safety Craig Loston and junior defensive tackle Anthony Johnson were the picks as the Tigers tied Alabama and Florida for the most first-team picks on the defense.

Linebacker Lamin Barrow was named to the second team, but no Tigers were named to either of the first two offensive teams.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was on the third-team offense, was named to the first team as a return specialist and the second team as an all-purpose player. Beckham was joined on the third-team offense by running back Alfred Blue and tackle La’el Collins.

Alabama tied Georgiafor the most first-team offensive picks (three).

One of the Bulldogs’ first-team picks was quarterback Aaron Murray, who beat out reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, who was named to the second team. Bama’s AJ McCarron was the third-team quarterback.

The Crimson Tide led the league with 16 total selections, followed by LSU and Georgia with eight each and Florida and Tennessee with seven.

Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

Day 3 of fall camp under way

LSU began its third day of two-a-day practices with a workout Wednesday morning at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.

The practice was mostly uneventful during the few periods that reporters were allowed to view.

Strong safety Craig Lofton made a nifty one-handed interception at the end of a defensive backs drill.

Defensive linemen Mickey Johnson, Danielle Hunter and Quentin Thomas were on hand with the varsity after working with the younger players Tuesday afternoon.

Defensive end Jermauria Rasco continued to wear a green (non-contact) jersey as he works his way back from offseason surgery. Cornerback Jalen Mills is doing the same.

The first-team offensive line consisted of left tackle La’El Collins, left guard Josh Williford, center Elliott Porter, right guard Trai Turner and right tackle Jerald Hawkins.

Tight ends Travis Dickson, Dillon Gordon and Jake Franklin joined the line for part of its blocking drills.

Quarterback Zach Mettenberger worked with running backs Alfred Blue, Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill as well as fullback J.C. Copeland on option-read plays. In one combination, Hill lined up behind Hilliard in the backfield.

Freshmen and selected veterans are scheduled to practice at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The Tigers will follow the same routine Thursday before holding their first full-squad practice Friday morning.

For more updates follow, @EastAdvocate, @RabalaisAdv and @MHarrisAdvocate on Twitter.

LSU goes after CWS berth

LSU will try to earn a berth in the College World Series when it plays Oklahoma in Game 2 of the Baton Rouge Super Regional at 6:05 p.m. Saturday in Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers won Game 1 of the best-of-three series 2-0 on Friday night. If the Sooners win Saturday, a winner-take-all finale will be played at 6:05 p.m. Sunday.

LSU coach Paul Mainieri made one change to his starting lineup as Jared Foster replaced Andrew Stevenson in the outfield against OU left-hander Dillon Overton. Foster will play right and Mark Laird has moved from right to center.

For in-game updates, follow @EastAdvocate, @RabalaisAdvocate, @MHarrisAdvocate and @HotardAdvocate on Twitter. You can join our chat at starting at approximately 6 p.m.

Here are the starting lineups:

LSU (56-9)

1. DH Sean McMullen (.325)

2. CF Mark Laird (.295)

3. SS Alex Bregman (.379)

4. 1B Mason Katz (.373)

5. LF Raph Rhymes (.340)

6. 3B Christian Ibarra (.321)

7. 2B JaCoby Jones (.284)

8. C Ty Ross (.209)

9. RF Jared Foster (.355)

SP — RH Ryan Eades (8-1, 2.81)

Oklahoma (43-20)

1. LF Craig Aikin (.286)

2. SS Jack Mayfield (.256)

3. CF Max White (.310)

4. 1B Matt Oberste (.377)

5. 2B Hector Lorenzana (.277)

6. C Anthony Hermelyn (.280)

7. DH Colt Bickerstaff (.222)

8. RF Hunter Haley (.268)

9. 3B Garrett Carey (.277)

SP — LH Dillon Overton (9-2, 2.91)


Freshman Newman gets start in SEC semis

HOOVER, Ala. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri will give the ball to freshman right-hander Hunter Newman for the second-seeded Tigers’ game against third-seeded Arkansas in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for noon.

Top-seeded Vanderbilt and fifth-seeded Mississippi State will play in the second semifinal, which will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Saturday’s winners will meet in the championship game at 3:30 p.m.

Newman will be making his third start and 12th appearance. He was placed on the tournament roster as an extra pitcher because of the potential for a heavy pitching workload. LSU is playing its fourth game in as many days. Newman took the spot of second baseman JaCoby Jones, who has a sore left wrist.

Mainieri made two changes to his starting lineup as the Tigers face their first left-handed starter in the tournament — Razorbacks senior Randall Fant. Chris Chinea has replaced Tyler Moore, who had a game-tying RBI double in the ninth inning of a 3-2 victory against Alabama on Friday, at first base base. Jared Foster has replaced Andrew Stevenson and will play right field. Mark Laird moves from right to Stevenson’s spot in center.

For in-game updates, follow @EastAdvocate and @MHarrisAdvocate on Twitter and you can join our chat at beginning at noon.

Arkansas beat LSU 4-1 on Thursday and the Tigers won two out of three games in Fayetteville, Ark., last month.

Here are the starting lineups:

LSU (50-9)

1. DH Sean McMullen (.326)

2. CF Mark Laird (.289)

3. SS Alex Bregman (.385)

4. 2B Mason Katz (.392)

5. LF Raph Rhymes (.336)

6. 3B Christian Ibarra (.326)

7. C Ty Ross (.217)

8. 1B Chris Chinea (.267)

9. RF Jared Foster (.354)

SP — RH Hunter Newman (2-0, 2.18)

Arkansas (37-19)

1. DH Joe Serrano (.287)

2. CF Matt Vinson (.303)

3. LF Brian Anderson (.345)

4. 2B Dominic Ficociello (.260)

5. RF Tyler Spoon (.288)

6. 3B Jacob Mahan (.283)

7. C Jake Wise (.211)

8. 1B Eric Fisher (.222)

9. SS Brett McAfee (.255)

SP — LH Randall Fant (5-1, 2.08)


Aggies change to LHP vs. LSU

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M has changed starting pitchers for its game against LSU at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Blue Bell Park.

The Aggies will start freshman LH Matt Kent and they have moved junior RH Parker Ray from Friday to Saturday. Junior RH Rafael Pineda, who was scheduled to start Saturday, will not make a start in the series.

A&M won the series opener 2-1 on Friday night.

For in-game updates follow @EastAdvocate on Twitter or join our chat at at 6:30 p.m.

Here are the starting lineups:

LSU (43-7, 19-6 Southeastern Conference)

1. DH Sean McMullen (.318)

2. RF Jared Foster (.368)

3. SS Alex Bregman (.403)

4. 1B Mason Katz (.374)

5. LF Raph Rhymes (.344)

6. 3B Christian Ibarra (.354)

7. C Ty Ross (.207)

8. 2B JaCoby Jones (.285)

9. CF Andrew Stevenson (.176)

SP — RH Aaron Nola (9-0, 1.92)

Texas A&M (27-22, 11-13)

1. SS Mikey Reynolds (.368)

2. 2B Blake Allemand (.264)

3. 1B Cole Lankford (.342)

4. C Troy Stein (.305)

5. 3B Hunter Melton (.262)

6. DH Daniel Mengden (.275)

7. LF Jonathan Moroney (.254)

8. CF Krey Bratsen (.264)

9. RF Jace Statum (.229)

SP — LH Matt Kemp (2-2, 4.05)