Morning kickoff set for Kentucky-LSU game

The day LSU football fans have dreaded for years has arrived:

It’s once again time out break out the bourbon and bran flakes.

Southeastern Conference officials announced Monday that the Tigers’ next home game, Oct. 1 against Kentucky, has been chosen for an 11:21 a.m. kickoff on the SEC Network (locally on WAFB).

It’s the first time since the current SEC television package was created in 2009 that the SEC Network will televise a game from Tiger Stadium. LSU’s only other appearance on the SEC Network was for its 30-26 win at Mississippi State two years ago.

It’s also the first LSU home game to start earlier than the 2:30 p.m. CBS time slot since the Tigers’ 2008 home opener against Appalachian State was moved up to 10 a.m. on ESPN Classic in advance of Hurricane Gustav.

Part of the reason for the early time slot for LSU-UK is the fact that Oct. 1 is a CBS daytime-prime time doubleheader at 2:30 and 7 p.m. No SEC games can start against those CBS games on other networks.

CBS has placed a six-day hold on three games for Oct. 1: Alabama at Florida, Auburn at South Carolina and Arkansas vs. Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas. The game not picked by CBS will be on ESPN.

In other Oct. 1 SEC games, Mississippi State is at Georgia at 11 a.m. on FSN, Buffalo is at Tennessee at 11:30 a.m. on CSS and Ole Miss is at Fresno State at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN2 (All times CDT).

This Saturday’s SEC TV schedule has Georgia at Ole Miss on the SEC Network at 11:21 a.m., Arkansas at Alabama at 2:30 p.m. on CBS, Florida at Kentucky at 6 p.m. on ESPN, Vanderbilt at South Carolina at 6 p.m. on ESPN2, Florida Atlantic at Auburn at 6 p.m. on Fox Sports, Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State at 6 p.m. on ESPNU and LSU at West Virginia at 7 p.m. on ABC.

Injury affecting kickoffs

An injury on a kickoff return late in the Tigers’ season opener against Oregon has been a major factor in hampering Drew Alleman’s kickoff tries, the LSU kicker said Monday.

“My leg is a little sore right now,” Alleman said. “I’m trying to get healthy so I can get power back in my kickoffs.”

Alleman said, on his second-to-last kickoff against the Ducks, a player was pushing LSU’s Alfred Blue toward him. Alleman tried to get away but he slipped and Blue rolled into his right knee.

Alleman has continued to serve as LSU’s field-goal kicker (he’s 6 of 7 in that department, including 4 of 4 against Mississippi State) but has deferred the kickoff duties the last two games to walk-on kicker/punter D.J. Howard.

“I had to take a break,” Alleman said. “It’s fully healed; it’s just tight right now. I have to strengthen it to get my full range of motion.”

In other injury news, LSU coach Les Miles said at his weekly media luncheon Monday that he is hopeful starting left tackle Chris Faulk and punter Brad Wing are improving enough to play Saturday. Faulk injured his ankle just four minutes into the game at Mississippi State, while Wing suffered a leg injury that caused him to miss the last two contests.

Game Day in Morgantown

ESPN announced Monday it will be setting up the stage for its “College Game Day” program in Morgantown, W.Va., on the university’s Downtown Campus at Mountainlair Plaza on the corner of North High and Prospect streets.

This will be the first time ESPN brings its popular show to West Virginia. The show is on from 9-11 a.m. CDT on ESPN and 8-9 a.m. on ESPNU.

Honors for Tigers

Three LSU players received honors Monday for their play in Thursday’s 19-6 win at State.

Defensive tackle Bennie Logan was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week, while wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was named SEC Freshman of the Week. Logan, also named the LSWA’s defensive player of the week, had five tackles - 3-1/2 of them for losses - while Beckham caught a career-high eight passes for 61 yards.

Alleman was named a national Star of the Week by the Palm Beach (Fla.) County Sports Commission, the organization that sponsors the Lou Groza Award. Alleman kicked a career-high four field goals against the Bulldogs. He was also one of two LSWA special teams players of the week.

Sunday, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Back of the Week after his two-interception performance. He also got top play honors Thursday night on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” for his first pick on a leaping grab of a long pass over the middle by Chris Relf.

“It felt pretty good to know you won something like that,” Claiborne said of the Camp award.

What feels better, that or having the play of the day on “SportsCenter”?

“I’ll take the award,” Claiborne said. “Though that (ESPN) was pretty cool, too.”