Tigers work on cutting down penalties as Bama game nears
LSU is working on reducing its penalties as it prepares to play No. 1 Alabama on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers are the most penalized team in the Southeastern Conference, having committed 68, an average of 8.5 per game. They averaged 6.1 last season. LSU’s average of 64.9 yards in penalties is third-worst in the SEC.
The Crimson Tide rank fifth in penalty yards (64.9) and are tied for third in fewest penalties (38).
“As a team, we discuss it all the time,” LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow said. “We really have to buckle down because we’ve been giving a lot of yardage up in the last few weeks in penalties. We’re just trying to play mistake-free football because penalties set us back. Coach (Les) Miles puts pressure on us not to make mistakes.”
The Tigers showed improvement two games ago when they tied a season-low with five penalties for a season-low 29 yards in a 23-21 victory against South Carolina. But a week later in a 24-19 victory at Texas A&M, LSU had season-worsts with 13 penalties for 102 yards.
“It’s just being in the game environment,” Barrow said. “We’re anxious to make plays, and we jump offsides or play a little too hard. We’re competitors and trying to do our best, and things like that happen.”
‘Following his footsteps’
LSU passed for a season-low 97 yards against A&M, and Zach Mettenberger completed just 11 of 29 passes.
The Tigers know they’ll have to pass the ball more effectively against Bama if they’re going to win.
Tackle Josh Dworaczyk said he could see in practice that Mettenberger is serious about getting the struggling passing game on track.
“There were a couple of times when we might not have a gotten a play exactly right, and usually a coach is the first one who has to say, ‘Let’s repeat that,’ ” Dworaczyk said, “but Zach did it a couple of times last week where his throw might have been a reception, but he just didn’t feel it, or it didn’t come out right, or he wanted it to be perfect, and we would go back and repeat a play just so Zach could get it right.
“As an offense, when you see your leader making those calls and making those decisions, it helps your offense to come along. So we’re kind of following his footsteps.”
Alexander to be recognized
Former Tigers running back Charles Alexander will be recognized during Saturday’s game for his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Alexander played at LSU from 1975-78, was an All-American his last two seasons and a Heisman Trophy finalist as a senior, finishing fifth.
The National Football Foundation, which sponsors the Hall of Fame, will present Alexander and LSU with a plaque recognizing his induction into the Hall of Fame between the first and second quarters, and Alexander will be featured on the front of the game program that night.
Alexander will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December during ceremonies in New York City. He will become the eighth player in LSU history to be inducted.
“This is an important recognition for one of the legendary figures in LSU athletics history,” LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said in a release. “This honor is one of the most significant and prestigious honors in all of sports and one which is well-deserved. Charlie played an important role in LSU football history and the University congratulates him on this tremendous honor.”
Alexander was the MVP of the Southeastern Conference in 1977, set nine SEC records and tied another. He finished his career holding 27 LSU records, and he still holds the school records for most rushes in a game (43), most yards in a season (1,686) and most yards gained per game in a season (153.3).
He is a member of LSU’s Modern Day Team of the Century, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
ESPN on Parade Grounds
The ESPN “College GameDay” set will be on the Parade Grounds at LSU for Saturday’s broadcast. The show airs on ESPNU beginning at 8 a.m. and on ESPN beginning at 9 a.m. and runs until 11 a.m.
This will be the show’s first visit to Tiger Stadium since a game between No. 1 Florida and No. 4 LSU on Oct. 10, 2009. The show was broadcast from the site of three LSU games last season — Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the season opener against Oregon, at West Virginia and at Alabama.
In addition, ESPN Radio’s “GameDay” will be broadcast from Walk-On’s near Tiger Stadium on Friday and Saturday, as it was for the game against South Carolina three weeks ago.
Bank offers free LSU towels
Capital One Bank is giving away a “Tiger Towel” for fans to wave during Saturday’s game as part of the bank’s “Show Your Stripes” campaign.
The towels will be available in all Louisiana Capital One branches all this week, and they will also be distributed in Tiger Stadium on Saturday.
Additionally, fans who speak with a banker at Capital One Bank branches this week will receive an LSU commemorative coffee table book.