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LSU linebacker Devin White (40) dives onto a fumble by Troy running back Jordan Chunn (38) in the second half against Troy, Saturday, September 30, 2017, on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La. Troy defeated LSU 24-21.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

It’s not hard to spot No. 40 on LSU’s football team.

Devin White is in the game on nearly every defensive play, running from sideline to sideline as the Tigers’ new version of Duke Riley or Deion Jones, a fast, athletic, playmaking linebacker.

But he can’t do it all.

“We need people to start studying more,” White said, “and knowing what’s going on.”

Consider it a warning shot from the sophomore linebacker after the Tigers’ 24-21 loss to Troy on Saturday night at Tiger Stadium, a backbreaking defeat for a squad that now has seven straight Southeastern Conference games.

White leads the team in tackles with 49, the most by an LSU defender through the first five games since 2002 (Bradie James, 64). He’s got 18 more than the next player — a stat that is both impressive and troubling at the same time. A defensive back, John Battle, is second with 31, and defensive end Christian LaCouture is third with 29.

The gang tackling seems to be missing from a unit known for its vicious hits last year under second-year coordinator Dave Aranda. More serious problems are mental, those that White referred to after the game. LSU (3-2) starts and rotates in about six true freshmen or redshirt freshmen.

“It’s everybody. It’s not just the line,” coach Ed Orgeron said of a defense that allowed 206 yards rushing to Troy (4-1). “It’s the linebackers, safeties fitting. That big (74- yard) run was a mistake by a young player. He wasn’t in his gap, and we missed a lot of tackles. We should have tackled better. We got beat on fundamentals tonight — blocking and tackling.”

The Tigers allowed runs of 74, 29 and 11 in the second half. LSU has allowed 64 points in second halves of the past four games — 16 points a half.

Outside of youth, what are the issues?

Syracuse coach Dino Babers noticed something late in the Tigers’ 35-26 win over the Orange on Sept. 23.

“I looked over at the end, and they were falling down with cramps,” he said on his radio show last Thursday.

The line depth has been a story of the offseason. LSU played for a third time in its first five games without a guy Orgeron refers to as his team’s most consistent defender: DE Rashard Lawrence, battling an ankle injury. He remains “questionable,” the coach said. Nose tackle Ed Alexander (right hand) remains questionable, too, and rotational senior Frank Herron (presumed suspension) will miss one more game before his expected to return against Auburn.

Meanwhile, at least one defender now has a new problem. Outside linebacker Corey Thompson suffered a stinger to his right shoulder/neck area against the Trojans, the LSU radio broadcast team reported. His status is unavailable. He did not play for much of the second half.

Despite the issues, the mental hurdles linger.

“We misfit some things that they kind of hit for big plays,” White said. “At the end of the day, it was who wanted it more. You could tell they wanted it more.”

Williams ‘dinged,’ Weathersby ‘questionable’

The status of four LSU offensive players remains in question ahead of this week’s game at No. 21 Florida (3-1).

Running back Darrel Williams injured his ankle in the second half of Saturday’s loss, but Orgeron “thinks he’s going to be alright,” the coach said. Starting running back Derrius Guice did not play Saturday despite dressing out and remains in question for the Florida game.

"We'll see," Orgeron said when asked about Guice.

Starting right tackle Toby Weathersby is questionable, the coach said. He “couldn’t practice” last week, the coach said, presumably because of an undisclosed injury. F-back JD Moore is out for an undisclosed injury as well. Orgeron did not comment on his status.

Lagniappe

SEC Nation, the SEC Network’s traveling pregame show, will originate from Gainesville, Florida, ahead of LSU’s clash with the Gators. The game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday on CBS. … With JaCoby Stevens getting the start for LSU in Saturday’s loss to Troy, the Tigers have started eight true freshmen this season. … LSU had gone 314 rushing attempts before Nick Brossette’s game-opening fumble on Saturday.

Sheldon Mickles contributed to this report. 


LSU Availability Report

New in italics

 Year

 Player

 Position

 Reason

 Status

 Defense

 Sophomore

 Rashard Lawrence

 DE

 Injured (right ankle)

 Questionable

 Senior

 Ed Paris

 S

 Injured (left knee)

 Out

 Sophomore

 Kristian Fulton

 CB

 Presumably suspended^

 Out

  Senior

 Frank Herron

 DE

 Presumably suspended^

 Out*

 Sophomore

 Ed Alexander

 NT

 Injured (right hand)

 Questionable

 RS Freshman 

 Andre Anthony

 B-OLB

 Inured (ankle)

 Out

 Freshman

 Tyler Shelvin

 NT

 Academically ineligible

 Out

 Sophomore

 Sci Martin

 B-OLB

 Presumably suspended^

 Out

 Junior

 Breiden Fehoko

 DE/NT

 Ineligible after FBS transfer

 Out

 Senior

 Corey Thompson

 F-OLB

 Injured (stinger/right shoulder)^^

 Unclear

 Offense

 Junior

 Jonathan Giles

 WR

 Ineligible after FBS transfer

 Out

 Senior

 Darrel Williams

 RB

 Injured (ankle)^^

 Unclear

 Senior

 JD Moore

 FB

 Injured (?)

 Questionable

 Junior

 Toby Weathersby

 OL

 Injured (?)

 Questionable

 Sophomore

 Caleb Roddy

 TE

 Presumably suspended^

 Out

 Sophomore

 Thaddeus Moss

 TE

 Ineligible after FBS transfer

 Out

 Sophomore

 Donavaughn Campbell

 OL

 Injured (left ankle/foot)

 Out

*return set for Oct. 14 vs. Auburn, Ed Orgeron said
^has not dressed out for a game this season and are in and out of practice
^^according to LSU radio broadcast 

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.