LSU TE DeSean Smith's family will put aside its McNeese loyalties on Saturday -- well, except for Uncle Scott

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Tight end DeSean Smith (89) sprints to the end zone with a touchdown pass from quarterback Justin McMillan, with safety Tommy LeBeau (43) in pursuit,  during the LSU spring game.

DeSean Smith grew up just five miles from the McNeese State campus. His grandparents have season tickets, and little DeSean attended games years ago. He still works out at McNeese’s facility when he returns home, running on the Cowboys track and such. So, yeah, LSU’s season opener isn’t just any other Game 1 for the Tigers tight… Continue reading →

For LSU's Davon Godchaux, his life once threatened, house shot up, brothers imprisoned, his mother ill; it all 'drives' him

Advocate staff photo by CHARLES CHAMPAGNE    LSU sophomore defensive tackle Davon Godchaux

PLAQUEMINE – They threatened Davon Gochaux’s life. “We will kill you,” they told him. They shot up his home. At least 10 bullets shattered the front window, tore through the living room couch and gashed the fridge. Davon’s brother – the alleged target in this retaliatory drive-by shooting – heard the gunshots rip through the… Continue reading →

LSU players say now-starting QB Brandon Harris steady, focused: 'He feels like all of his hard work has paid off'

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach  Cam Cameron, left, talks with quarterback Brandon Harris (6), as Harris checks plays after calling a time out,  during LSU's 2015 National L-Club Spring Football Game, Saturday at Tiger Stadium.

Brandon Harris wasn’t surprised when he learned he would be starting in LSU’s opening game against McNeese State. That goes for other players, too. “It wasn’t a huge surprise when coach Miles said it,” receiver Malachi Dupre said Tuesday. On Monday, Miles named Harris the Tigers’ starting quarterback for the season-opening clash against the Cowboys… Continue reading →

Back at defensive end, an ‘upgraded’ Lewis Neal ready to show relentless motor as LSU starter

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Junior defensive end Lewis Neal goes through a drill on the first day of practice at fall camp Thursday.

After only a handful of preseason practices, freshman defensive ends Arden Key and Isaiah Washington were anointed superstars, destined to compete for playing time and maybe even unseat veterans for starting jobs. That didn’t bother Lewis Neal one bit. “I already knew what they were capable of and I was already helping them before they came,” said Neal,… Continue reading →

They said it: Here are Scott Rabalais' best college football quotes

To get you in the mood for the first college football weekend of the season, here’s my top 25 list (in no particular order) of some of the greatest college football quotes ever … 1. “You are looking live … !” - Brent Musberger 2. “You can learn more character on the 2-yard line than anywhere else in life.” - Paul Dietzel 3. “Because they… Continue reading →

Wednesdays With Les: Miles talks multiple RBs in the backfield, Arden Key getting lots of playing time

LSU coach Les Miles, on Wednesdays during game weeks, speaks publicly three different times. Follow his comments here throughout the day.

SEC teleconference

Les Miles said Anthony Jennings could see some time in the season opener against McNeese State, but the coach again made it clear that Brandon Harris will start the game. Harris received the first snaps with… Continue reading →

Tuneup: LSU players hoping to iron out things against McNeese before critical two-game stretch

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- New LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele lines up Tigers defenders for a drill Saturday in the indoor practice facility.

LSU wants more than just a win against McNeese State on Saturday night. Players emphasized playing well and executing their assignments in the season opener, especially with back-to-back Southeastern Conference contests at Mississippi State and against No. 6 Auburn immediately following their tilt with the Cowboys. The front-loaded schedule gives both the offense… Continue reading →

LSU Twitter Mailbag: You asked about Brandon Harris, Les Miles' health scare and more

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday or Wednesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football and baseball teams. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at@DellengerAdv to submit a question. Against an opponent like McNeese State, I’d be surprised to see Miles have a… Continue reading →

New MLB draft date now means players will be taken during super regionals

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU head coach Paul Mainieri, left, speaks with former LSU head coach Skip Bertman in the dugout, Thursday, June 18, 2015, during game ten of the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.

. Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that it's moving up its First Year Player Draft to June 9 -- a date that will conflict with college baseball's super regionals. The draft will last three days. So Day 2 of the 2016 draft will overlap with Day 1 of super regionals (Friday, June 10). And Day 3… Continue reading →

Is Les Miles sure that LSU quarterback Brandon Harris will start against McNeese State? 'Absolutely, you betcha'

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU coach Les Miles says quarterback Brandon Harris is 'throwing the ball more accurately. He's done everything we've asked him to do.'

It’s official: Brandon Harris is LSU’s starting quarterback – for at least the first game. Harris, the highly touted sophomore from Bossier City, will take the first snaps when the 14th-ranked Tigers open the season Saturday against McNeese State, coach Les Miles said Monday. “Absolutely, you betcha,” he said when asked. “Unless something immaculate for some reason… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: After health scare, Les Miles seems like his old playfull, willful, unconventional self

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- LSU head coach Les Miles holds a press conference after practice Monday. Miles went to the hospital after having a migraine.

Les Miles finally confirmed to the world who his starting quarterback will be Saturday against McNeese State, but he wouldn’t confirm whether he drove himself to the hospital Monday to get checked out after what reportedly was a migraine episode. Or that he even may have had a migraine episode. Or even that it was Monday. In… Continue reading →

Less than a week before season opener, three LSU players battling for starting guard spots on O-line

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Offensive linemen, from left to right, Vadal Alexander, Jevonte Domond, Josh Boutte and Garrett Brumfield work at fall camp Friday at LSU 's Charles McClendon Football Practice Facility.

The position battle at offensive guard is far from over. LSU released its first official depth chart of the season Monday, revealing co-starters separated by “OR” at both left and right guard. Redshirt freshman Will Clapp and true freshman Maea Teuhema lead the way at left guard, while junior Josh Boutte and Clapp top… Continue reading →

Dinner with Les: A healthy Miles says Brandon Harris taking first snaps was 'a foregone conclusion'

LSU coach Les Miles stole headlines Monday with his coffee-induced trip to the hospital, but he made more when he said sophomore Brandon Harris will “absolutely” take the first-team reps when the Tigers open their season against McNeese State on Saturday night. Here are more newsy tidbits from Miles’ press conference:

  • More on QBs: Miles said he informed Harris he had earned… Continue reading →

  • Les Miles back on campus after going to hospital Monday morning for illness, LSU officials said

    FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2015, file photo, LSU head coach Les Miles watches during NCAA college football practice in Baton Rouge, La. Les Miles enters his second decade as LSU's coach facing a little more pressure than usual.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

    LSU coach Les Miles was back at the football operations building Monday afternoon after visiting the hospital earlier in the day for an illness, a team spokesman confirmed. Miles' first press conference of the season, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Monday, was canceled after the coach felt “under the weather” Monday morning and needed brief hospitilization, athletic… Continue reading →

    LSU releases depth chart showing quarterback competiton not quite resolved

    LSU released its first depth chart on Monday since December, and, no, the quarterback competition isn’t resolved, according to it.

    Sophomore Brandon Harris and junior Anthony Jennings are listed as co-starters with “OR” between the two. Harris, though, is expected to get the first snaps in the season opener against McNeese State. He “certainly has the lead” in the… Continue reading →

    ‘This is the comeback season’: LSU DB Dwayne Thomas leaping over hurdles and up the depth chart

    Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU cornerback Dwayne Thomas had an interception, returns an interception and 24 tackles in five games last season before taring his ACL.

    Dwayne Thomas opened LSU’s preseason camp in an odd position. A heavy contributor at nickelback before tearing his ACL five weeks into last season, Thomas found himself practicing in the afternoon with the freshmen and backups rather than in the morning with the projected starters. Some suggested the junior defensive back was… Continue reading →

    Scouting Report: McNeese State

    The basics Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Tiger Stadium TV: SEC Network (alternate channel) Radio:WDGL-FM, 98.1, in Baton Rouge; WWL-AM, 870, and WWL-FM, 105.3, in New Orleans; KLWB-FM, 103.7, in Acadiana Series: LSU leads 1-0 Last Meeting: LSU 32, McNeese 10 (Oct. 16, 2010) Continue reading →

    LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark drawing on lesson in patience

    Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Wide receiver D.J. Chark pulls in a long reception during the Spring Game in April at Tiger Stadium.

    In a little more than a year at LSU, wide receiver D.J. Chark has learned a lot. Outside of his studies, most of it is about football, naturally. But an invaluable lesson in patience also has come in handy for the speedy sophomore from Alexandria. Because he played in just six games as a freshman and… Continue reading →

    ‘Thankful and blessed’: LSU fullback J.D. Moore earns scholarship

    Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU fullback John David Moore leads running back Leonard Fournette during a drill at fall camp earlier this month at Charles McClendon football practice facility.

    All the hard work LSU tight end-turned-fullback John David Moore put in during his football career – especially the past two seasons with the Tigers – paid off in a big way recently. Moore, a walk-on from Ruston High School, was called into coach Les Miles’ office shortly before the team’s first scrimmage… Continue reading →

    LSU offensive line shuffle continues: Ethan Pocic now at center, Will Clapp at left guard

    Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Freshman center William Clapp  (64) lines up at fall camp Friday at LSU 's Charles McClendon Football Practice Facility.

    Will Clapp is on the move. And so is Ethan Pocic. LSU’s starting offensive line is coming into focus a week before the season opener against McNeese State. Clapp, a redshirt freshman, has moved from center to left guard, and Pocic, who began camp at left guard, has replaced him at center. Highly… Continue reading →

    Rabalais: A week before its season opener, LSU scores its first victory: A clean bill of health for Cam Cameron

    Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron

    Cam Cameron already has the first win of 2015 behind him. At a hastily called news conference after Friday’s practice, LSU’s offensive coordinator talked openly and frankly about his recent diagnosis with prostate cancer and his determination to press ahead full speed with the season that starts only a week from now. Paul Dietzel once said… Continue reading →

    LSU volleyball team drops season opener to UC Irvine

    AUSTIN, Texas — The LSU volleyball team dropped its season-opening match against the UC Irvine Anteaters in four sets, 25-22, 27-25, 22-25, 25-14, Friday afternoon in Gregory Gym to open the American Campus Classic. In a match that featured 34 ties and 14 lead changes, LSU (0-1) struggled offensively hitting just .181 in the match… Continue reading →

    LSU soccer team tops Western Kentucky 4-1

    Freshman Gabriela Maldonado’s first career goal in the 47th minute sparked a second-half turnaround for the Tigers as senior Fernanda Pina and sophomores Debbie Hahn and Jorian Baucom also found the scoresheet in LSU’s 4-1 win over Western Kentucky in Friday’s “Battle on the Bayou” nightcap at the LSU Soccer Stadium. Trailing 1-0 at the break after… Continue reading →

    Former LSU running backs 'Thunder & Lightning' return to Louisiana as Texans for Sunday's Saints game

    Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU running back Alfred Blue (4) runs the ball after taking the handoff from LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger (8) in the second half Saturday in AT&T Stadium to open the season. LSU defeated TCU 37-27.

    Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue remember the names. Following LSU’s season-opening victory against North Texas in 2012, LSU coach Les Miles dubbed the former Tiger running backs “Thunder and Lightning” and “Shake and Bake” — allusions to the 2006 movie “Talladega Nights” — thanks to their pair of 100-plus yard rushing performances. The duo,… Continue reading →

    LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on cancer diagnosis: 'I've been given a clean bill of health'

    Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron fields questions from local and statewide media at LSU's Anderson-Feazel Indoor Field during LSU Football's annual media day, Sunday, August 10, 2014.

    LSU coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron met with the media Friday afternoon to discuss Cameron’s recent diagnosis of prostate cancer. Cameron has received treatment and plans to continue coaching... Continue reading →

    ‘I’m ready to roll’: LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron treated successfully for prostate cancer

    LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was diagnosed with prostate cancer and has been given a clean bill of health, he revealed Friday. Cameron plans to continue as offensive coordinator, and he will coach the 2015 season after receiving successful treatment. “I’m fine. My health is good,” Cameron said at a news conference Friday. “I’ve been given… Continue reading →

    Over/Under Game: Predict LSU defenders' total interceptions for the season

    This is the fifth part of a seven-part blog series leading up to Aug. 31, the start of the first official game week.
    Topic: Team interception total

    Over/Under: 14.5

    Why You Should Pick Over: Even with Jalen Mills’ injury situation, the secondary is likely LSU’s deepest and most talented position group.

    Safety Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White are preseason All-SEC guys,… Continue reading →

    LSU pitchers Jake Godfrey, Doug Norman thrived in ‘laid-back’ atmosphere of summer ball ahead of hotly competitive fall practice

    Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU's Jake Godfrey is one of "six or seven" pitchers vying for an open weekend starting spot.

    Jake Godfrey and Doug Norman felt like kids again. The pair of LSU sophomore pitchers spent their summer playing ball in the Cape Cod League, which they both referred to as “less intense” than what they’re used to in Baton Rouge. As a result, players aren’t as tense and have more freedom to make adjustments to… Continue reading →

    In Year 2, Baton Rouge's Garrett Brumfield fighting to get into LSU’s offensive line rotation

    Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU freshman offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield.

    Garrett Brumfield visited LSU’s nutrionist over the offseason and spent hours in the weight room with the strength and conditioning staff. He lost about 20 pounds and added about 10 “good” pounds, he says. The former University High star didn’t know he had so many muscles at his disposal. “I’m being able to use muscles that I couldn’t… Continue reading →

    Two-dimensional: LSU’s tight ends develop versatility, expect more receptions

    Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Tight end DeSean Smith (89) sprints to the end zone with a touchdown pass from quarterback Justin McMillan, with safety Tommy LeBeau (43) in pursuit,  during the LSU spring game.

    DeSean Smith found it difficult to block. Colin Jeter couldn’t run a crisp passing route. Dillon Gordon, meanwhile, weighed as much as an offensive tackle — you don’t throw footballs to offensive tackles. These were the problems LSU tight ends coach Steven Ensminger faced last season. He had three tall, wide and athletic tight ends — Smith, Jeter… Continue reading →

    LSU freshman Ben Simmons named preseason All-American

    LSU freshman Ben Simmons is featured on the cover of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook as one of five preseason All-America picks for the upcoming season. The yearbook, which is celebrating its 35th season, has two Southeastern Conference players on the All-America team for the first time as Simmons is joined by Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere. The other players named to… Continue reading →

    Florida Gators to play QBs Treon Harris and Will Grier in season opener

    Associated Press file photo by JOHN RAOUX -- Florida quarterback Treon Harris

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s quarterback competition will stretch into the season. New Gators coach Jim McElwain said Thursday that sophomore Treon Harris and redshirt freshman Will Grier will both play in the team’s Sept. 5 season opener against New Mexico State. “It will play itself out,” said McElwain, who has not named a starter. “Like I’ve said, and I… Continue reading →

    Rabalais: What could've been? Four ex-LSU quarterbacks finding success elsewhere

    FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2014, file photo, Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel looks to pass against South Florida during the first half of an NCAA college football gamein Cincinnati. Kiel has a year of experience and a deep corps of receivers returning. The Bearcats are picked to win the American Athletic Conference in large measure because of a balanced and experienced offense. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

    . Though LSU may have found its quarterback of the present and future with Brandon Harris, the Tigers’ quarterback woes have dragged on for a long time. Makes you wonder if LSU could have ever made something work with one of its former quarterbacks scattered around the country. Two former Tigers quarterbacks and a former… Continue reading →

    CATS offering Touchdown Express tickets to campus for LSU game days

    The Capital Area Transit System is bringing back Touchdown Express for its sixth straight year, carrying riders from downtown to Tiger Stadium on game days.

    The tickets are $10 round trips. They go on sale Aug. 31 and are available online at www.brcats.com and at the CATS terminal at 2222 Florida Boulevard.

    You can buy tickets for all seven games… Continue reading →

    In annual Herbie Awards, college football analyst says LSU could contend for national title

    Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU head coach Les Miles leads his team onto the field for the teams' game Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 in Baton Rouge. LSU lost 34-29.

    At least one college football expert thinks the LSU Tigers could find themselves among the elite four college football playoff teams at the end of the 2015 season. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, in his annual Herbie Awards, picks LSU to win the Southeastern Conference championship (over runner-up Tennessee) and contend for the national championship. Ultimately, Herbstreit picks Ohio… Continue reading →

    Keeping on the down low: LSU freshman tight end Foster Moreau avoiding spotlight in a crowded position group

    Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Freshman tight end Foster Moreau (43) makes a catch in a drill during afternoon practice on the first day of LSU football preseason camp.

    LSU tight end Foster Moreau’s strategy for playing time in his freshman season is being the guy no one talks about. Moreau’s belief is if a player’s name is constantly brought up in film sessions or on the practice field, that typically means he isn’t doing his job. Moreau’s name is being brought up by LSU’s coaching… Continue reading →

    What's a TFL? And why is LSU defensive tackle Greg Gilmore determined to get 10 of them this season?

    Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU defensive tackle Greg Gilmore spins through a pass-rushing drill during preseason camp Aug. 7. Gilmore, a third-year sophomore, had four tackles in six games last season.

    Greg Gilmore has set a lofty goal for himself for his redshirt sophomore season. “I’m trying to get 10 TFLs,” he said with a confident smile earlier this week. A TFL is a tackle for loss, for those who don’t know. Danielle Hunter, LSU’s defensive end who turned pro after last season, had the most on the team… Continue reading →

    Rabalais: Miles confirms what we thought: It’s Harris’ team ... for now

    Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU quarterback Brandon Harris

    Brandon Harris, it’s your team now. Late Tuesday night at a post-scrimmage news conference, LSU coach Les Miles, perhaps after gleaning the last bit of confirmation he needed from the Tigers’ final major preseason scrimmage, allowed what has seemed increasingly obvious: Harris has the lead in the quarterback derby with Anthony Jennings. Miles didn’t come out… Continue reading →

    Odell Beckham Jr. intends to have fun — even if it makes him a target

    Associated Press photo by PETER MORGAN -- New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. leaves the field after a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in East Rutherford, N.J. on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015.

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Odell Beckham Jr. is well aware how annoying he can be on the field. Not only does the New York Giants’ receiver catch passes with ease, he has that infuriating habit of yapping to defensive backs and making celebratory gestures after big plays. It’s no wonder that some cornerbacks and safeties want to put a… Continue reading →

    Former LSU hurdler Tate takes bronze at Worlds

    Former LSU All-American hurdler Cassandra Tate capped her best season as a professional Wednesday when she raced to the bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. Going against six of the 10 fastest intermediate hurdlers in the world this season, Tate recorded a time of 54.02 seconds — just off… Continue reading →