All posts by Scott Rabalais

Scott Rabalais is a sports columnist and sports writer for The Advocate. A Baton Rouge native, he began working at the paper in 1991 and has covered LSU athletics since 1992.

In an upset, U-High and LSU prospect Dylan Moses No. 2 in Rivals 100 for 2017

They called him their “1A,” but declined to list University High star and LSU commitment Dylan Moses as its No. 1 prospect in its initial 2017 Rivals 100 released Monday.

That distinction instead went to defensive tackle Marvin Wilson of Houston Episcopal. Moses (6-2, 225) came in at No. 2, though with Rivals’ Mike Farrell saying it was a close call.

“It’s a strong stop five with Moses essentially 1A right now I believe,” Farrell said. “He’s a dynamic athlete and just dominates at either running back or linebacker, whatever position he chooses to play. If he grows into that edge rusher many predicted, watch out.”

Rivals lists nearly two dozen scholarship offers for Wilson (6-4, 320), including one from LSU.

Moses, who has been committed to LSU since September 2013, still has two seasons left to play at U-High. He is listed as the No. 1 prospect for 2017 by 24/7 Sports and according to ESPN does not yet have prospect rankings for 2017.

Leonard Fournette named to Hornung Award watch list

Let the award speculation season begin for LSU’s Leonard Fournette.

The sophomore tailback was one of 44 players named Monday to the Paul Hornung Award watch list. The award has been given since 2010 to the nation’s most versatile major college player.

Also named to the list are UL-Lafayette’s Elijah McGuire, Carlos Henderson of Louisiana Tech, Rashon Ceaser of UL-Monroe and New Orleans native Speedy Noil of Texas A&M.

Fournette rushed for an LSU freshman record 1,034 yards (and 10 touchdowns) last season and led the Southeastern Conference in all-purpose yards with 137.4 per game. He ranked fourth in the SEC with 26.0 yards per kickoff return, and his 1,786 all-purpose yards were the sixth-most in a season at LSU.

Fournette closed out 2014 with a career-best 264 all-purpose yards against Notre Dame, Hornung’s alma mater, in the Music City Bowl. He rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns and had a 100-yard kickoff return for another score against the Fighting Irish.

Former LSU and current New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. won the Hornung Award in 2013.

Hornung won the 1956 Heisman Trophy and was also an announcer on LSU’s former pay-per-view network TigerVision in the 1980s.

Kickoff times set for first two LSU games

The Southeastern Conference on Thursday released kickoff times for the first three weeks of the season, setting times for LSU’s games with McNeese State and Mississippi State.

LSU will host McNeese State at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 in Tiger Stadium. The game will be on the SEC Network.

The Tigers will then travel to Mississippi State for an 8:15 p.m. game Sept. 12. That game will be on ESPN.

LSU’s Sept. 19 home game against Auburn was previously announced as being a 2:30 p.m. game on CBS.

No other kickoff times for LSU games have been set, though it’s assumed the Tigers’ Oct. 3 home game with Eastern Michigan and Oct. 24 home game with Western Kentucky will both be at night.

In addition, CBS has set its annual day time/prime time doubleheader for Nov. 7, the week of LSU’s game at Alabama, with kickoffs at 2:30 and 7 p.m. CBS has shown the LSU-Bama game in prime time since 2011.

Kickoff times were also set for two other games involving in-state schools.

Louisiana-Lafayette’s Sept. 5 game at Kentucky will be at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. Louisiana-Monroe’s Sept. 5 game at Georgia will be at noon on the SEC Network.


Sept. 5  McNeese State  6:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Sept. 12  at Mississippi State  8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Sept. 19  Auburn  2:30 p.m. (CBS)

Sept. 26  at Syracuse (TBA)

Oct. 3  Eastern Michigan (TBA)

Oct. 10  at South Carolina (TBA)

Oct. 17  Florida (TBA)

Oct. 24  Western Kentucky (TBA)

Nov. 7  at Alabama (TBA)

Nov. 14  Arkansas (TBA)

Nov. 21  at Ole Miss (TBA)

Nov.  28  Texas A&M (TBA)


Spring Practice Observations, Day 11: Big Cat and ball security

Tuesday marked Day 11 of LSU spring practice, the Tigers’ second-to-last workout before spring break.

The Tigers worked out in shoulder pads, helmets and short pants under warm, sunny skies at the Charles McClendon Football Practice Facility.

After a brief warm up in position groups, the Tigers gathered for their regular Big Cat drill. A matchup between improving sophomore wide receiver D.J. Chark and sophomore cornerback Ed Paris drew an, “Oooooh!” from LSU coach Les Miles.

At first, middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith playfully stepped in to square off with Chark. After Miles waved him off, Paris took his stance. He and Chark battled to a standoff, after which Paris leaped up and kicked the air with delight.

Only a few more minutes of individual practice drills were open to the media. Quarterbacks worked on ball security drills, as players tried to tug the ball out of each other’s grasp. Wide receivers worked on agility drills as they navigated an obstacle course of pads under the watch of new position coach Tony Ball.

The Tigers will practice again Thursday before taking a 12-day break. LSU will have two more practice sessions before the annual Spring Game, April 18 in Tiger Stadium.

Spring Practice Observations, Day 8: Big Cat and blue skies

The LSU football team went through Day 8 of spring practice Tuesday, putting the Tigers just over the halfway point of this year’s 15-day spring practice schedule.

The Tigers worked outdoors, greeted by sunny skies and mild temperatures as they practiced in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts.

The afternoon session started as usual with the Big Cat drill, the one-on-one wrestling matches between offensive and defensive players.

In the Big Cat, tight end Dillon Gordon beat defensive end Sione Teuhema, while middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith and fullback Tony Upchurch, a redshirt freshman, battled to a draw.

Sophomore wide receiver Trey Quinn got handled in his Big Cat drill but came back and plowed through a blocker moments later before the team broke up for individual position drills.

Spring practice runs through April 18 when LSU hosts its annual Spring Game in Tiger Stadium.

Marcus Spears says LSU should make Brick Haley its DC

DALLASMarcus Spears says LSU needs to stick a Brick in that hole in its football staff.

The former LSU and Dallas Cowboys defensive end said Saturday that the school should promote defensive line coach Brick Haley to replace the departed John Chavis.

“They need to stop messing around and hire Brick,” said Spears, who was in attendance at CFP National Championship Game media day. “He knows organization and he’s been a defensive coordinator before.”

Haley, who arrived at LSU along with Chavis in 2009, was defensive coordinator at Baylor from 1999-2001.

It was initially thought Haley would follow Chavis to Texas A&M. But with LSU’s search for a replacement dragging on well into its second week, there is growing speculation Haley could be in line for a promotion.

During Oregon’s media day session Ducks defensive coordinator Don Pellum, whose name has been connected in some reports to the Tigers’ vacancy, brushed off questions about whether he’s been contacted by LSU.

“I’m just trying to win a football game,” said Pellum, a former Oregon player and long-time assistant.

Spears, who just completed his first football season as an analyst on the SEC Network, still lives in the Dallas suburb of Frisco.

He said rarely does a trip back to Baton Rouge go by without someone talking to him about his 20-yard interception return for a touchdown off Oklahoma quarterback Jason White in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, the difference in LSU’s 21-14 BCS-clinching victory.

Actually, Spears said watching Ohio State’s 42-35 Sugar Bowl upset of Alabama, the 41-yard pick six by Buckeyes defensive end Steve Smith reminded him of his play.

“He dropped into coverage just like I did,” Spears said.

LSU national bowl projections: Week 14

Here’s the updated list of national bowl projections for the LSU Tigers heading into the championship/final weekend of the regular season.

Bowl bids will be announced Sunday after the College Football Playoff semifinals are announced, probably around 3:30 p.m.

There remains a huge disparity in LSU’s  bowl projections, everything from a return trip to the Outback Bowl (unlikely) to the Independence Bowl (even more unlikely, nearly nil).

Our pick continues to be for the Taxslayer (formerly Gator) Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, though LSU’s prospects of returning to Houston for the Texas Bowl also remain high.

Here’s a link to our analysis of LSU’s bowl prospects earlier this week.

National bowl projections

  • Bill Bender, The Sporting News: Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Independence Bowl vs. Virginia Tech
  • Outback Bowl vs. Nebraska
  • Zac Ells, Taxslayer vs. Maryland
  • Mike Huguenin, Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Jason Kirk, Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Stewart Mandel, Taxslayer vs. Maryland
  • Brett McMurphy, Taxslayer Bowl vs. Louisville
  • Jerry Palm, Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Brant Parsons, Orlando Sentinel: Belk Bowl vs. Notre Dame
  • Alex Scarborough (SEC blogger) and Adam Rittenberg (Big Ten blogger), Taxslayer Bowl vs. Iowa
  • Mark Schlabach, Belk Bowl vs. North Carolina
  • Erick Smith, USA Today: Music City Bowl vs. Minnesota
  • Phil Steele, Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Jim Tomlin, Tampa Bay Times: Texas Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Christopher Wilson, Yahoo! Sports: Music City Bowl vs. Duke

Bowl guide

  • Independence Bowl, Dec. 27, Shreveport
  • Liberty Bowl, Dec. 29, Memphis
  • Texas Bowl, Dec. 29, Houston
  • Belk Bowl, Dec. 30, Charlotte
  • Music City Bowl, Dec. 30, Nashville
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1, Tampa
  • Taxslayer Bowl, Jan. 2, Jacksonville

Five memorable games: LSU vs. Texas A&M

Now positioned at the end of the regular season, the LSU-Texas A&M game is poised to take off as THE rivalry in the SEC for the Tigers and Aggies. Of course, these two have been big rivals long before A&M joined the SEC in 2012. Here’s a look back at five memorable games from this colorful rivalry (LSU leads the series 29-20-3, 2-0 since A&M joined the SEC but A&M leads 7-2-1 in College Station):

Jan. 1, 1944 – LSU 19, Texas A&M 14: The Tigers travel to Miami for this Orange Bowl meeting with the Aggies by train and in cars with wartime fuel stamps saved up by LSU fans. They return home in 18 used cars purchased by a booster. In between, Steve Van Buren runs for two scores and throws for another in the Tigers’ first bowl win in four tries.

Sept. 19, 1970 – Texas A&M 20, LSU 18: In its season opener, LSU leads 18-13 with less than a minute left and A&M pinned at its 21. On third down, Aggie quarterback Lex James launches an 89-yard touchdown pass to Hugh McElroy, who scores with :13 left. The Tigers recover to go 9-3 and win their only SEC title under Charles McClendon.

Sept. 2, 1989 – Texas A&M 28, LSU 16: A No. 7-ranked LSU team expected to be a national title contender sees its hopes evaporate in the time it takes A&M’s Larry Horton to return the season’s first kickoff 92 yards for a score. The play is a portent of a dark age to come as LSU would finish 4-7, the first of six straight losing seasons.

Jan. 7, 2011 – LSU 41, Texas A&M 24: A crowd of 83,514 packs Cowboys (now AT&T) Stadium for this Cotton Bowl showdown, the first game between the Tigers and Aggies since 1995. LSU claws out of an early 10-0 hole with 288 yards rushing and three Jordan Jefferson to Terrence Toliver touchdown passes to finish 11-2 and No. 7 in the polls.

Oct. 20, 2012 – LSU 24, Texas A&M 19: Johnny Manziel runs wild against LSU – for a half – but the Tigers eventually corral the eventual Heisman Trophy winner, forcing him into three interceptions as the Tigers rally from a 12-0 deficit for the win. Jeremy Hill rushes for 127 yards, including the game-winning 47-yard touchdown run with 3:12 left.



LSU bowl projections: Week 13

The end of the regular season is drawing near, and still no clear consensus out there as to where the LSU Tigers will go bowling this season.

Among 15 national bowl projections, the Tigers are picked to go to seven different bowls, with the most popular choices the Texas and Belk bowls with four predictions each.

This week brings the prediction of a new bowl: Jason Kirk of now has LSU sliding outside the pool of six bowls (Outback, Taxslayer, Texas, Music City, Liberty and Belk) the SEC will pick to the Birmingham Bowl on Jan. 3

Bowl bids will be announced Sunday, Dec. 7, the day after the conference championship games are played.


  • Bill Bender, The Sporting News: Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Sam Kahn Jr. (SEC blogger) and Jake Trotter (Big 12 blogger), Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Outback Bowl vs. Wisconsin
  • Belk Bowl vs. North Carolina
  • Brad Crawford, Belk Bowl vs. Notre Dame
  • Zac Ellis, Taxslayer Bowl vs. Maryland
  • Jason Kirk, Birmingham Bowl vs. Memphis
  • Steve Lassan, Athlon Sports: Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports: Music City vs. Louisville
  • Brett McMurphy, Taxslayer Bowl vs. Notre Dame
  • Dave Miller, Texas Bowl vs. Texas
  • Jerry Palm, Texas Bowl vs. West Virginia
  • Brant Parsons, Orlando Sentinel: Belk Bowl vs. Louisville
  • Mark Schlabach, Taxslayer Bowl vs. Minnesota
  • Phil Steele, Belk Bowl vs. Duke


No matter if LSU finishes 8-4 with a win over Texas A&M or 7-5 with a loss to the Aggies, a few things appear likely.

One, LSU won’t return to the Outback Bowl. Despite the SEC’s insistence that the pool of six bowls are equal, the Outback looks like the first among equals and thus will likely get a team with a better record than LSU could offer.

Two, the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, makes little sense for the Tigers when it could have six-win South Carolina, Florida or Tennessee or Kentucky (if the latter two win this weekend) much closer at hand. It’s hard to see thousands of LSU fans flocking to Charlotte to watch a 7-5 Tigers team play two days before New Year’s, though it’s possible that opponent could be Notre Dame.

Three, a wild card in the mix is whether the Texas Bowl will get its dream paring of Texas and Texas A&M. There are conflicting reports as to whether one school or the other (or the SEC) would veto it, but if a veto doesn’t happen it appears highly unlikely the Tigers land there. For what it’s worth, ESPN’s three bowl projections (Brett McMurphy, Mark Schlabach and bloggers Sam Kahn Jr. and Jake Trotter combined) project an Aggies-Longhorns Texas Bowl.

So let’s assume A&M and Texas will fill Houston’s NRG Stadium with deep-seated animosity on Dec. 29. That probably leaves LSU to the Taxslayer, Liberty or Music City bowls. The Tigers slipping to the Birmingham Bowl, even at 7-5, seems far fetched. That’s a 6-6 team bowl for sure.

We continue to feel an 8-4 LSU team would be headed to Jacksonville, Florida, for the Taxslayer (formerly Gator) bowl. There was interest by the Taxslayer in LSU last year and there are whispers that there’s interest again. If not, especially if the Tigers are 7-5, it makes most geographic sense for LSU to go to the Liberty over the Music City Bowl, though either could happen.

But we have to make a pick. So we’ll say LSU wins Thursday and goes to the Taxslayer Bowl, and heads to the Liberty Bowl with a loss.


  • Texas Bowl: Dec. 29, Houston
  • Liberty Bowl: Dec. 29, Memphis
  • Music City Bowl: Dec. 30, Nashville
  • Belk Bowl: Dec. 30, Charlotte
  • Outback Bowl: Jan. 1, Tampa
  • Taxslayer Bowl: Jan. 2, Jacksonville
  • Birmingham Bowl: Jan. 3, Birmingham

LSU in the NFL: Week 12

Odell Beckham Jr.’s spectacular catch Sunday for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys remains the talk of the NFL and the highlight of the year so far for former LSU players in the NFL.


Here’s the complete list of LSU players in the NFL through the first 12 weeks of the regular season:

Name, Years at LSU, Team, Position, Week 12 Status/stats; Season

Joe Barksdale, 2007-10, St. Louis Rams, OT, Season: Started all games

Lamin Barrow, 2009-13, Denver Broncos, LB, W12: Started, no stats; Season: 5 tackles

Odell Beckham Jr., 2011­-13, New York Giants, WR, W12: 10 receptions, 146 yards, two touchdowns, 1 carry for -2 yards rushing; Season: 41-609 5 TDs receiving, 3-22 rushing, 8 punt returns for 55 yards

Alfred Blue, 2010­-13, Houston Texans, RB, W12: 16-46 rushing, 3-20 receiving; Season: 120-436 rushing, 9-76 1 TD rushing, 1 blocked punt (TD), 2 fumble recoveries, 2 tackles

Punt (TD), 2 FR, 2 ST Tackle

Dwayne Bowe, 2003­-06, Kansas City Chiefs, WR, W12: 3-42 receiving; Season: 44-551 receiving

Michael Brockers, 2009-­11, St. Louis Rams, DT, W12: 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QBH; Season: 16 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 PBU, 3 QBH, 1 FR

Ron Brooks, 2007­-11, Buffalo Bills, CB, W12: Inactive; Season: 10 tackles

Morris Claiborne, 2009-11, Dallas Cowboys, CB, Placed on Injured Reserve; Season: 7 tackles, 1 INT, 1 QBH, 2 PBU

Ryan Clark, 1997­-2001, Washington Redskins, FS, W12: 4 tackles, 1 FR; Season: 60 Tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 FR

Glenn Dorsey, 2004-07, San Francisco 49ers, DT, Injured Reserve/Designated to Return list

Lavar Edwards, 2008-12, Dallas Cowboys, DE, W12: practice squad; Season: 1 tackle

Ego Ferguson, 2010-13, Chicago Bears, DT, W12: 1 tackle; Season: 18 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 2 PBU

Matt Flynn, 2003-07, Green Bay Packers, QB, W12: Did not play.; Season: 7-15, 60 yds., 1 INT; 1-(-1) rushing

Jeremy Hill, 2012­-13, Cincinnati Bengals, RB, W12: 18-87 1 TD rushing, 1-9 receiving; Season: 131-643 6 TDs rushing, 17-138 receiving

Tyson Jackson, 2004-­08, Atlanta Falcons, DE, W12: 1 tackle, 2 QBH; Season: 18 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 PBU, 2 QBH

Ricky Jean­ Francois, 2005-­08, Indianapolis Colts, DT, W12: 1 QBH, 1 PBU; Season: 19 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 QBH, 5 PBU, 1 FR

Anthony Johnson, 2011­-13, Miami Dolphins, DT, W12: Inactive; Season: 1 tackle, 1 QBH, 1 FR

Donnie Jones, 2000­-03, Philadelphia Eagles, P, W 12: 3 punts, 45.0 avg.; Season: 53 punts, 43.6 avg.

Brandon LaFell, 2005-­09, New England Patriots, WR, W12: 9-98 receiving; Season: 48-674 5 TDs receiving

Jarvis Landry, 2011­-13, Miami Dolphins, WR, W12: 7-50 2 TDs receiving, 1 KR for 20 yards, 1 PR for 17 yards; Season 49-450 5 TDs receiving, 2-(-4) rushing, 3 tackles, 23 KR for 641 yards, 19 PR for 160 yards

LaRon Landry, 2003­-06, Indianapolis Colts, S, W12: 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 2 QBH; Season: 29 tackles, 2 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 3 QBH

Bennie Logan, 2009­-12, Philadelphia Eagles, DT, W12: 1 tackle, 1 PBU, 1 FF; Season: 37 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 QBH, 1 FF

Craig Loston, 2009­-13, Jacksonville Jaguars, S, W12: no stats; Season: 2 tackles

Tyrann Mathieu, 2010-­11, Arizona Cardinals, DB, W12: 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH; Season: 27 tackles, 2 TFL, 3 QBH, 4 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FR

Danny McCray, 2006-09, Chicago Bears, S, W12: no stats; Season: 20 tackles, 1 FR

Zach Mettenberger, 2011-­13, Tennessee Titans, QB, W12: 20­39, 345 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT passing, 2-(-2) rushing; Season: 80­136, 1,103 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INT passing, 3-(-3) rushing

Barkevious Mingo, 2010­-12, Cleveland Browns, LB, W12: 1 PBU; Season: 29 tackles, 2 QBH, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 FR, 2 PBU

Kevin Minter, 2009­-12, Arizona Cardinals, LB, W12: 5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 QBH; Season: 28 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QBH

Sam Montgomery, 2009-­12, Cincinnati Bengals, LB, Season: practice squad

Patrick Peterson, 2008­-10, Arizona Cardinals, CB/RS, W12: 3 tackles., 1 PBU; Season: 29 tackles, 5 PBU, 2 INT, 1 TD

Rueben Randle, 2009­-11, New York Giants, WR, W12: 3-36 receiving; Season: 53-557 2 TDs receiving

Eric Reid, 2010­-12, San Francisco 49ers, S, W12: 4 tackles, 1 PBU; Season: 32 tackles, 1 QBH, 3 PBU, 2 INT

Stevan Ridley, 2007-10, New England Patriots, RB, Placed on Injured Reserve; Season: 94-340 2 TD rushing, 4-20 receiving

Perry Riley Jr., 2006-­09, Washington Redskins, LB, W12: 6 tackles; Season: 52 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 2 TFL, 1 PBU

Russell Shepard, 2009-­12, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR, W12: 1 tackle; Season: 2-30 receiving, 9 tackles

Kelvin Sheppard, 2006­-10, Miami Dolphins, LB, W12: no stats; Season: 12 tackles

Tharold Simon, 2010­-12, Seattle Seahawks, CB, W12: no stats; Season: 7 tackles, 1 PBU

Trai Turner, 2011­-13, Carolina Panthers, OG, W12: Bye; Season: started 8 games

Andrew Whitworth, 2002-­05, Cincinnati Bengals, OG; Season: started all games

Kyle Williams, 2002­-05, Buffalo Bills, DT, W12: 5 tackles, 1 TFL; Season: 29 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 4 QBH

Brad Wing, 2010­-12, Pittsburgh Steelers, P, W12: bye; Season: 45 punts, 43.8 avg.

Al Woods, 2006­-09, Tennessee Titans, DT, W12: 3 tackles; Season: 20 tackles

James Wright, 2010-­13, Cincinnati Bengals, WR, W12: no stats; Season: 2-32 receiving, 2-21 rushing, 3 tackles, 1 FF

On NFL roster in 2014­15, but not currently on a roster

Kendrick Adams, 2010-11, n/a, LB, Preseason week 3: Waived by Titans

Kadron Boone, 2010-13, n/a, WR, Waived from Rams practice squad, W8

J.C. Copeland, 2010-13, n/a, FB, P4: Released by Cowboys

Chris Faulk, 2010-12, n/a, OL, Waived by Browns on July 29

Michael Ford, 2009-12, n/a, RB, P4: Waived by Bears

Trindon Holliday, 2006-09, n/a, WR/RS, Waived by Buccaneers on Oct. 31; Season: 2 PR, 17 yards, 2 KR, 45 yards

Drake Nevis, 2007-10, n/a, DT, Waived by Panthers on Aug. 30

Craig Steltz, 2004-07, n/a, S, P3: Released by Bears

Curtis Taylor, 2004-08, n/a, S, P4: Waived by Cardinals on Aug. 30

Spencer Ware, 2010-12, n/a, RB, P4: Waived by Seahawks on Aug. 30

Keiland Williams, 2006-09, n/a, RB, free agent