LSU wanted to give some true freshmen more playing time in the Tigers second game than the newcomers got in the first game.
After LSU bolted to an early 28-0 lead, it was easy for coach Les Miles and his staff to start running youngsters into what became a 56-17 victory against UAB on Satudray night in Tiger Stadium.
Miles said it was a good opportunity to get those players “some seasoning,” though the results were mixed.
Eight players made their first career appearances — CB/RB Jeryl Brazil, CB Rashard Robinson, S Rickey Jefferson, WR Quantavius Leslie, DE Tashawn Bower, C Ethan Pocic, DT A’Trey-U Jones and DE Lewis Neal.
Robinson’s appearance was the most surprising. He didn’t report to the team until after school started two weeks ago as he awaited approval from the NCAA clearinghouse.
When asked about Robinson’s progress last week, Miles said he was catching up, but indicated he wasn’t game ready. That changed Saturday.
“He can play coverage and tackle,” Miles said. “We didn’t want to give him too much too early, but press coverage and reading coverages is pretty simple. He’s a pretty mature kid. I like him. He may be one of the best.”
Jennings gets more work
Miles said before the game that he wanted to get freshman QB Anthony Jennings more time running the offense and he did.
Jennings, who sneaked for 2 yards on a third-and-1 on his only snap against TCU in the season opener, threw his first career pass and completed it to Leslie for an 11-yard gain. He played 11 snaps and had two rushes for minus-11 yards after a mishandled shotgun snap resulted in a 15-yard loss.
“It was nice to get him some playing time,” Miles said. “We have to get some second-team quarterback reps going forward.”
Hill shaping up
Now that the question of when Jeremy Hill will return to action after being disciplined for a second guilty plea to a misdemeanor has been answered, the next question concerns how big a role he’ll have going forward.
Hill scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run on his first carry of the season in the second quarter. He finished with 50 yards on six carries.
“I want to get him going,” Miles said. “There’s a guy who has been away from his team for four months, not really in great shape. If you look at him, he’s got to get his timing back.
“I still think he’s a guy who’s developing. We’ll see how the week is going. If he’s in great shape he may be the best back.”
Starter Alfred Blue had the fewest carries among the primary running backs, finishing with three rushes for 8 yards. Kenny Hilliard led with 11 carries for 54 yards and Terrence Magee rushed four times for 7 yards.
There were a few notable first accomplished by individuals against UAB. Junior TE Logan Stokes made his first start, junior DE Jordan Allen got his first sack, sophomore DT Quentin Thomas made his his first fumble recovery and Neal had his first sack when he shared one with LB Lamin Barrow. ... Five true freshman were in on at least one tackle on defense or special teams — Jefferson, Bower, Neal, CB Tre’Davious White and LB Kendell Beckwith. ... Sophomore LB Lamar Louis had a career-high seven tackles, tying Barrow for the team lead. ... LSU showed that it matters more what you do with the football than how long you have it. The Tigers’ time of possession was 26 minutes, 30 seconds, and UAB’s was 33:30.