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LSU safety Grant Delpit (9) signals the ball belongs to the Tigers after the bobbled catch by LSU defensive back Andraez Williams (29) in what was initially called an interception in the second half against Chattanooga, Saturday, September 9, 2017, at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. LSU defeated Chattanooga 45-10. The call was reversed and the ball given back to the Mocs.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Youth has served LSU in a big way this season, and that continued Saturday in the Tigers’ Southeastern Conference opener at Mississippi State.

LSU started three freshmen against the Bulldogs, the highest number for the Tigers since at least 1986, according to the school.

LSU started freshman Grant Delpit at free safety, Kary Vincent at nickelback and Ed Ingram at right guard.

The Tigers have started as many as four freshmen this season. Going into the Mississippi State game, LSU played 20 true freshmen, the most in FBS through two games.

Before Saturday, the most freshmen the Tigers had started since 1986 in an SEC opener was two: wide receiver Sheddrick Wilson and running back Robert Davis in 1992 (Mississippi State); running back Kevin Faulk and defensive tackle Booger McFarland in 1995 (at Mississippi State); and defensive end Theo Williams and safety Mark Roman in 1996 (at Auburn).

The last LSU freshman to start an SEC opener was cornerback Kevin Toliver here two years ago.

Missed the travel cut

Freshman quarterback Lowell Narcisse was one of several players who did not make the travel squad to Starkville.

The Tigers brought four quarterbacks, including starter Danny Etling, backup Myles Brennan, third-year sophomore Justin McMillan and walk-on-turned-scholarship player Caleb Lewis. SEC teams are restricted to traveling just 70 players on conference road trips.

Several other players did not travel with the team.

Many of them were not a surprise. Orgeron revealed earlier in the week that defensive end Frank Herron, tight end Caleb Roddy and cornerback Kristian Fulton would not be in Starkville.

Wide receiver Dee Anderson and edge rusher Sci Martin also did not make the trip.

Those five players have not played this season, missing the trip to New Orleans for the season opener and not dressing out for the home opener last week.

Orgeron has a policy of not announcing suspensions.

F-back Bry’Kiethon Mouton did not travel. He played in last week’s game but was not on the trip for the season opener.

Other players not on the travel roster included freshman defensive end Justin Thomas, sophomore guard Donavaughn Campbell, freshman receivers Racey McMath and Mannie Netherly, outside linebackers Andre Anthony and MJ Patterson, tight end Aaron Moffitt, running back Lanard Fournette and defensive back Cameron Lewis.

Rearranged D-line

Greg Gilmore has moved positions, at least temporarily.

The Tigers played Gilmore at defensive end Saturday and moved Ed Alexander to the starting nose tackle role, some personnel movement that Orgeron hinted about earlier this week with the loss of Rashard Lawrence.

Lawrence, a sophomore starter, missed the game while recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in the season opener. Gilmore started on the opposite side of end Christian LaCouture, with Alexander in between the two.

West woes

Now in his ninth season as Mississippi State’s head coach, Dan Mullen was just 15-30 against SEC West competition going into Saturday’s game.

Mullen, who is 14-5 against East teams since taking over in 2009, was 1-7 against LSU before Saturday, his only win over the Tigers coming in 2014 in Tiger Stadium.

Mullen is 0-8 against Alabama, 3-5 against Auburn, 4-4 against Arkansas and 2-3 against Texas A&M. The only West school he has a winning record against is Ole Miss, whom he has a 5-3 mark against.


LSU brought both of its field goal kickers on the trip to Baton Rouge, as backup place-kicker Connor Culp also made the journey to State. Walk-on Jack Gonsoulin won a competition this past week after Orgeron opened up the kicker battle. It was not clear if Culp would also travel. … LSU captains were outside linebacker Devin Voorhies, receiver DJ Chark, running back Derrius Guice, defensive lineman Greg Gilmore, receiver Russell Gage and outside linebacker Corey Thompson.