February 22, 2018

CFB Story
By The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: September 1, 2015 01:52:02 PM

Question linger for LSU entering opener

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU's questions about its quarterback and defense briefly shared center stage with concerns about head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron leading up to the Tigers season opener against McNeese State on Saturday in Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers revealed that Cameron has been treated for prostate cancer and received a "clean bill of health" in mid-August. He's expected to maintain all of his responsibilities.
Miles missed his first Monday news conference of the season and drove himself to a hospital for a brief visit after feeling "under the weather." He was back in his office and at practice later in the day. He later said he simply didn't feel well when he decided to go to the hospital and attributed that to drinking too much coffee.
With the coaches' health issues apparently under control, LSU was able to turn its attention back to the team.
Shortly after finishing practice Monday night, Miles announced that Brandon Harris will start the opener at quarterback.
"Absolutely, you betcha," Miles said when asked if Harris would start. "Unless something immaculate for some reason takes place this week. Right now, it seems like a foregone conclusion."
Miles wouldn't say if incumbent Anthony Jennings would also play, but indicated it was a strong possibility.
"Brandon Harris, he's throwing the ball more accurately," Miles said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do."
Harris and Jennings are listed as sharing the starting quarterback condition on the initial depth chart.
As for the defense, the Tigers are optimistic about a talented unit, but there is uncertainty about what to expect with a new coordinator (Kevin Steele) and a need for a stronger pass rush and more takeaways than LSU had last season under former coordinator John Chavis.
McNeese, which is located about a two-hour rive west of the LSU campus, provides a tune-up before the Tigers begin SEC play at Mississippi State and play their conference home opener against Auburn.

--QB Brandon Harris will start the opener, but the competition between him and Anthony Jennings is ongoing. Harris took the lead during the summer while Jennings was suspended because of an arrest, though he was reinstated after charges weren't filed. Erratic quarterback play was a significant liability last season and unless Harris or Jennings shows marked improvement, this will likely remain a two-man job.
--RB Leonard Fournette is unquestionably the Tigers most important player. He has the talent to be one of the most dynamic players in the country. LSU is not only counting on him to make life easier for the quarterbacks, but he'll also be a factor on kickoff returns.
--S Rickey Jefferson was thrust into the starting lineup late in preseason camp when Jalen Mills suffered a sprained ankle that is expected to sideline him for at least the first two games of the season. Jefferson, younger brother of former Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson, has impressed with his talent but has been unable to earn a significant role in his previous two seasons. He now has an opportunity to change that.
SERIES HISTORY: LSU won the only other meeting with its in-state FCS rival, 32-10 in 2010.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated." -- LSU Coach Les Miles on his brief, precautionary trip to a hospital after feeling "under the weather.

All Times Eastern