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Former LSU star Landry wins AFC honor for October

Former LSU wide receiver Jarvis Landry was named Thursday as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October.

Landry, a second-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins this spring, earned the honor after returning five kickoffs for 178 yards and averaged 35.6 yards per return with a long of 54 yards for the month.

Landry’s 35.6 average was the second-highest in the NFL in October. For the season, he has returned 16 kicks for 500 yards, including a long of 74, for an average of 31.3 yards per kickoff return to lead the league.

The former LutcherHigh School star is the first Dolphins player to win the monthly award since kicker Dan Carpenter earned it in October 2010.

Landry is also the first rookie to win the award since Oakland Raiders kick returner Jacoby Ford did it in November 2010.

LSU bowl projections: Week 9

Just four weeks ago, there was serious doubt whether the LSU Tigers could win enough games to make it to any bowl.

Now you can hear the crunching of numbers as people try to figure out if LSU – currently No. 19 in the inaugural College Football Playoff rankings – can make it into a CFP semifinal.

That seems quite a stretch at this point, but LSU’s bowl prospects are definitely pointing north after the Tigers improved to 7-2 Saturday with a 10-7 upset of then No. 3-ranked Ole Miss (still No. 4 in the CFP rankings).

We’ve compiled 14 national projections and the most popular pick still has the Tigers going to the Taxslayer Bowl, Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida, with seven. But five national picks also have LSU returning to the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida, where the Tigers beat Iowa on New Year’s Day.

One pick, by ESPN SEC blogger Edward Aschoff, has LSU in the Citrus Bowl (formerly Capital One Bowl) on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Florida. ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg picks Nebraska as that conference’s representative, setting up an LSU matchup with former defensive coordinator and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini.

One other pick has LSU in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bowl bids will be extended Sunday, Dec. 7, following the slotting of teams in the CFP semifinals (Sugar and Rose) and the remaining four CFP bowls (Orange, Cotton, Peach and Fiesta).

After teams are selected for the six CFP bowls and the Citrus Bowl makes its pick, the SEC will slot its remaining bowl-eligible teams into the bowls with which the conference has ties.

BOWL PROJECTIONS

  • Edward Aschoff (SEC blogger) and Adam Rittenberg (Big Ten blogger): Citrus Bowl vs. Nebraska
  • Bill Bender, The Sporting News: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Maryland
  • CollegeFootballMadness.com: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Rutgers
  • CollegeFootballNews.com: Outback Bowl vs. Wisconsin
  • Brad Crawford, SaturdayDownSouth.com: Outback Bowl vs. Nebraska
  • Zac Ellis, SI.com: Outback vs. OhioState
  • Jason Kirk, SBNation.com: Liberty Bowl vs. Baylor
  • Brett McMurphy, ESPN.com: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Louisville
  • Dave Miller, NationalFootballPost.com: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Maryland
  • Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Maryland
  • Brant Parsons, Orlando Sentinel: Outback Bowl vs. Wisconsin
  • Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com: Outback Bowl vs. Nebraska
  • Erick Smith, USAToday.com: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Minnesota
  • Phil Steele, PhilSteele.com: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Maryland

THE ADVOCATE’S PICK

If LSU remains the sixth highest-ranked SEC team as it stands right now, the Tigers’ bowl trip would depend how many SEC teams ahead of LSU would be in the CFP playoff.

Let’s figure conservatively on one SEC team in the CFP semifinals, two more in the other four CFP bowls and one in the Citrus. That would put LSU in the “Pool of Six” bowls which will be assigned by the SEC (Outback, Taxslayer, MusicCity, Liberty, Texas and Belk).

While a growing number of projections have LSU returning to the Outback Bowl, we continue to figure the Tigers’ most likely destination continues to look like the Taxslayer Bowl. It’s still a relatively prestigious destination compared to the other bowls considering it’s the only one in the “Pool of Six” besides the Outback played in January, and if LSU is in the top six SEC bowl teams (assuming a 9-3 or 8-4 finish), the Tigers should merit some better bowl consideration.

However, it must be said the criteria the SEC will use to assign bowl teams is a big unknown.

If the Tigers run the table to finish 10-2, it’s entirely possible LSU could vault into the top 10-12 teams in the CFP and have a chance of snaring one of the non-semifinal CFP bowl berths (Cotton, Peach, Orange, Fiesta) or at least the Citrus Bowl.

BOWL GUIDE

  • Liberty Bowl: Dec. 29, Memphis
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1, Tampa
  • Citrus Bowl, Jan. 1, Orlando
  • TaxSlayer Bowl: Jan. 2, Jacksonville

LSU in the NFL: Week 8

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

Name, Years at LSU, Team, Position, Week 4, Status/stats, Season

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

Lamin Barrow, 2009-13, Denver Broncos, LB, Week 8: no stats, Season: 4 tackles

Odell Beckham Jr., 2011-13, New York Giants, WR, W8: bye, Season: 10 receptions, 106 yards, 3 TDs, 1 rush, 13 yards

Alfred Blue, 2010-13, Houston Texans, RB, W8: 14-42 rushing, 1-22 receiving, Season: 61-221 rushing, 5-59, 1 TD receiving, blocked punt (TD), 1 fumble recovery, 2 tackles

Kadron Boone, 2010-13, St. Louis Rams, WR, Signed to practice squad in W8, no stats

Dwayne Bowe, 2003-06, Kansas City Chiefs, WR, W8: 6-64 receiving, Season: 25-346 receiving

Michael Brockers, 2009-11, St. Louis Rams, DT, W8: 1 tackles, Season: 7 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 FR

Ron Brooks, 2007-11, Buffalo Bills, CB, W8: 1 tackle, Season: 10 tackles

Morris Claiborne, 2009-11, Dallas Cowboys, CB, Injured reserve, Season: 7 tackles, 1 INT, 1 QBH, 2 PBU

Ryan Clark, 1997-2001, Washington Redskins, FS, W8: 5 tackles, Season: 44 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 PBU

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

Lavar Edwards, 2008-12, Dallas Cowboys, DE, W8: no stats, Season: 1 tackle

Ego Ferguson, 2010-13, Chicago Bears, DT, W8: 3 tackles, Season: 12 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 2 PBU

Matt Flynn, 2003-07, Green Bay Packers, QB, W8: 1-1 passing, 8 yards, Season: 4-8, 30 yds., 1 INT; 1-(-1) rushing

Jeremy Hill, 2012-13, Cincinnati Bengals, RB, W8: 10-25 rushing, 4-28 receiving, Season: 50-195, 3 TDs rushing, 13-101 receiving

Trindon Holliday, 2006-09, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR/RS, W8: 2 punt returns, 17 yds., 2 kickoff returns, 45, 45 yds.

Tyson Jackson, 2004-08, Atlanta Falcons, DE, W8: 1 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU, Season: 15 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 PBUs

Ricky Jean-Francois, 2005-08, Indianapolis Colts, DT, W8: 3 tackles, 1 TFL, Season: 18 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 QBH, 3 PBU, 1 FR

Anthony Johnson, 2011-13, Miami Dolphins, DT, W8: inactive, Season: 1 tackle, 1 QBH, 1 FR

Donnie Jones, 2000-03, Philadelphia Eagles, P, W8: 6 punts, 48.0 avg., Season: 36 punts, 44.7 avg.

Brandon LaFell, 2005-09, New England Patriots, WR, W8: 11-124, 1 TD receiving, Season: 30-461, 4 TDs receiving

Jarvis Landry, 2011-13, Miami Dolphins, WR, W8: 3-23 receiving, 1-4 rushing, 1 KR, 32 yds., 2 PR, 10 yds., Season 25-255, 1 TD receiving, 1-4 rushing, 2 tackles; 17 KR, 465 yds., 13 PR, 83 yds.

LaRon Landry, 2003-06, Indianapolis Colts, S, W5-8: suspended, Season: 23 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 QBH

Bennie Logan, 2009-12, Philadelphia Eagles, DT, W8: 4 tackles, 1 QBH, Season: 28 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 QBH

Craig Loston, 2009-13, Jacksonville Jaguars, S, W8: no stats, Season: 1 tackle

Tyrann Mathieu, 2010-11, Arizona Cardinals, DB, W8: 4 tackles, 1 PBU, Season: 16 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH, 2 PBU, 1 FR

Danny McCray, 2006-09, Chicago Bears, S, W8: inactive, Season: 17 tackles, 1 FR, 1 tackle

Zach Mettenberger, 2011-13, Tennessee Titans, QB, W8: 27-41 passing, 299 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT., 1-(-1) rushing, Season: 29-46 passing, 316 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT., 1-(-1) rushing

Barkevious Mingo, 2010-12, Cleveland Browns, LB, W8: 2 tackles, 1 QBH, 1 FR, Season: 17 tackles, 1 QBH, 1 FR

Kevin Minter, 2009-12, Arizona Cardinals, LB, W8: 3 tackles, Season: 19 tackles, 1 TFL

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

Patrick Peterson, 2008-10, Arizona Cardinals, CB/RS, W8: 5 tackles, Season: 21 tackles, 1 PBU

Rueben Randle, 2009-11, New York Giants, WR, W8: bye, Season: 34-321 receiving, 3 TDs

Eric Reid, 2010-12, San Francisco 49ers, S, W8: bye, Season: 13 tackles, 1 PBU, 1 INT

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

Perry Riley Jr., 2006-09, Washington Redskins, LB, W8: 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 PBU, Season: 34 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 PBU

Russell Shepard, 2009-12, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR, W8: no stats, Season: 2-30 receiving, 6 tackles

Kelvin Sheppard, 2006-10, Miami Dolphins, LB, W8: 3 tackles, Season: 8 tackles

Tharold Simon, 2010-12, Seattle Seahawks, CB, W8: 2 tackles, Season: 3 tackles

Trai Turner, 2011-13, Carolina Panthers, OG, W8: inactive, Season: started first 7 games

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

Kyle Williams, 2002-05, Buffalo Bills, DT, W8: no stats, Season: 16 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 4 QBH

Brad Wing, 2010-12, Pittsburgh Steelers, P, W8: 2 punts, 44.5 avg., Season: 35 punts, 44.2 avg.

Al Woods, 2006-09, Tennessee Titans, DT, W8: 2 tackles, Season: 14 tackles

James Wright, 2010-13, Cincinnati Bengals, WR, W8: 1 tackle, Season: 1-24 receiving, 2 tackles

On NFL roster in 2014-15, but not currently

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

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

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

Twitter Mailbag: The improving O-line; Jennings’ target-locking ways; and LSU’s finish

LSU's O-line has improved greatly since the game at Auburn. (Travis Spradling)

LSU’s O-line has improved greatly since the game at Auburn. (Travis Spradling)

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

If a player isn’t seeing a lot of playing time and is healthy, it usually means one thing: Other players are better. That’s just the truth of it.

And, you’re right, LSU doesn’t pass the ball much so receivers – especially depth at receiver – aren’t a major concern. The Tigers have a handful of guys who they can rely on and that’s good enough. Those guys: Trey Quinn, Malachi Dupre, Travin Dural and John Diarse.

You’re noticing that the O-line is improving and thus want to see more passing? Think the opposite.

The O-line’s improvement will likely mean more running from LSU and its deep running back position. The Tigers linemen – for whatever reason – have started opening up holes like never before. That lends itself to more running. Les Miles isn’t going to stray from that scheme, especially if his O-line is playing well – which it is.

Jennings has struggled in several spots, and this is one. He hones in on a certain target (namely Travin Dural), but, just like several areas in Jennings’ game, that’s getting better.

We saw him, for instance, target Trey Quinn just as much Saturday as he did Dural. But on many of those throws, Quinn was the primary. Plain and simple: coaches are giving Jennings easy, high-percentage throws. They don’t want him thinking too much. Don’t expect that to change too much.

The SEC West is a hodgepodge for now. It’s crazy to think about, but LSU could finish in a five-way tie for the SEC West leave. It’s improbable, yes, but possible.

It’s tough to see LSU winning its final three games (that would mean its final six after a 4-2 start). The best scenario would be to split the two remaining road games against Arkansas and Texas A&M and hope the Tigers get some special teams help and assistance from the 102,000 to stun Alabama.

That would put the Tigers finishing at 9-3, which is where many fans had them projected before the season.

Oh, I think there will be a competition. This year’s quarterback battle stretched into the sixth game of the season (Brandon Harris started at Auburn). There’s no reason to think Harris won’t again challenge Jennings.

I’m gonna take a stab at it and say that a very similar competition will unfold over the off-season that unraveled this past spring and summer. And LSU may enter next season as it did this one – with Jennings as an unsteady starter and Harris as a talented backup who’s poised to take over mid-season.

Les Miles: Magee is “fine”; Valentine likely to redshirt

Running back Terrence Magee is “fine,” and freshman defensive tackle Travonte Valentine is likely to redshirt this season, coach Les Miles said after practice Tuesday.

Terrence Magee suffered an inadvertent poke to the eye against Ole Miss, Les Miles said. (Bill Feig)

Terrence Magee suffered an inadvertent poke to the eye against Ole Miss, Les Miles said. (Bill Feig)

Magee was inadvertently “gouged” in the eye in the win over Ole Miss. Miles suggested that the senior did not practice Tuesday but that he would later in the week.

Valentine, meanwhile, is set to be redshirted, the coach hinted. The Southeastern Conference has not ruled Valentine eligible, despite him being cleared by the NCAA. The four-star defensive tackle prospect from Florida is allowed to practice with the team but not play.

Asked if Valentine will be redshirted, Miles said, “I don’t imagine he’d see any action any time soon unless we get some unusual communicative information.”

Other notes from Miles’ address to reporters, the only time the coach will meet with the local media on this bye week:

  • Miles on having getting a bye before Alabama game (LSU has played nine straight games): “Nine straight games, correct? There’s some bumps and bruises there. Couple of extra days of non-practice really make a difference.”
  • DT Davon Godchaux has had a few personnel foul penalties this season. He picked up two against Ole Miss and was ejected late in the game after the second: “I think he enjoys the ability to communicate after the whistle. I think that that is generally a problem.”
  • LSU was given off Monday and practice Tuesday. The Tigers will practice Wednesday and Thursday and will have a “team run” Friday. Miles is allowing players off for the weekend.
  • LSU did not work out the Alabama game play at Tuesday’s practice, Miles said. Drills were conducted mostly focusing on special teams and the No. 1s vs. the No. 1s.
  • Miles on the death of LSU fan Brian Tingley in Tiger Stadium late during the win over Ole Miss (Tingley died of a heart attack in the north end zone stands: “What a tragedy to have a young man – 59-years old, Brian Tingley – pass away in our end zone, back end with three minutes left to go. Good news is the score was already established at that point, but, in some ways, may be the best place to be. Wish him well, wish his family well.”

Frank Wilson: “If La’el Collins is not a top-five draft pick, I’ll kiss my own ass”

La'el Collins had a "monstrous" game against Ole Miss, says Frank Wilson. (Travis Spradling)

La’el Collins had a “monstrous” game against Ole Miss, says Frank Wilson. (Travis Spradling)

LSU recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Frank Wilson says he’ll pucker up if LT La’el Collins doesn’t get drafted this spring in the top five, according to comments he made in a Fox Sports story posted Monday.

Wilson called Collins’ game in the 10-7 win over Ole Miss “monstrous” and added this:

“If La’el Collins is not a top-five draft pick, I’ll kiss my own ass,” he said.

LSU assistants aren’t usually made available to local reporters. Wilson and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron were quoted in the Fox Sports story. Here are some other nuggets from the story:

  • Running back Leonard Fournette’s facemask was ripped nearly clean off on LSU’s game-winning drive. The running back arrived at the sidelined and said, “Hurry up so I can get back in there,” according to Wilson.

  • Wilson on Fournette, who has been noticeably more patient over the last month this season: “He’s being patient now and knows that every carry is not always gonna be (a) home run,” Wilson said. “Sometimes it may only be (a) six-yard run. Sometimes it may only go for three. He’s figuring out that he can’t always cut back across the grain, and that the defense is like a puzzle and they have their pursuit angles, and that our line is taught specifically about how they take their steps and what their hat place (needs to be on a certain play), so you can’t be on a different page from them. He gets that now.”
  • Cameron on Fournette, the former No. 1 recruit who leads LSU in rushing with 657 yards: “In my book, he’s even better than I thought.”
  • Wilson says LSU is “a different team” with Kendell Beckwith in at middle linebacker: “He’s 6-3, 250 and so physical. He’s a true Mike with 4.5 speed. He just needed to recognize what the offense was doing and now he’s playing fast because before he was thinking all the time.” Beckwith likely had the best game of his career against Ole Miss.

How I Voted: Week 9

Dak Prescott, Josh Robinson and Mississippi State continued to roll Saturday (AP).

Dak Prescott, Josh Robinson and Mississippi State continued to roll Saturday (AP).

How I Voted will be a weekly blog in which Ross Dellenger reveals his AP Top 25 voting with a blurb on each explaining that team’s ranking.

1. Mississippi State

2. Florida State

3. Alabama (UP 1)

4. Auburn (UP 1)

5. Georgia (UP 1)

6. Notre Dame (UP 2)

7. Oregon

8. Kansas State (UP 1)

9. Michigan State (UP 1)

10. Baylor (UP 2)

11. TCU (UP 2)

12. Ole Miss (DOWN 9)

13. Ohio State (DOWN 2)

14. Nebraska

15. Arizona State

16. Arizona (UP 1)

17. Utah (UP 2)

18. LSU (UP 5)

19. West Virginia (UP 5)

20. Oklahoma 

21. East Carolina

22. Clemson

23. Marshall (UP 2)

24. Missouri (NR)

25. Wisconsin (NR)

  • Others considered: Colorado State, Louisivlle
  • Biggest jump: LSU and West Virginia both moved up five spots.
  • Biggest fall: Southern Cal fell from No. 16 to out of the top 25, a drop of nine spots. Ole Miss, after a loss at LSU, dropped nine spots to No. 12.
  • Questionable move: We dropped the Rebels pretty substantially – nine spots. They slipped past a host of one-loss teams, including Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. And they beat Bama earlier this season.
  • Newbies: Missouri (24), Wisconsin (25)
  • Dropped out: Southern Cal (16)

Live chat during the game between No. 3 Ole Miss and No. 24 LSU in Tiger Stadium

Live Blog Live chat during the game between No. 3 Ole Miss and No. 24 LSU in Tiger Stadium