For so long — seven games, to be specific — Tre’Davious White caught the punt and ran toward a hole straight up the field before it closed around him.
A typical gain: 8 yards.
“I’ve been doing a poor job of judging the field and seeing green grass,” White said.
That changed last Saturday in a 41-3 win over Kentucky.
In that one game, White, a sophomore cornerback, equaled his number of return yards through the first seven games: 114 (on four returns). Outside of a few crushing blocks — ahem, Jamal Adams — White said his vision was better Saturday than in the past.
“I feel like I came into this Saturday and I saw the field a lot better,” he said. “This year, I’ve been seeing a hole towards the middle and it looked pretty much open but it closed up very quickly.”
He took alternate routes Saturday for returns of 9, 17, 21 and 67 yards, the last for a touchdown in which he received a generous block from Adams and drew in a half-dozen Kentucky players before wheeling around them.
Is there more to come from White? There might need for it. No. 24 LSU (6-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) is a home underdog — a rarity — against No. 3 Ole Miss (7-0, 4-0) on Saturday night.
LSU beat the Rebels two years ago in Tiger Stadium in part because of an 89-yard punt return for a score from former receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the guy White replaced.
It was a rough start. White returned his first 13 punts for a combined 114 yards.
Special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto had been telling White for weeks, “You’re close, you’re close,” White said.
He finally broke through.
“I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself, and my teammates been putting a lot of pressure — especially (safety) Rickey Jefferson,” White said. “He was like, ‘Got to have a lot of juice man. Get some juice.’ ”
Kicker Colby Delahoussaye’s first reaction upon hitting the ball was “Oh,” he said.
Delhoussaye’s 35-yard field goal in the 41-3 win over Kentucky last Saturday ricocheted off of the left upright and bounced in. It was his 11th straight made field goal dating back to last season.
It was oh-so close to being his first miss of the year, though.
“It wasn’t a great hit, and the wind was so tricky in the second quarter,” said Delahoussaye, who’s hit all seven attempts this season, including a 50-yard game-winner at Florida. “I was just hoping it would stay true, and then I saw it kind of curve. I was like, ‘Man, this will be close.’ And then it hit off of the post and went in, and I just broke a smile. You can’t do anything but smile at that.”
Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of Delahoussaye’s last and only miss at LSU — a 31-yarder against Furman last October.
Does Delahoussaye know how many consecutive kicks he’s made?
“No idea,” he said this week.
LSU-Ole Miss series
In one of the Tigers’ most-played series, LSU leads Ole Miss 58-40-4.
The teams first met in LSU’s second season of football back in 1894, with Ole Miss winning 26-6 in Baton Rouge. Overall, LSU holds a 38-23-1 lead in games in Baton Rouge.
The Tigers are 6-3 against Ole Miss under Miles. LSU is 10-4 against the Rebels since 2000.
LSU is ranked No. 24 in The Associated Press top 25 while Ole Miss is No. 3, making this the first time since 1970 that both teams are ranked coming into a game in Tiger Stadium. That year, No. 8 LSU beat No. 16 Ole Miss 61-17 to capture the Southeastern Conference championship.
LSU will recognize the wife and daughter of late football coach Bo Rein at Saturday’s game. It will be the first LSU football game for Rein’s wife and daughter, team spokesman Michael Bonnette said. Rein was hired at LSU following the 1979 season, but he never coached a game. He died in a plane crash in January 1980. ... LSU great Billy Cannon will serve as one of four guest captains ahead of the game against Ole Miss. Cannon will be joined by other LSU greats former quarterback Bert Jones, linebacker Bradie James and former running back Billy Baggett.