LSU starting cornerback Rashard Robinson missed the No. 14 Tigers’ 20-13 overtime loss to No. 4 Alabama on Saturday night while serving a suspension.
Robinson is “suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules,” the school said in a statement about an hour before the game.
Robinson, a sophomore and preseason All-SEC third-team member, had started the previous six games for LSU. A former four-star prospect out of Florida, Robinson is viewed as the Tigers’ most talented cornerback and was expected to help cover Alabama receiver Amari Cooper, the SEC’s leading wideout. Cooper caught eight passes for 83 yards.
His absence meant a bigger role for junior cornerback Jalen Collins. Collins, Robinson and Tre’Davious White rotate at the two cornerback positions. Robinson and White play the majority of the snaps and often start. White and Collins traded the duty of covering Cooper.
LSU coach Les Miles said Robinson’s absence had “absolutely no effect on the outcome of this game.”
Robinson missed LSU’s 28-24 season-opening win over Wisconsin while serving a one-game suspension. Details of that suspension were never released.
Robinson has 17 tackles and one for loss. He started two of the last three games last year as a true freshman as Jalen Mills shifted to safety.
In addition to drawing more than 100,000 fans to Tiger Stadium, Saturday night’s game attracted a larger media throng than usual.
LSU issued 163 press box credentials and 748 credentials in all, school officials said. The total was well shy of the school-record 912 credentials given out for the 2012 clash with Alabama.
The count included media and media staff, CBS, ESPN Radio, Spanish radio, the schools’ radio networks, SEC Nation, ESPN GameDay Radio, photographers and videographers.
Representatives of six bowls — the Sugar, Orange, Peach, Florida Citrus, TaxSlayer and Texas — were on hand as well as scouts from the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets.
Toms the Tiger fan
Not even being tied for the lead midway through a PGA Tour event could keep former LSU Tiger and devout LSU football fan David Toms from the LSU-Alabama game.
Toms and fellow former Tiger and touring pro John Peterson, along with former LSU player and PGA Tour caddy William Lanier, flew from Jackson, Mississippi, on a private plane after completing third-round play in the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson.
Toms struggled a bit in the third round, shooting an even-par 72 to stay at 10-under and fall four strokes off the lead of second-round co-leader John Rollins.
Peterson also shot 72 and was at 3-under, while former Tiger Andrew Loupe was 1-over.
Bama’s Robinson starts
Alabama left tackle Cameron Robinson is a fast healer.
Robinson, originally thought to be out for this game, started. He suffered a high ankle sprain in a win over Tennessee two weeks ago.
Robinson, a Monroe native and No. 1 tackle recruit in the nation last year, spurned LSU for Alabama. He has taken flack from LSU fans for leaving the state. After being cleared earlier this week, he tweeted this message: “I haven’t forgotten anything. Personal!”
Mike the no-show
Mike VI officially became 0-for-the-season Saturday night: LSU’s Bengal tiger mascot again did not make his traditional pregame trip around Tiger Stadium in his rolling cage.
Mike didn’t appear at any of LSU’s seven home games this season. His handlers have said they would not try to force him to get into his rolling cage if he doesn’t cooperate.
Mike VI has been in the stadium for only 32 of his 50 games as LSU’s mascot since 2007.
The Tiger Stadium crowd observed a moment of silence before the national anthem for LSU fan Brian Tingley. Tingley, a 30-year season-ticket holder from Gretna, died after suffering a heart attack in the south end zone stands late in the Tigers’ 10-7 upset win against then-No. 3 Ole Miss on Oct. 25.
Former LSU RB Jeremy Hill was in attendance Saturday. Hill had 55 yards on 12 carries in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 24-3 loss Thursday to the Cleveland Browns. … LSU honored 22 seniors in a pregame ceremony. … LSU captains Saturday were linebackers Kendell Beckwith and D.J. Welter, defensive end Jermauria Rasco, left tackle La’el Collins and kickoff specialist Trent Domingue. Guest captains included former players Stevan Ridley, Alfred Blue and Marcus Spears. … Kenny Hilliard started at running back, breaking a streak by Leonard Fournette. Fournette was announced as the starter, and he had started three straight games. … Mlies’ birthday is Monday. He’ll turn 61. … Alabama improved its lead in the all-time series to 49-25-5. … Saturday’s game marked LSU’s earliest home finale since Nov. 4, 2000 — also against Alabama.