BY SCott Rabalais
September 24, 2012
Alfred Blue is through ... at least for a little while.
The junior tailback, who got the start for No. 2-ranked LSU in its first three games, will likely miss Saturday’s game at Auburn (6 p.m., ESPN), according to coach Les Miles.
Miles didn’t reveal the exact nature of the injury, but Blue was seen walking off the field last Saturday with the aid of a crutch with about nine minutes to go in the Tigers’ 63-14 victory over Idaho.
Rumors swirled Monday that Blue had a season-ending knee injury, but Miles said he believes Blue can return.
Blue, who was quietly named the starting tailback back in early August, had 40 carries for 270 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. He had 10 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown against Idaho.
Likely to start at Auburn will be bruising sophomore Kenny Hilliard.
Hilliard leads LSU with 37 carries for 303 yards (8.2 yards per carry with six touchdowns). He is the first LSU player to have two rushing touchdowns in each of the Tigers’ first three games since All-American Charles Alexander in 1978.
Miles said he also expects to regain the services of junior Spencer Ware, who started most of the 2011 season but has been troubled since preseason camp by a deep thigh bruise.
Ware’s only action so far was in week two against Washington, when he had 38 yards on eight carries.
Blue’s absence may open a path for even more carries for freshman tailback Jeremy Hill. The former Redemptorist star made his LSU debut an impressive one against Idaho, with 10 carries for 61 yards and two touchdowns.
“Jeremy Hill is going to be a very talented back with good ball skills,” Miles said. “We’re going to move him into the rotation some.”
The Tigers also have junior Michael Ford at tailback. Ford had just one carry for 9 yards against Idaho, but took over on kickoff returns with three returns for 99 yards (long of 42), a role Miles indicated is likely to continue.
O-line injury report
Left tackle Josh Dworaczyk suffered a thigh bruise in the Idaho game and was taken out for precautionary reasons, but Miles said he expects the sixth-year senior to return to the starting lineup at Auburn.
Center P.J. Lonergan didn’t start against Idaho, playing sparingly as a backup to sophomore Elliott Porter, but Miles said he expects Lonergan to start at Auburn.
Miles said when Dworaczyk went out last Saturday, LSU shifted starting right tackle Alex Hurst to left tackle and inserted true freshman Vadal Alexander (a January enrollee) on the left side.
“He played pretty well after he got his feet on the ground,” Miles said of Alexander. “I like the fact we moved some guys around who are going to play significant snaps for us.”
LSU-Towson on ‘The U’
The Southeastern Conference office announced TV games and kickoff times for Sept. 29, with the LSU-Towson game set for a 6 p.m. start in Tiger Stadium on ESPNU.
This will be LSU’s second appearance on “The U” this season. The Tigers’ opener with North Texas was also on that network.
This Saturday’s LSU game at Auburn will be at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
Towson is ranked No. 12 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and is 1-1 so far with a 41-21 loss at Kent State and a 20-17 win over William & Mary.
The rest of the SEC TV schedule for Sept. 29 is as follows (all times Central):
n Missouri at Central Florida, 11 a.m., FSN
n Arkansas at Texas A&M, 11:21 a.m., SEC Network
n Tennessee at Georgia, 2:30 p.m., CBS
n South Carolina at Kentucky, 6 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2
n Ole Miss at Alabama, 8:15 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2
Martin earns LSWA honor
Sophomore strong safety Ronald Martin was named Louisiana defensive player of the week Monday by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA).
Martin — who started in place of junior Craig Loston — had two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and five tackles.
“I thought Ronald Martin was really good,” Miles said. “He tackled well, handled his responsibilities well (and) hustled to get to balls.”
Miles indicated Loston, who has battled a turf toe problem since preseason camp, can play against Auburn but needs to have a good week of practice.