Tre’Davious White smiled wide thinking about returning punts for another year.
The senior cornerback was listed as the starting punt returner on the depth chart released this week, ahead of sophomore speedster Donte Jackson. White has returned a punt for a touchdown in each of the last two seasons – a 67-yard return against Kentucky in 2014 and a 69-yard return against Syracuse in 2015 – and has averaged more than 10 yards per return in both years.
“Just being on the field, seeing where my blockers are and believing in the call,” White said of what he needed to improve on as a punt returner. “Believing in the call and trusting that the guys up front are going to block well.”
Despite his success at times last season, White did have a costly mistake in the first quarter of LSU’s 35-28 win against Florida. He mishandled a bounding punt off the foot of Johnny Townsend, leading to the Gators’ first points of the game.
“You want to get vertical,” White said. “You want to see the first opening of green grass. You want to hit it as fast you could. Just try to get as many yards as you can, but the most important thing is just fielding the ball. If you don’t the field the ball, you don’t have anything. That’s the most important thing.”
Jackson is also listed as the backup kickoff returner behind fellow sophomore Derrius Guice, who averaged 23.6 yards per return last season
Pocic’s Wisconsin connection
Perhaps the only player on the LSU football team with any sort of connection to Wisconsin or the Green Bay Packers is center Ethan Pocic, a Lemont, Illinois, native.
While he acknowledged he rooted for the Chicago Bears some, Pocic said he grew up a Brett Favre fan, and his family would attend Packers training camps often.
“Awesome quarterback, tough dude, great arm, gunslinger,” Pocic said of Favre. “Now, [the Packers] got a great o-line. They all work together really well. We actually watched them a lot [on film].”
“More of a Brett Favre fan than a Bears fan,” Pocic continued
Pocic’s older brother, Graham, played offensive line for Illinois for four years, and Ethan said he’s attend games in Madison, Wisconsin, where the Badgers are located. He’s expecting a raucous, red-and-white crowd at Lambeau Field on Saturday.
“I’m expecting Wisconsin’s fan base to be loud,” Pocic said. "I’ve been to games in Wisconsin, in Madison. My uncle lived in Madison, Wisconsin. He used to be a Wisconsin fan until I came down to LSU. It gets loud. My brother’s also played against Wisconsin at Illinois, and they had to use silent cadence and stuff. Those fans really get into it.”
Two Milwaukee area hotels are helping this weekend with Louisiana flood relief, according to Baton Rouge travel agent Jim Dumigan.
The Pfister Hotel, which is housing several hundred LSU fans traveling to the Wisconsin game, and the Hilton Milwaukee City Center will donate 10 percent of their bar and restaurant receipts Friday and Saturday to the American Red Cross and the Louisiana Flood Relief Fund.
LSU’s all-time record
Saturday’s game kicks off LSU’s 123rd season of college football. The Tigers’ all-time record stands at 770-404-47.
LSU ranks 12th among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools in all-time wins, behind Georgia (787 wins) and ahead of Auburn (741). The Tigers’ winning percentage of .650 ranks 13th behind Florida State (.680) and just ahead of Georgia (.649).
Coming to your city
ESPN will broadcast its “College GameDay” show from the LSU-Wisconsin game starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. The show will emanate from in front of the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena at the corner of Oneida Street and Lombardi Avenue adjacent to Lambeau Field.
LSU is 15-9 in games when “College GameDay” makes an appearance. Wisconsin is 4-8.
And, in case you’re wondering, Lee Corso is 183-93 making his famous “headgear picks.”