LSU played a game without sophomore tight end Nic Jacobs last week for the first time all season, which LSU coach Les Miles attributed to “a team violation.” Miles said Jacobs will not play again Saturday against Ole Miss and was not certain when Jacobs might return.
Jacobs, who played in the first nine games with one start, has caught five passes for 58 yards this season.
Senior tight end Chase Clement has handled the majority of the first-team tight end duties, and two underclassmen, sophomore Travis Dickson and freshman Dillon Gordon, have filled in for Jacobs.
Neither Dickson nor Gordon has caught a pass, but both have played significant minutes this season. Gordon has seen action in all 10 games, and Dickson has played in nine.
“Chase is a veteran and understand the whole thing and both the other guys have taken a tremendous amount of snaps for young guys,” Miles said. “They’re ready to play.”
Junior offensive guard Josh Williford’s return may be just around the corner.
Miles said Williford, who hasn’t played since suffering a concussion against Florida on Oct. 6, may be ready in time for the regular-season finale at Arkansas on Nov. 23.
Williford started the first six games at right guard before the concussion. Redshirt freshman Trai Turner has taken over Williford’s duties the past four games.
Josh Dworaczyk, along with 10 other seniors, will be sent off Saturday with a pregame ceremony before closing out their Tiger Stadium career. It’ll be a special moment for all 11 seniors, but perhaps a little extra sweet for Dworaczyk, who never thought he’d be in this position.
As a fifth-year senior last season, Dworaczyk was sidelined with a season-long knee injury that required surgery. He had an unsure future, not knowing if he’d be granted a sixth year of eligibility for a medical redshirt.
So Dworaczyk took part in Senior Day 2011, just in case.
“I had that experience last year,” Dworaczyk said. “I ran out and actually had my jersey on and experienced senior day as a fifth-year senior. I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to run out with my pads on again and play on that field again. There was a lot of emotions going into that.”
Dworaczyk said he expected the emotion to spill over even more this time around, but now he’s ready for it.
The 23-year-old offensive lineman said his parents, siblings, aunts and uncles and some cousins all joined him on the field last year, and he expects a similar turnout
“Basically, I think the only stipulation is, you have to have a ticket to the game, but if you’re family, you can come out on the field,” Dworaczyk said. “I’m trying to get as many tickets as I can for my family this week.”
Dworaczyk joked that he wasn’t eligible for a senior rocking chair, but did say he may tweak the commemorative football the team gives him.
“If it says ‘senior’ maybe I’ll just cross it out and put ‘redshirt fifth-year senior,’ ” he joked.
Sophomore receiver Jarvis Landry had a career night Saturday, with a team-high nine catches, 109 yards and one touchdown in LSU’s 37-17 win against Mississippi State. He leads the Tigers with 40 receptions this season and is second on the team with 401 yards receiving, doing so in number of different ways.
Landry has caught passes short, deep, inside and out, and alongside fellow sophomore wideout Odell Beckham Jr., has become one of the most versatile pieces of LSU’s offense.
“He’s a guy that understands route technique very well and he’s got great quickness,” Miles said. “He’s really a very capable receiver deep, intermediate and short.”
Landry has seen much of his success from the slot recently, which he says causes favorable matchups for him against slower interior defenders.
“I think it was the ability of the coaches to understand that it’s a mismatch inside against linebackers and safeties,” Landry said. “I think our game plan lately has been allowing me and Zach (Mettenberger) to use our abilities and trust each other to make plays in tight windows.”
LSU’s aerial success might continue this weekend. The Tigers face an Ole Miss squad that ranks No. 11 in the Southeastern Conference in pass defense, giving up 242.3 passing yards per game.
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