LSU's struggles on the offensive line in Saturday's season-opening loss may have been enough to precipitate change on the front five in Game 2.
Now, that's a certainty.
Coach Les Miles suspended starting right guard Josh Boutte for the home opener against Jacksonville State, forcing a shuffling on the Tigers' starting unit, one that struggled more than any other position group Saturday.
Les Miles didn't wait for a ruling from the Southeastern Conference office.
So, what will LSU's O-line look like against the Gamecocks on Saturday in Tiger Stadium? Let's break down some possible changes, given Boutte's suspension and the struggles, specifically at the tackle positions. You can read about those struggles in our Film Room post here:
Welcome to Film Room, our weekly analysis of LSU’s last football game. Have a seat. No talki…
Now, for that breakdown of options in the offensive line's potential shuffle...
- Brumfield: Redshirt sophomore Garrett Brumfield is listed as the backup to Boutte and the backup to Clapp at left guard as well. So Brumfield is certainly an option to replace Boutte, stepping up and filling the spot at right guard. It's an easy pick, a choice, though, that doesn't necessarily fix the issues on the outside, which we'll get to soon.
- Teuhema: LSU's starting left guard last season, Teuhema presents one of the most natural options for LSU's problems on the outside at tackle. He played two series at right tackle on Saturday. K.J. Malone and Toby Weathersby had issues in their second, for Weathersby, and first, for Malone, starts of their careers. Teuhema is an option, too, to play guard. He could easily shift into the position he played last year, left guard, moving Clapp to Boutte's right guard position.
- Campbell: True freshman Donavaughn Campbell received the most work of any rookie during camp, and he's just one of two true freshmen listed on the three-deep O-line depth chart the school released last week. He's listed as the No. 3 behind Boutte and Brumfield at right guard.
- Malone: K.J.'s troubles in his first start at left tackle are well-documented in our Film Room post. He's played some guard, and he can play center, too. He's a long, rangy athlete, but he struggled pass-blocking on the outside, especially against speedy outside linebackers that Dave Aranda's old defensive front employs.
- Weathersby: Toby Weathersby, a sophomore starting his second game Saturday, had his issues as well. The staff removed him for two series for Teuhema. Weathersby can play guard, but he did not play that position during camp, he said.
- Pocic: LSU's preseason All-American center is the most versatile of any lineman. Ethan Pocic can play tackle, guard and, of course, his current spot. Many believe Pocic is a natural left tackle, and most folks thought he'd move into that position after LSU lost Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins. Does he move now?
- Clapp: Will Clapp saw work in camp at center. He hasn't seen much, if any, work at tackle. If Pocic is to move outside, Clapp is a potential replacement for him at center, but it's more likely, maybe, that the redshirt sophomore switches sides, moving to right guard if the Tigers slide down Malone to left guard or input Teuhema there.