LSU offensive line continues improvement
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Injuries and attrition have made their mark on LSU’s offensive line this season, often leaving the Tigers paper-thin at that position.
But after back-to-back games with the same combination, they may have stumbled onto their most effective group.
LSU rallied for a 24-19 win Saturday at Texas A&M with the same line — left tackle Josh Dworaczyk, left guard La’El Collins, center P.J. Lonergan, right guard Trai Turner and right tackle Vadal Alexander — that helped the Tigers dominated the line of scrimmage against South Carolina the week before.
Against the Aggies, LSU’s offense came to life after a slow first quarter. The Tigers finished with 219 rushing yards and gave up two sacks for minus-12 yards.
“They had a tremendously talented offensive line,” said A&M defensive end Damontre Moore, who leads the Southeastern Conference with 91/2 sacks (including one Saturday).
“This was probably the most talented offensive line we’ve played all year. They were talented athletically and had that mean streak that you want your offensive linemen to have. After the game, they shook my hand and said, ‘You did good.’ ”
LSU has used five different combinations on the offensive line this season, partly out of necessity.
Left tackle Chris Faulk suffered season-ending knee injury, and two others — tackle Alex Hurst and guard Josh Williford — did not travel with the team for Saturday’s game.
Hurst has missed the past two games for what coach Les Miles has described as personal reasons. Williford has not played since he suffered a concussion Oct. 6 at Florida.
On Saturday, Turner, a freshman, briefly left the game during the third quarter with an unspecified injury; Elliott Porter replaced Turner, who returned on the next series.
Big day for Hill
Freshman tailback Jeremy Hill, a breakout star in last week’s win over South Carolina, came off the bench for another big day Saturday, rushing for a season-high 127 yards — including a 47-yard TD in the fourth quarter which gave LSU a 24-12 lead.
Hill came off the bench for 124 yards and two touchdowns against South Carolina.
Linebacker Luke Muncie, who has played sparingly the last few weeks while dealing with a stomach virus, was a late scratch for Saturday’s game, though Miles was short with his explanation.
“I think it’s something medical there,” Miles said. “I really don’t know. I know that we’ll see him on Monday and hope that he’s fine.”
Recruits check out teams
Sealy, Texas, wide receiver prospect Ricky Seals-Jones made his official visit to Saturday’s LSU-Texas A&M game, the two schools he said are the finalists for his signature in February.
Seals-Jones (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) is rated as either the No. 1 wide receiver or No. 1 athlete prospect in the nation this year by the nation’s big four recruiting websites.
A one-time commitment to Texas, Seals-Jones has set an official visit to LSU for the Tigers’ Nov. 3 showdown with No. 1-ranked Alabama.
Port Allen linebacker Darian Claiborne (6-1, 227), a longtime A&M commitment, was also scheduled to attend Saturday’s game, along with 2014 tight end Jacory Washington (6-5, 220) of Westlake.
So much for Brad Wing’s slump.
The LSU punter, who averaged an uncharacteristic 33.5 yards per attempt last week, had 10 punts for an average of 45.1 yards Saturday at Texas A&M.
Six of his 10 punts came into a 13-mph headwind. Wing’s longest punt, which traveled 65 yards with the wind behind him, was the third-longest of his career.
This was LSU’s first game without a turnover since the 2011 SEC Championship Game against Georgia. ... This was just LSU’s second win ever in College Station, the previous one coming by a 17-3 score in 1987. The Aggies lead here 7-2-1, but LSU leads the overall series 28-20-3. ... Saturday’s crowd of 87,429 was the fifth-largest in Kyle Field history. ... John David Crow was A&M’s guest captain Saturday. Crow was the 1957 Heisman Trophy winner and the only Aggie to win the award. ... LSU has an open date next week before hosting No. 1-ranked Alabama at 7 p.m. Nov. 3 on CBS.
Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.