LSU's offensive line is battered, but still ticking

BATON ROUGE - LSU's offensive line stands at No. 3 in the Southeastern Conference in rushing offense with 237 yards a game and is tied for fifth in fewest sacks allowed with two a game. That despite injuries and a suspension changing the lineup and moving people around.

Through five games, the Tigers have started the original opening game offensive line of left tackle K.J. Malone, left guard William Clapp, center Ethan Pocic, right guard Josh Boutte and right tackle Toby Weathersby just twice. Right guard Josh Boutte was suspended for the second game for a flagrant hit in the Wisconsin game for which he later apologized. Maea Teuhema started in his place in game two against Jacksonville State. The original line started against Mississippi State in game three, but Weathersby injured his foot and has not returned to action. Teuhema has started the last two games at right tackle.

Now, both Weathersby and Clapp are questionable for the Tigers (3-2, 2-1) as they prepare to play at Florida (4-1, 2-1 SEC) at 11 a.m. on ESPN. Clapp injured his arm in the second quarter in the win over Missouri Saturday and did not return to action. Garrett Brumfield replaced Clapp.

"Toby is going to be out for a little bit, and Will is going to be out for a little bit," LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron said. "We'll know more about that as the week goes by."

Brumfield is expected to start at left guard should Clapp be unable to go. Only Malone and Pocic have stayed healthy all season. Even with the makeshift line, LSU still produced two rushers who had more than 130 yards against Missouri. Tailback Derrius Guice gained 163 yards on 17 carries, and Darrel Williams added 130 on 21 carries. Each scored three touchdowns.

"I thought our offensive line played very well," Orgeron said. "This was about the offense operating all 11 at one time."

FOURNETTE QUESTIONABLE: LSU tailback Leonard Fournette missed practice Monday with an ankle injury that made him miss Saturday's game against Missouri. He is questionable for the Florida game Saturday.

"I thought he was going to play," Orgeron said of comments he made on Sunday about Fournette playing Saturday. But he then talked to trainer Jack Marucci on Monday, and Fournette is now considered day to day.

"I don't know if he's going to practice (on Tuesday)," Orgeron said. "We've got to see as the week goes by. That's the honest thing. I don't know if he's going to play."

SEC HONORS POCIC, GUICE: Center Ethan Pocic was named the offensive lineman of the week Monday by the Southeastern Conference office as his blocking was key in the Tigers rushing for 418 yards - the most by an LSU team since 1996 against Houston when it gained 433 and the most by the Tigers in a SEC game since 1976 against Ole Miss when they gained 426.

Guice, who averaged 9.6 yards a carry against Missouri was named the SEC offensive player of the week.

SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI TV: LSU's home game against Southern Mississippi on Saturday, October 15, will kick off at 6:30 p.m. in Tiger Stadium and be televised by the SEC Network.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Enough."

---LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron, who is known for drinking energy drinks, when asked how many he downs a day.

Coverage of LSU and commentary by Glenn Guilbeau supported by Hebert’s Town & Country Automobile Dealer in Shreveport located at 1155 East Bert Kouns Loop. Research your next Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram at http://hebertstandc.com/.

(© 2016 WWL)


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