Summer Scouting is a daily post analyzing LSU football’s 12 opponents for the 2015 season. From McNeese State (June 29) to Texas A&M (July 11), we’ll give you an early scouting report on the one dozen teams on LSU’s schedule each day (excluding Sunday) until SEC media days begins.
When: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 5
Where: Tiger Stadium
Early spread: N/A
Who’s before and after: No one and at Mississippi State
Kentucky at a glance
Coach (year): Matt Viator (10th)
2014 record: 6-5 (4-4, 6th in Southland Conference)
2014 postseason: None
Returning starters: 16 (9 offense, 7 defense)
Rushing returners: McNeese’s offense last season was built around running the ball, and there’s no reason to think the Cowboys won’t do the same this season with a host of rushers returning. A foursome of running backs return from a squad that averaged 220 yards on the ground a game: Ryan Ross (599 yards, 7 touchdowns), Mississippi State transfer Derrick Milton (387, 6), Kelvin Bennett (354, 2) and Dylan Long (346, 10) – three of whom are seniors. That’s not including the team’s leading rusher, QB Daniel Sams.
QB Daniel Sams: The former Kansas State QB is expected to guide McNeese State’s offense. Sams led the team in rushing last season (711 yards) despite missing most of the last two games of the season with an injured thumb. The dual-threat QB completed 47 percent of his passes last year for 624 yards, tossing seven scores and four interceptions. Tyler Bolfing led the team in passing in 2014, but he moved positions to tight end during the spring. Sams, 6-2, 207 pounds, played in all 13 games at Kansas State as a sophomore in 2013, rushing for 807 yards that season. The former three-star prospect out of Slidell transferred in the spring of 2014 after a move to receiver didn’t go as planed.
Defensive line: The Cowboys lost three of four defensive linemen, and all three were first team all-conference guys last season in Kevin Dorn, Sean Brown and Everett Ellefsen. The trio combined for 8 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss during the season, and McNeese held opponents to 112.5 yards rushing per game. Senior defensive end Brian Hine (9.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks last year) returns as the lone starter on the line. McNeese also added former four-star recruit Isaiah Golden, a transfer from Texas A&M.
Previous posts and coming posts
Monday: vs. McNeese State
Tuesday: at Mississippi State
Wednesday: vs. Auburn
Thursday: at Syracuse
Friday: vs. Eastern Michigan
Saturday: at South Carolina
Monday: vs. Florida
Tuesday: vs. Western Kentucky
Wednesday: at Alabama
Thursday: vs. Arkansas
Friday: at Ole Miss
Saturday: vs. Texas A&M