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Les Miles, LSU teammates vouch for Leonard Fournette’s Heisman candidacy as star back has two program records within reach

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU running back Leonard Fournette runs behind the blocking of offensive lineman William Clapp (64), fullback Bry'Kiethon Mouton (47) and tight end Colin Jeter (81) during the first half Saturday in Oxford, Miss.

Leonard Fournette’s season has gone much like LSU’s. The sophomore running back became a national celebrity and the unquestioned frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy during the team’s 7-0 start that propelled it to No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Since then, Fournette and the Tigers have disappeared from the Heisman and national championship conversation.… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais’ Heisman Watch

Alabama Crimson running back Derrick Henry (2) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Each week, The Advocate’s Scott Rabalais, a Heisman Trophy voter since 1997, breaks down the top candidates for college football’s most prestigious award. This year’s Heisman will be presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 on ESPN. 1. DERRICK HENRY Alabama junior running back WHY HE’S HERE: There’s a lot of volatility to… Continue reading →

'I love this place': Les Miles declines to defend self, hopes to be at LSU ‘another 11 years’

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU head coach Les Miles walks off the field after the game, Saturday, Nov.21, 2015 in Oxford, Miss. Ole Miss won 38-17.

Embattled LSU coach Les Miles declined to defend himself Wednesday and says he hopes to be at LSU another 11 years. Miles’ 11th regular season at LSU ends Saturday with a home game against Texas A&M, and the coach has never faced more questions about his job security. Multiple national reports Monday confirmed… Continue reading →

AP college football picks: A weekend feast with major implications

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz walks with the team during an NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Evanston, Ill.,  on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Every team in the AP Top 25 is playing this weekend in a total of 18 games. All but one of these are guaranteed to be: A) A matchup of ranked teams. B) A rivalry game. C) A game with College Football Playoff implications. D) A game with conference title implications. E) Some combination of the above. So this… Continue reading →

Another star recruit, Jacoby Stevens, decommits from LSU

LSU has lost a commitment from its second recruit in as many days. Junior athlete Jacoby Stevens from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, announced Tuesday that he had decommitted from the Tigers. He joins 2016 quarterback Feleipe Franks, who made the same decision the day prior. Stevens committed to LSU in September but said the… Continue reading →

Tigers receiver Travin Dural to have surgery

LSU receiver Travin Dural will have surgery on a torn hamstring suffered in the loss to Ole Miss on Saturday, The Daily Reveille reported Tuesday night. Dural, a redshirt junior, entered the game as the Tigers’ leader in receiving yards. He leaped to catch a high pass in the end zone in the first half of… Continue reading →

‘It was hurting to me’: A meeting with former coordinator John Chavis stirs feelings in LSU players

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- Former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis' departure for Texas A&M last year left many Tigers in disbelief.

In the elevator of LSU’s hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, linebacker Lamar Louis heard the news just hours after a Music City Bowl loss to Notre Dame. Around the same time, linebacker Kendell Beckwith heard the same from teammates. He didn’t believe them. After all, the scoop shocked him: John Chavis, his… Continue reading →

CBS' Gary Danielson: Lack of quarterback Les Miles' downfall at LSU, but 'he might not be unemployed for two hours'

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Louisiana State Police Sgt. Bryan Madden, left, looks on as LSU head coach Les Miles talks with LSU quarterback Brandon Harris (6) just after the last platt of the game, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 in Baton Rouge. LSU beat Auburn 45-21.

CBS Sports college football analyst Gary Danielson likes Les Miles, but in a podcast on he said he understands why the LSU coach is on the hot seat... Continue reading →

Rabalais: Quite a 'heartrending' moment Monday when Les Miles called Baton Rouge 'home'

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Les Miles holds his weekly press conference amidst growing speculation of his dismissal.

For a coach who has been so embattled almost from day one, so second-guessed, so subject to such withering criticism, Les Miles took on a new persona Monday: That of the sympathetic figure. Miles was asked during his weekly Monday media luncheon — by all indications, his last such gathering as LSU’s football coach — what… Continue reading →

LSU coach Les Miles delivers clear message to players in Monday meeting: 'Team first'

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Les Miles holds his weekly press conference amidst growing speculation of his dismissal.

Lamar Louis has tried to ignore the rumblings, but friends and family members keep on reminding him. Everyone wants to know about the fate of his coach, LSU’s Les Miles. “People texting you, calling you, seeing it on the news,” said Louis, the Tigers’ senior starting linebacker. “Can’t really run… Continue reading →

‘Really good chance’ LSU tackle Jerald Hawkins will play Saturday vs. Texas A&M, Les Miles says

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins grabs the loose ball as South Carolina linebacker Jonathan Walton closes in during the second half Oct. 10, 2015, in Tiger Stadium.

At least one player on LSU’s injury list is likely to return against Texas A&M. LSU coach Les Miles said Monday that “there’s a really good chance” junior left tackle Jerald Hawkins will be healthy when the Tigers take on the Aggies at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Tiger Stadium. He didn’t offer an update on junior receiver Travin… Continue reading →

Report: LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron ‘very interested’ in Syracuse head coaching job

LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron reacts during the second half an NCAA college football game against Western Kentucky in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron is “very interested” in the head coaching opening at Syracuse, he told on Monday. “I have a lot of respect for Syracuse,” Orgeron told the website for a story published Monday. “Great private school, great education, great tradition. So, obviously, my interest would be very high. I’d… Continue reading →

LSU Film Room: A look at Rebels’ big offensive plays; video breakdown of LSU penalties

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly (10) throws, as pressure from LSU defensive end Arden Key (49) arrives too late, in the second half, Saturday, Nov .21, 2015 in Oxford, Miss. Ole Miss won 38-17.

Welcome to Film Room, our weekly analysis of LSU’s last football game. Have a seat. No talking. No tweeting. No texting. Pay attention. Continue reading →

First-look scouting report: Texas A&M at LSU

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin, center, watches a replay on the scoreboard in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The basics Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Tiger Stadium TV: SEC Network Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWL-AM, 870; WWL-FM, 105.3; KLWB-FM, 103.7 Series: LSU leads 30-20-3 Last meeting: LSU 23, Texas A&M 17 on Nov. 27, 2014, in College Station On Texas A&M Record: 8-3 (4-3 Southeastern) Best win:… Continue reading →

Ex-LSU player: Les Miles heavily involved in offense, often changes play calls or calls plays in big games

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU head coach Les Miles walks the sideline in the first half against Ole Miss.

OXFORD, Miss. — On first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Darrel Williams rushed up the gut for no gain. On second down, Leonard Fournette rushed up the gut and fumbled as LSU lost 4 yards. On third down, Williams ran again — this time for 2 yards. On fourth down after a timeout,… Continue reading →

Down four starters, LSU struggled to maintain offensive continuity in loss to Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. — Receiver Travin Dural limped to LSU’s team bus. Running back Nick Brossette needed crutches to get there. Left tackle Jerald Hawkins watched LSU’s loss Saturday without ever stepping on the field, and the same goes for fullback J.D. Moore and tight end Dillon Gordon. “We lost a couple guys going into this… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: 'If the writing isn’t on the wall for Les Miles, the pencil is at least being sharpened'

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- A fairly somber LSU head coach Les Miles ponders a question during his post-game press conference, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Oxford, Miss. Ole Miss won 38-17.

Whatever Les Miles needed to boost his job security, to help his cause, to prove he is still the man to lead this LSU football program now and into a nationally competitively future, whatever he needed to prove and however he needs to be judged, what happened here Saturday against Ole Miss was the… Continue reading →

LSU defense gets torched again — and can’t make a stop when needed most

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly runs for a touchdown in front of LSU linebacker Deion Jones during the first half Saturday in Oxford, Miss.

OXFORD, Miss. — After watching its offense claw back from a 24-point first-half deficit to make it a one-score game early in the third quarter Saturday at Ole Miss, LSU’s once-solid defense knew it had all the momentum. The only problem was, the Tigers couldn’t keep it. LSU managed a touchdown late in the… Continue reading →

‘That’s our guy’: LSU players rally around Les Miles, who expects to address job situation Monday with team

Associated Press photo by ROGELIO V. SOLIS -- LSU coach Les Miles leaves his postgame news conference Saturday in Oxford, Miss.

OXFORD, Miss. — Some LSU players knew about the reports regarding coach Les Miles’ job security. Others say they did not. All of them, though, had a common message after the Tigers’ 38-17 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday night. Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux summed it up thusly: “That’s our guy.” The Advocate Continue reading →

Ole Miss 38, LSU 17: Find out what the fallout will be from a tailspin like this in our Three and Out

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Ole Miss defensive back Tony Bridges, left, and  linebacker C.J. Johnson sandwich LSU running back Leonard Fournette on Saturday in Oxford, Miss.

1. What we learned Any hopes LSU would rebound with an inspired performance at Ole Miss after two straight sobering losses were quickly dashed by a string of penalties mistakes and generally dismal play. The Tigers fell behind 24-0 before mounting any semblance of a comeback. Brandon Harris looked like he has regressed as a quarterback, Leonard Fournette… Continue reading →

LSU’s season-long rash of penalties, mistakes continues

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Ole Miss defensive back Mike Hilton steps in front of LSU tight end Colin Jeter to intercept the pass on Saturday night at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss LSU threw two interceptions, fumbled four times and committed 13 penalties in a mistake-filled 38-17 loss.

OXFORD, Miss. — Quincy Adeboyejo sprinted down the seam, uncovered on the first play from scrimmage. But LSU’s defense tracked the junior receiver down and ultimately held Ole Miss to a field goal, a moral victory in light of yet another busted coverage. Then disaster struck. Again. The Tigers got off to a slow… Continue reading →

Up next: Texas A&M at LSU

THE BASICS When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday Where: Tiger Stadium TV: SEC Network Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWL-AM, 870; WWL-FM, 105.3; KLWB-FM, 103.7 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Going into Saturday night’s game at Vanderbilt, the Aggies were playing for… Continue reading →

Jerald Hawkins’ injury forces LSU to reshuffle its offensive line in Ole Miss; Travin Dural, Nick Brossette leave game

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU quarterback Brandon Harris helps injured teammate Travin Dural off the field after Dural was upended in the end zone trying to make a catch in the first half of Saturday's game in Oxford, Miss.

OXFORD, Miss. — All Jerald Hawkins could do was watch. The junior left tackle didn’t play in No. 17 LSU’s’ 38-17 loss at No. 25 Ole Miss on Saturday, missing the first start of his career because of an ankle injury. Coaches shifted senior right tackle Vadal Alexander to the left side and inserted true freshman Toby Weathersby… Continue reading →

Steep, stunning slide: Ole Miss hands LSU historic loss in Les Miles era

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU wide receiver Travin Dural (83) is about to hit the ground hard, after being upended in the end zone by Mississippi defensive back Kendarius Webster (15) on a reception attempt in the first half, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 in Oxford, Miss. Dural was helped to the sideline by several teammates after the play.

OXFORD, Miss. — LSU assistant coach Frank Wilson rushed across the playing surface. He arrived at the Ole Miss sideline, wedging himself between his players and those from Ole Miss during a fracas in the third quarter. CBS cameras zoomed in on LSU players rushing toward those from Ole Miss. Benches cleared. An… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: No matter how next 2 weeks unfold for LSU, Les Miles will keep doing it his way

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- A happy LSU tight end Foster Moreau (84) talks with LSU head coach Les Miles as they head to the locker room tunnel after the game at Tiger Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. LSU beat Western Kentucky 48-20.

Whatever these next two games hold for Les Miles, there’s every reason to believe he will face fate on his own terms. That’s how he got to this point — for better and for worse — after nearly 11 full seasons as LSU’s football coach. Miles isn’t going to change now. He certainly isn’t, for example,… Continue reading →

LSU basketball center Elbert Robinson III's sprained ankle puts his status for Legends Classic in doubt

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU center Elbert Robinson III (3) grimaces as he lays on the court after injuring his ankle in the second half against South Alabama, Thursday, November 19, 2015, at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.

It has been so far, so good — for the most part, anyway — through the first three games of the season for the LSU men’s basketball team. Sure, there’s still some work to be done on a rebounding deficiency that is concerning to coach Johnny Jones, and the schedule gets a little stickier for his No.… Continue reading →

Running sideways: Missed blocks, defensive scheming has LSU, Leonard Fournette in a rut heading to Ole Miss

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson (4) tackles LSU running back Leonard Fournette (7) on the run during the first half Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, in Tuscaloosa. Alabama won 30-16.

LSU and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had the exact look they wanted on their second offensive snap against Arkansas last week. The Tigers’ three receivers, all of them aligned to the right of a shotgun formation, drew five defenders to that side of the field. That left six guys to block to the left and center of… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: Evidence mounting Les Miles coaching for his job next 2 weeks; three scenarios to decide his LSU fate

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU head coach Les Miles, center, waves to fans in the stands before the game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, in Tuscaloosa. Alabama won 30-16.

There are basically two things that can happen after something like Wednesday’s column about Les Miles’ job being on the line in LSU’s next two games makes the rounds. People can come forward and say, “You’re wrong,” at which point you start considering why people are saying such great things about living in Costa Rica. Or… Continue reading →

The best yet: LSU’s secondary squares off with Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly, Rebels’ dynamic offense

Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly (10) dodges Arkansas linebacker Brooks Ellis, bottom left, to run for an 8-yard touchdown during overtime of an NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. Arkansas won 53-52. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

LSU’s defenders will receive a respite from physical, run-heavy offenses this weekend. What’ll they face instead? Only the Southeastern Conference’s leading passer and one of the most high-powered offenses in the country. A tall task awaits the No. 17 Tigers when they take on No. 25 Ole Miss at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Oxford, Mississippi. Junior… Continue reading →

Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche still hospitalized, will miss LSU game

Associated Press photo by ROGELIO V. SOLIS -- Ole Miss linebacker Robert Nkemdiche, center; linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche, right; and defensive end Fadol Brown (6) leave the field after beating Vanderbilt in September.

Ole Miss senior linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche has been hospitalized this week for an undisclosed reason in Oxford, Mississippi, and will not play on Saturday, when the Rebels host LSU. Nkemdiche’s father Dr. Sunday Nkemdiche confirmed to The Associated Press via text message Thursday that Nkemdiche had been hospitalized. The family released a statement saying his condition “has… Continue reading →

Going long: How LSU opponents are rolling up long returns, lengthy passes

Associated Press photo by GERALD HERBERT -- Arkansas wide receiver Dominique Reed breaks free from LSU defensive back Dwayne Thomas on a 52-yard touchdown Saturday in Tiger Stadium.

LSU’s loss to Arkansas last week featured a bumbling offense — an offensive line that struggled to protect a young quarterback, a running back who found little daylight and a scheme executed poorly. Thing is, there were much bigger issues. Pass coverage and kick returns — the real bugaboos of the 2015 season — showed their ugly faces… Continue reading →

LSU coach Les Miles expects LT Jerald Hawkins to start at Ole Miss; Jim Hawthorne could return to radio booth next week

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU coach Les Miles, center, celebrates the Tigers' Sept. 12 win at Mississippi State with wide receiver Malachi Dupre, left, and cornerback Tre'Davious White.

One of the two players on LSU’s injury report are ready to go. Junior left tackle Jerald Hawkins (ankle) practiced today, and Miles expects him to start against Ole Miss. Junior tight end DeSean Smith, however, did not practice and is “doubtful” for Saturday’s contest against the Rebels (7-3, 4-2). The coach… Continue reading →