LSU notebook: Colby Delahoussaye appreciates his one blemish

TAMPA, Fla. — Colby Delahoussaye is glad he’s no longer perfect, but that one missed field goal has the walk-on LSU kicker gritting his teeth.

“It does eat at me,” he said.

The true freshman started the season by making nine straight field goals before a miss against Furman. Since then, he has made four straight heading into Wednesday’s Outback Bowl between No. 14 LSU (9-3) and Iowa (8-4).

The miss against Furman came while the New Iberia native was suffering from a painful groin injury. The 31-yard miss was “a good thing … almost,” Delahoussaye said this week from the LSU team hotel in Tampa.

“I think it was a good thing,” he said, “because before I went nine straight and the pressure was building up like, ‘When am I going to miss?’ People just ask me, ‘When is it going to happen?’ Now I don’t have to worry about that. I just go out on the field and kick it.”

Delahoussaye has made 13 of 14 attempts, a 92.9 conversion percentage. That’s tied for seventh nationally and leads the Southeastern Conference. He has made all three of his kicks of 40 yards or more.

Delahoussaye came to LSU as a preferred walk-on, choosing the Tigers over a scholarship offer from Houston and a preferred walk-on offer from Mississippi State.

He suffered a groin injury in the loss at Georgia on Sept. 28. He continued to kick, though. Four weeks later, during warmups for Furman, he kicked a field goal, and the groin “felt terrible, real painful,” he said.

“Probably shouldn’t have kicked that game,” he said.

It led to the one blemish. Not that it’s completely a bad thing.

Getting a push

When LSU and Iowa duel Wednesday, running back Jeremy Hill said his offensive line will need to get a “push up front” against the hefty Hawkeyes.

“They’re a bigger football team, one of the bigger we’ve faced,” Hill said. “Those guys don’t normally give up too much push.”

Iowa’s defensive line starters average 280 pounds, including 310-pound tackle Carl Davis.

Most expect the Tigers to run the ball more than usual with a true freshman making his first start at quarterback, but that’s not necessarily the case, coach Les Miles said. LSU’s best weapons are at receiver, the coach said.

“We’ve got maybe the two best receivers I’ve been around. I think Odell Beckham or Jarvis Landry … give them the opportunity to make plays,” Miles said. “I think that’s the best way.”

LSU opens practice

LSU on Saturday opened its first practice to the media since fall camp, the third of five Tampa-based practices it has scheduled before Wednesday’s game.

Reporters were allowed to take video and photographs for about 20 minutes while the Tigers stretched and went through position drills at the University of Tampa’s soccer field.

Cameras spent much of the time focused on quarterback Anthony Jennings, a true freshman scheduled to make his first career start in the bowl game.

Jennings was seen with five other quarterbacks going through drills with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron watching and offering advice.

Miles: Mett can coach

Injured starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger has a future as a coach, Miles said.

Mettenberger, who suffered a torn ACL against Arkansas, has acted as a coach since the team began bowl practice last week.

“He’s been in every meeting, enjoying the position as coach,” Miles said. “Honestly, I think he could be a coach. Any time that you fought like heck for victory and you proved that you had victories and defeats, you’ve got a leg up on guys that don’t necessarily have those experiences.”

Mettenberger is expected to have surgery when the team returns to Baton Rouge next week.

Lagniappe

Josh Boutte, a true freshman from New Iberia, was in a green, “no-contact” jersey during Saturday’s practice. He is listed as the backup to left tackle La’el Collins. The team is not disclosing the injury, spokesman Michael Bonnette said, but it’s “nothing serious.” … LSU and Iowa players visited the children’s wing of Tampa General Hospital on Saturday afternoon. At night, the teams competed at a local bowling alley. The teams are slated to attend a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game Sunday night.