LSU might be without center Elliott Porter for the remainder of the season.
Porter, a senior from Waggaman, injured his right ankle in last week’s 17-0 loss at Arkansas and is doubtful for the Tigers’ season finale at Texas A&M and a bowl game, Les Miles said Wednesday.
“Elliott … not so certain about this game. Not so certain about the bowl game,” Miles said.
Running back Terrence Magee, during a pass-block in the second quarter, accidentally rolled into Porter’s right leg. The 295-pounder’s leg was pinned under Magee, and he dropped to the ground on it.
He did not return to the game and spent several minutes writhing in pain.
Starting right guard Ethan Pocic will replace Porter against the Aggies (7-4, 3-4 Southeastern Conference), Miles said, and senior Evan Washington will likely replace Pocic and start at right guard.
Miles had good news to share, too: Left guard Vadal Alexander will return to practice this week and will play at A&M, the coach said.
Alexander suffered a hand injury in the Nov. 8 loss to Alabama and missed the game against Arkansas. Washington replaced him at left guard, and Hoko Fanaika started at right guard.
LSU (7-4, 3-4) played the final 2½ quarters against Arkansas with a shuffled offensive line that affected the offense, Miles and player said. LSU gained just 123 yards in Fayettevile, Arkansas — the lowest total in a regular-season game since 1975.
The Tigers have an extra five days to prepare for A&M with an offensive line that will at least have one new member.
“It’s going to be a long week,” Miles said. “It allows guys to settle in on their responsibilities, and what they’re supposed to do.”
Meanwhile, cornerback Rashard Robinson remains indefinitely suspended, the coach said.
Miles mum on Harris
Quarterbacks Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris continue to split snaps in practice, but Miles won’t reveal if the true freshman will play at College Station, Texas.
“I’m not ready to say,” the coach responded when asked if Harris could play against the Aggies.
That’s a different answer than Miles has given over the last two to three weeks, when he’s suggested — if not stated — that Harris would play or at least get the opportunity to play.
Miles, on his radio show Wednesday night, said Harris is closing the gap between the two quarterbacks.
“Right now, the guy who gives us the chance to make the other 10 players best is still Anthony Jennings,” Miles said, “but the difference between the two (QBs) is becoming closer.”
Jennings has completed 48 percent of his passes and has thrown for just 123 yards per game. Harris has shown flashes of why he was ranked the No. 3 dual-threat QB in the nation last year, but he struggled in his first and only start at Auburn.
Miles said Jennings had “two miss-throws” at Arkansas and that “for the most part, he played OK.”
“The position takes some time,” Miles said when asked about Harris. “It’s motion, check, read the play. It’s an encompassing position. Certainly those are the things going to get (Harris) to the field. He has a natural arm, he can run and he’s competitive. We like him a lot. But is he ... hopefully by the time we get to Saturday he’ll have taken some more steps and allows us to get him into the game.”
Miles seventh in nation in pay
Miles had the seventh-highest salary among college football coaches last year at $4,369,582, according to research from USA Today.
Miles makes a base salary of $4.3 million — just $300,000 from the school with the other $4 million from private funds. He received $69,582 in outside income last year, something The Advocate reported in July.
Alabama coach Nick Saban tops the list with a total salary of $7,160,187. Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth ranks No. 71 on the list with an annual salary of $1 million and $3,156 in outside pay.
Miles is the third-highest paid coach in the Southeastern Conference behind Saban and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who was fourth nationally with a salary of $5.006 million last year.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio (second, $5.6 million), Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops (third, $5.08 million), Texas’ Charlie Strong (fifth, $5.0 million) and Urban Meyer at Ohio State (sixth, $4.53 million) round out the top six.