Just when LSU looked like it was finally getting back to full health, the injury bug bit again.
Sophomore fullback JD Moore’s status is uncertain for the game against No. 8 Florida (6-0, 4-0 Southeastern), LSU coach Les Miles said during his weekly press luncheon Monday. Moore injured his left knee during the No. 6 Tigers’ 45-24 win against South Carolina last Saturday, and a source told The Advocate he was scheduled for an MRI.
“I don’t know about JD,” Miles said. “We’ll know later in the week.”
Moore made a one-handed grab in the first quarter but took a vicious hit to his left thigh as he tried to plant on that leg. The fullback has been an important piece of LSU’s run-heavy offense as the lead blocker for Heisman Trophy frontrunner Leonard Fournette.
True freshman Bry’Kiethon Mouton replaced Moore, but the No. 6 Tigers (5-0, 3-0) used a single-back look or ran out of the shotgun more than anything.
“I think Mouton, with a real quality week of preparation, will do great,” Miles said. “(True freshman) David Ducre would be the guy that stepped in behind him and started training a little bit more reps in practice for him.”
Senior defensive back Jalen Mills’ status remains uncertain as well, though he dressed out and participated in pregame warmups before the South Carolina game for the first time this season.
He started running and cutting on his injured ankle a few weeks ago, but Miles has repeatedly declined to give a timetable for his return.
“He’s going to practice,” Miles said. “We’ll have to see.”
LSU’s injury report isn’t all doom and gloom. Miles said senior tight end Dillon Gordon and junior defensive end Tashawn Bower “both should play” against Florida (6-0, 4-0) this Saturday in Tiger Stadium.
Gordon last played against Auburn on Sept. 19, when he suffered an Achilles injury that prevented him from dressing out for a game until last Saturday. Bower hasn’t seen a snap since hurting his ankle in the team’s win at Syracuse on Sept. 26 despite dressing out for the last two games.
Guice, Pocic win SEC honors
The Southeastern Conference honored a pair of LSU players for the third time this season.
Junior center Ethan Pocic was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week and running back Derrius Guice earned SEC Freshman of the Week for their efforts against South Carolina, the league announced Monday.
Pocic helped pave the way for the Tigers’ 396 rushing yards and 624 total yards — the most for the program in any SEC game since 1987 — against the Gamecocks. Guice had a breakout game Saturday, busting through several tackles on his way to 161 yards and his first career touchdown on 16 carries.
Report: Ed Orgeron not candidate at USC
Southern Cal’s firing Monday of coach Steve Sarkisian might have some LSU fans worrying the school could come after former USC assistant and current LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron.
Relax. According to an ESPN report, Orgeron is not on a list of possible candidates that Southern Cal has started compiling. Orgeron spent more than 10 years covering two different stints as a Southern Cal assistant coach. He served as interim head coach for the last eight games of 2013, when USC fired coach Lane Kiffin.
The Trojans went 6-2 with Orgeron at the helm, and many thought Southern Cal would hire the Louisiana native for the full-time gig. USC passed on Orgeron for Sarkisian, then the coach at Washington.
Orgeron was “outraged” by USC athletic director Pat Haden’s decision, even though Haden offered to make Orgeron an assistant head coach and one of the nation’s highest paid assistants, according to an ESPN story.
‘My heart was shattered’
The news of Georgia running back Nick Chubb’s gruesome knee injury didn’t sit well with Fournette.
“Aaaww man,” he said following the Tigers’ win Saturday.
Chubb was a Heisman Trophy favorite before the season, but Fournette surged past him and all the other contenders with just a few performances. The sophomore went down on the first play from scrimmage in Georgia’s 38-31 loss at Tennessee on Saturday, and Bulldogs’ coach Mark Richt said he will probably miss the rest of the seaso. Chubb was in pursuit of several Georgia rushing records, much like Fournette at LSU. “My heart was shattered. Never want to see an athlete go down,” Fournette said. “Knowing we go through so much during football off-season, just to hear that injury, my prayers go out him and his family. That’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Miles said Monday he was “taken back a little” by Chubb’s injury and expressed sadness about the situation.
Game time set
LSU gets another night game in Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers will face Western Kentucky at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 on ESPNU. It will be the fourth night game in Baton Rouge this season, though the season opener against McNeese State was canceled due to lightning.