A few stitches didn’t stop Travin Dural.
Dural, injured in a car wreck last weekend, started LSU’s game against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night and had two catches in the first quarter and four by halftime. He was targeted at least seven times in the first half, continuing his connection with quarterback Anthony Jennings.
Dural suffered a forehead laceration above his left eye during an early-morning car accident Sunday and needed about 15 stitches to his forehead. He missed practice Monday and Tuesday before rejoining the team during Wednesday’s drills.
“I felt pretty good,” he said. “I wasn’t worried about my eye too much. I was just playing like nothing ever happened.”
There was some question whether the Tigers’ No. 1 receiver could wear a helmet with the stitches, but sophomore seemed fine.
He started along with freshman Trey Quinn, and Jennings found Dural for his first completion of the game on LSU’s second drive. Dural caught a 14-yard deep out route to set up Colby Delahoussaye’s 21-yard field goal.
Dural broke a streak of his own with his second catch of the game late in the first quarter. Jennings found him for a 5-yard completion; it was the first reception for Dural that did not go for a first down or touchdown.
He began his LSU career with 14 catches — all for a first down or touchdown.
Freshman defensive tackle Davon Godchaux and linebackers Duke Riley and Deion Jones made their first career starts Saturday night.
Godchaux replaced Quentin Thomas and made a tackle for loss on the defense’s second play of the game, making a swift move around an offensive lineman to gobble up running back Tyler Cain.
Riley and Jones replaced Lamar Louis and Kwon Alexander, who never saw the field but were dressed out. Alexander and Louis were spotted in a photo from Tuesday’s practice this week not practicing.
Alexander has been nursing a stinger in his shoulder. He played just three series in the win over Sam Houston State. Louis’ absence is unclear, but coach Les Miles said both Alexander and Louis could have played Saturday and will be expected to be healthy for the game against Mississippi State next week.
Thomas, playing with a torn biceps, entered to start UL-Monroe’s third drive of the game. He rotated in with Godchaux, who has developed into a star rookie.
“It’s amazing how he has taken to the calls and understanding of what we expect of him,” Miles said.
As expected, Elliott Porter started at center, replacing Ethan Pocic. Porter returned from a two-game suspension related to summer-job pay issues.
Pocic, a sophomore who started the first two games, suffered a right ankle sprain in the win over Sam Houston State, but he dressed out and participated in warmups. Miles said Pocic was held out as a precaution and could have “played in a number of spots.”
Washington continued to bounce around in spot play on LSU’s line. He played right guard and left guard for a series each in the first half. Washington is LSU’s sixth man for the line.
Since dropping his debut game in Tiger Stadium on Sept. 26, 2005, a 30-27 overtime decision over Tennessee, Miles has now won 24 games in a row at home in that month.
Miles extended the streak with Saturday night’s win against UL-Monroe and has two more home games this month against Mississippi State on Saturday and New Mexico State (Sept. 27). Miles is 34-3 all-time in September since taking over in 2005, with the only other losses coming on the road at Auburn (2006) and Georgia (2013).
Frosh DT dresses
Freshman defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao dressed out for the first time this season. The three-star prospect from Texas punched through a glass window over the summer, severely cutting his left biceps.
He spent the last month recovering. He joined the team at practice this week.
Hoko Fanaika seems to have secured the starting spot at right guard over Evan Washington. The two have been listed as co-starters, with an “or” between their names, for much of preseason and the first three weeks. They fought for the starting job throughout camp. ... Freshman Jamal Adams was one of five LSU captains. He was joined by cornerback Tre’Davious White, left tackle La’el Collins, right tackle Jerald Hawkins, safety Dwayne Thomas and kicker Trent Domingue. … Freshman linebacker Clifton Garrett saw his first action: He was on the punt team. LSU has now played 17 true freshmen in the 2014 signing class. … ULM is 1-26 against ranked FBS opponents since 1994.