BATON ROUGE, La. – With Saturday’s game with FCS opponent Chattanooga expected to be as competitive as Joey Chestnut against a tray of hot dogs, some sports books haven’t even set a point spread for the contest. But for the diehards who will be locked into the LSU game instead of the trio of marquee entrees Saturday night, here are five things to watch.
Guess who’s back?
While Ed Orgeron was coy about it last week, 13 players were held out of the season opener against BYU because of injury or disciplinary reasons. Among them were two presumed starters: linebacker Donnie Alexander and cornerback Kevin Toliver. Redshirt freshman Andraez “Greedy” Williams got the start in place of Toliver and secured his first career interception, while true freshman Tyler Taylor started for Alexander and was solid in the middle. Will the veterans reclaim their starting roles, or did the pups do enough to earn more snaps?
LSU played 17 true freshmen against BYU, which tied for the most in the nation in the opening week and is thought to be a school record. During his weekly radio show Wednesday, Orgeron did not rule out playing his entire freshman class in 2017. Of the five remaining true freshmen that did not see the field against BYU, wide receiver JaCoby Stevens is certain to see the field against Chattanooga. The five-star safety switched to offense after the coaching staff told him it would be his quickest path to the field. Expect to see him involved on jet sweeps early and as a receiving threat as the Tigers pull away.
Right guard battle
Speaking of the true freshmen, Orgeron said he considers Saahdiq Charles and Ed Ingram co-starters at right guard, but it was Charles who became the first true freshman offensive lineman in program history to start the first game of his college career. Both had their bright spots in helping pace LSU to 296 rush yards and allowing zero sacks. There were freshman moments, too. Charles whiffed a block on a fourth-and-goal, allowing Darrell Williams to be stopped short of the goal line; Ingram had a costly holding penalty that stalled a drive late in the first half. Orgeron will be looking to see if one of the two separates himself and claims the job before the SEC opener in Starkville next week.
More Myles, please
With LSU likely to have the game in hand early, true freshman quarterback Myles Brennan should see extensive action in the second half. A common criticism in the past was that backup quarterbacks never were developed because they did little other than hand off and take a knee late in blowouts. Brennan made his debut against BYU and should have a greater opportunity against the Mocs. Orgeron has said he believes Brennan will win a championship during his time at LSU. This will be the first real glimpse of the future under center and he should do (much) more than genuflect.
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