LSU senior guard Josh Dworaczyk won’t play this season because of a knee injury, but the Tigers hope he will have another year of eligibility, coach Les Miles said Monday.
Dworoczyk, who’s from New Iberia, redshirted as a true frshman in 2007. He was locked in a tight competition with T-Bob Hebert to be the starting left guard before being injured in preseason camp.
“We don’t expect Josh to be back,” Miles said Monday at his weekly news luncheon. “He’s doing a great job as a student assistant right now. We would like if at all possible for the NCAA to consider him as a medical (redshirt) candidate. and maybe return him to play next year.”
Dworaczyk, who missed all of spring practice because of a different knee injury, is scheduled to have surgery to repair the most recent injury.
No new injuries
Miles said the Tigers had no new injuries coming out of the 49-3 victory against Northwestern State on Saturday night, but it’s unclear if punter Brad Wing will be available for the Southeastern Conference opener at Mississippi State on Thursday night.
Wing, who missed the game against the Demons because of an undisclosed leg injury, was seen Monday night walking away from the LSU Football Operations Building on crutches with a protective sleeve on his left (kicking) leg.
If Wing can’t play against the Bulldogs, he likely would be replaced by D.J. Howard, who punted three times for a 41-yard average against Northwestern State. Wing’s duties as the holder were handled by Seth Fruge.
Lee slated to go distance
Miles said he’s not planning to play quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who made his LSU debut Saturday by playing the entire second half and completing 8 of 11 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Starter Jarrett Lee had a sore ankle, but he’s fine, Miles said.
“We expect full practices from him,” Miles said of Lee. “I would really anticipate playing Lee from start to finish (against Mississippi State). The opportunity to get Mettenberger in is something that we are giving consideration to considering how he performed. I don’t think there is a plan to give him a specific series.”
Baker back, fill-ins did well
Miles said starting weakside linebacker Ryan Baker is back at practice after missing Saturday’s game because of violating an unspecified team rule.
“It’s an internal discipline matter,” Miles said. “We decided to keep him out for that last game, and I will play him and practice him accordingly.
“We’re going to play him as we see fit and how the practice week goes. Just like we always have.”
Baker’s absence provided more playing time for backups Luke Muncie, Lamin Barrow and Tahj Jones.
“I thought they all played really well,” Miles said. “The good news is that it really increased our depth.
“We will not hesitate to put them in the game again.”
Cowbells will be ringing
Sophomore defensive tackle Michael Brockers was redshirting as a true freshmen two years ago when he traveled with the team to Starkville, Miss., to play Mississippi State. The Bulldogs fans’ signature cowbells left a lasting impression on him.
“Those cowbells are very annoying, because they shake them all game long, nonstop,” Brocker recalled. “I would think their hands would get tired, but they just shake them all game. It gets to you. It’s like, would you please cut those off or stop at some point? But we’re at their place, and it’s part of their tradition, so we just have to play through that and be a dominant team.”
Coaches playing catch-up
Miles said he had his younger coaches break down the Mississippi State film last week so the staff could hit the ground running Sunday to begin preparations for the short week.
“We’re trying to do what was Tuesday’s work for Sunday, Wednesday’s work for Monday and so on,” Miles said. “Considering this day, we’re about a full day ahead. We’re going to need to gain another full day in the next two.”
Advocate sportswriter Scott Rabalais contributed
to this report.
The Associated Press Poll
The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 10, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:
Record Pts Pvs
1. Oklahoma (31) 1-0 1,440 1
2. Alabama (10) 2-0 1,423 3
3. LSU (17) 2-0 1,417 2
4. Boise State (2) 1-0 1,307 4
5. Florida State 2-0 1,195 5
6. Stanford 2-0 1,161 6
7. Wisconsin 2-0 1,091 8
8. Oklahoma State 2-0 1,035 9
9. Texas A&M 1-0 1,025 7
10. South Carolina 2-0 892 12
11. Nebraska 2-0 889 10
12. Oregon 1-1 846 13
13. Virginia Tech 2-0 827 11
14. Arkansas 2-0 770 14
15. Michigan State 2-0 602 17
16. Florida 2-0 515 18
17. Ohio St. 2-0 459 15
18. West Virginia 2-0 416 19
19. Baylor 1-0 371 20
20. South Florida 2-0 351 22
21. Auburn 2-0 348 NR
22. Arizona State 2-0 308 NR
23. TCU 1-1 161 25
23. Texas 2-0 161 24
25. Mississippi State 1-1 124 16
Others receiving votes: Michigan 100, Southern Cal 73, Houston 32, Maryland 32, UCF 31, Northwestern 19, Penn St. 18, BYU 14, Tennessee 13, Missouri 12, Washington 12, Georgia 8, Georgia Tech 2.