On August 4th freshman and current tiger football players will arrive in Baton Rouge to begin the 2013 Season. On August 5th the tigers will begin fall practice for the 2013 season. There will be a full list of questions to be answered this fall.
Will any of the incoming wide recievers be able to make a difference this year? The veteran recievers include Odell Beckam Jr., Jarvis Landry, James Wright, and Kadron Boone. Those four had 143 catches but just 11 touchdowns. Travin Dural was a red shirt freshman a year ago and could add some help on the outside. John Diarse is a freshman who looked good in the spring. Quantavius Leslie was the top junior college reciever and should add another threat to the offensive arsenal.
Can Kenny Hilliard or Alfred Blue provide the rushing you know they are capable of? The Jeremy Hill situation is unknown but its hard to see him as an option until at best 4 or 5 games into the season. Again that is just tough to predict. With the departure of Spencer Ware and Michael Ford this may be one of the more questionable positions on the team.
Will the Tight End position become more a part of the offense under Cam Cameron’s offense? In spring practice reports indicated that the tight ends would be more involved in the passing game. Freshman DeSean Smith steps in to assist current tiger ends Travis Dickson and Dillon Gordon. Gordon is considered more of a blocker than reciever. If Smith can contribute this year it will give the position a major boost.
Zach Mettenberger is the starting QB but Cam Cameron is the new Quarterbacks coach and should be able to help Zach achieve more efficiency in his second year. What maybe interesting as well is to see who the back up is. Stephen Rivers and Anthony Jennings seem to be the two battling it out. Could Jennings be the change of pace quarterback the tigers are looking for. Remember we benefitted from Jordan Jefferson in the same maner.
Last year’s offensive line suffered big because Chris Faulk and Josh Williford suffered significant injuries. Alex Hurst left the team. The tigers enter the fall with 4 players playing serious minutes. Josh Williford, Trai Turner, La’el Collins, and Vadal Alexander. Ethan Pocic and Elliott Porter will compete for the starting center position. Josh Boutte and Fehoko Fanaika are two freshman who could help add depth at the guard positions. Red-shirt freshman Derrek Edinburgh and Jerald Hawkins are two that will help add depth at the tackle positions.
Perhaps the largest question regarding the defense begins up front with the defensive line. Can Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson manage the middle of the line. With the loss of Bennie Logan the two must step in front and center. Freshman Greg Gilmore, Christian Lacoutre, and Maquedious Bain will need to learn fast in order to provide quality depth. Sophomores Mickey Johnson and Quinn Thomas will be looked at as well.
The starting defensive ends will be Jermauria Rasco and Daniel Hunter. They will look for depth from junior Jordan Allen, junior Justin Maclin, and freshman Frank Herron.
The starting middle linebacker is still one of the main positions up for debate as junior D.J. Welter, senior Lamin Barrow, sophomores Ronnie Fiest and Lamar Louis will all vie for the spot. Senior Tahj Jones will lead the rest of the young linebackers including Deion Jones, Kwon Alexander, Lorenzo Phillips, and Kendal Beckwith.
Five players who contributed significant minutes in the secondary are back. Craig Loston and Ronald Martin are expected to be the starting safeties while Micah Eugene, Corey Thompson, and Jerqwinick Sandolph are the back ups.
Starters Jalen Mills and Jalen Collins battle newcomers Rashard Robinson and Tre’davious White for playing time. Also providing depth will be red-shirt freshman Kavahra Holmes and Dwayne Thomas.
The tigers arrived at the College World Series seeking their 7th national title but the season came to rough ending Tuesday with a 4-2 loss to North Carolina in an elimination game. LSU was plagued by errors and lack of timely hitting which caused them to go 0-2 in Omaha. The tigers finished a historic season with a 57-11 record but fall short of their goal of a national championship.
The tigers national championship chances took a massive hit Sunday night as they fell to the bruins 2-1. Despite a very good performance by starter Aaron Nola the LSU (57-10) defense commited 2 errors at critical moments to allow UCLA 2 runs. Bruin starter Adam Plutko kept the LSU bats silent all night with the exception of Mason Katz’s solo homer in the 4th inning. The tigers had 5 hits for the night.
LSU now faces North Carolina (57-11) in an elimination game. Carolina lost to North Carolina State 8-1. The tigers will be the home team at 2:00 Tuesday and will go with Cody Glenn on the mound. The game will be televised by ESPN.
The UCLA Bruins (44-17) will face LSU (57-9) Sunday in the opening game for each team. The Bruins have been ranked among the top 15 teams in the country all season. UCLA defeated #8 national seed Oregon in Eugene in a 3 game series in April. They hosted the Los Angeles regional and went 3-0. They then swept the super regional against the host Cal State Fullerton defeating the titans 5-3 and 3-0 to advance. The bruins average 4.8 runs per game and 3.1 runs allowed. Pitching is the very foundation of this UCLA team and they have a team ERA of 2.69. The ace of the bruin staff is Adam Plutko (8-3, 2.35) who is likely to face tigers Aaron Nola (12-0, 1.68) in the first round Sunday. Other key starters are Nick Vander Tuig (12-4, 2.37), Grant Watson (8-3, 3.22), and Codie Poteet (4-6, 4.84). They have one of the nations top closers in side-armer David Berg (0.88) who is 2nd in the nation with 22 saves.
LSU (57-9) is going back to Omaha for its first time since the 2009 National Championship. Jacoby Jones delivered a monstrous 4-hit night which helped in the 11-1 victory sending the tigers to their home away from home and another chance at a national title.
The #4 seeded tigers will open up Friday in Omaha against UCLA. The Bruins beat home standing favorite Cal State Fullerton to advance. The time of the game is not yet known.