LSU coach Les Miles said running back Leonard Fournette is not experiencing any swelling in his ankle following LSU’s 23-20 victory against Mississippi State.
“The ankle feels good, apparently,” Miles said at his weekly press luncheon. “I’m told there’s no swelling, so we’re full speed ahead.”
Fournette rushed for 147 yards on 28 carries and recorded his first two touchdowns of the season. The junior tailback was questionable prior to the matchup against the Bulldogs, according to ESPN, as he was dealing with soreness on Friday.
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However, Fournette didn’t appear to be slowed early on, as 90 of his yards and 16 of his carries came in the first half. He broke seven tackles on the night and picked up 25 extra yards on after contact.
Fournette’s two second-half fumbles spoiled an otherwise solid outing after a week off, which Miles attributed to rustiness.
Miles was asked about Fournette being agitated by Mississippi State players hitting the running back excessively after he was tackled. Miles didn’t say whether he was told about this during the game or if he witnessed himself, but he said excessive contact usually stops once the head official is notified.
“You talk to the (head official),” Miles said. “He’s responsible for the game. And, frankly, making mention of that really generally stops it.”
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Here are a few more nuggets from Miles’ press luncheon:
Offensive line injuries: Miles declined to give updates on any of the offensive linemen who sustained injuries during Saturday’s game. Four of the five starting offensive line at least briefly went down with injury, and right tackle Toby Weathersby missed the entire second half with a sprained ankle, ESPN reported. The LSU Sports Radio Network reported Weathersby wore a boot in the second half. Miles said LSU employed seven different offensive line combinations. He did say that some offensive linemen may not practice today. “I don’t know about practice today,” Miles said. “Couple of those guys need a day off.”
Ethan Pocic chuckled when the suggestion was presented to him.
4-3 or 3-4: Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda used a four-man front on roughly 28 of 64 defensive snaps, a change from Aranda’s expected 3-4 base defense. The four-man front allowed LSU to pressure Mississippi State quarterbacks frequently, and the Tigers finished with five sacks. But Miles didn’t necessarily think LSU would switch to the 4-3 going forward, using it on a situational basis. “It’s a way to get certain personnel on the field,” Miles said. “You will find that we’ll use, in all situations, the 3-4 base. But if we like a certain personnel group or matchup, we’ll make a call there and look like a 4-3.
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Danny on the road: Quarterback Danny Etling, though he had 12 starts in his career at Purdue, will be making his first Southeastern Conference road start against Auburn. In his first SEC start against the Bulldogs, Etling completed 19 of 30 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown. Miles, however, realizes this will be a different challenge for Etling. “I think Danny’s going to be a mature guy," Miles said when asked about Etling making his first road start. “I think he’s going to understand what he’s supposed to do. The best the thing to do for road games is to connect with your teammates, connect with your coaches, make sure that —the job that you’re doing — that you’re communicating with your partners, your teammates.”
Editor's note: A previous version of this story quoted Les Miles saying quarterback Danny Etling would be "a tour guide" when asked how Etling might handle his first career road game Saturday at Auburn. An LSU-issued transcript from the news conference quotes Miles saying Etling was "going to be a mature guy."