ATLANTA — Brad Wing’s suspension means LSU will be using a replacement punter and holder against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Monday night.
Freshman Jamie Keehn will punt, and junior Seth Fruge will hold in place of Wing, whose suspension reportedly was the result of a failed drug test.
It’s the first time Keehn and Fruge have filled those roles since Wing missed the season opener against North Texas. Keehn punted three times for a 41.0-yard average, and Fruge didn’t mishandle any snaps.
“It’s a tough loss,” kicker Drew Alleman said of Wing. “We’re very close, but we’ve got to move on.”
Keehn, like most true freshmen, was not made available for interviews, but Fruge, a regular on the coverage units, said he’s not nervous.
“My job is to not be in the spotlight — kind of like being the deep snapper,” Fruge said. “If you do your job, they don’t hear about you at all.”
Fruge also held in games against Northwestern State and Mississippi State last season while Wing was injured.
“They called on us a lot in (the State) game,” Fruge said. “We went for four field goals and were 4-for-4. Special teams really held it down. I haven’t messed up — yet.
“We have really good chemistry because I’ve been doing this for two years. Once a week, every week, no matter if I’m holding or Brad’s holding, we all rep with the same snapper and same kicker and the No. 2 snapper and No. 2 kicker. We feel comfortable with anybody who’s in there.”
Alleman said every holder is different, but he’s comfortable with Fruge. He’s also acting as the second-team punter.
“I’ll give him some pointers here and there,” Alleman said. “Jamie’s smart. He knows the competition. I’ll say, ‘You know what, Jamie? I’m punting good today. You better watch out’ — just to give him that push. He needs somebody to push him. He’s getting better every day, and I think he’ll do fine.”
Workers at the Georgia Dome are used to converting the multi-purpose facility from one type of event to another. But starting Sunday afternoon, they will have to put in a lot of holiday overtime.
The Atlanta Falcons host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their regular-season finale starting at 1 p.m. EST. As soon as that game ends, work will begin to make the Dome ready for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Georgia Dome spokesman Jason Kirksey said workers will start immediately after the game and continue through the night to repaint the field, clean seating areas and restock concession stands. After Monday’s bowl, the dome will be converted to accommodate a religious convention Tuesday, complete with a stage on the dome floor.
LSU got the better of Clemson in a contest at a local Brazilian barbecue restaurant to see who could eat the most meat.
LSU won, outeating Clemson 624 pounds to 454. That’s more than seven pounds of meat per LSU player.
“As one player said, ‘There is no salad in team, but there is meat,’ ” Chick-fil-A Bowl spokesman Matt Garvey said.
But LSU didn’t take a bite out of the bowl record. Virginia players ate more than 800 pounds last year, Garvey said.
Complimentary copies of The Advocate will be delivered Monday to several hotels in the downtown Atlanta area:
Advocate sportswriter Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.
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