LSU defensive end Jermauria Rasco finally healthy — and effective _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU defensive end Jermauria Rasco celebrates a stop in the first quarter of the Tigers' 56-0 win over Sam Houston State on Sept. 6.

For the first time in years, LSU defensive end Jermauria Rasco knows what it feels like to play healthy.

His opponents do, as well.

Rasco is tied for the team lead with two sacks and has 10 tackles while playing less than a full three games. In 31-0 beating of Louisiana-Monroe, Rasco had at least five pressures on the quarterbacks, according to a study of the game film.

While Danielle Hunter stole many of the preseason headlines, it’s Rasco who’s been dominating in the eighth-ranked Tigers’ 3-0 start.

Why? He’s healthy.

Rasco had been playing the past three years with a torn labrum in each shoulder. He had two surgeries over the past 16 months to repair each.

“I feel a lot stronger, and I feel faster,” Rasco said. “Wish I had been feeling like this before.”

Rasco has been a nuisance for quarterbacks during the first three games, and he got a sack in each of the past two outings, beating up on a smaller front from a pair of lower-level teams.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound senior walked out to speak with reporters Monday sporting a bag of ice on his forearm.

Oh, no. Another injury?

Nothing serious like shoulders.

“Caught a helmet to the forearm,” he said smiling. “Got a little knot on it. Trying to get (the swelling) down.”

Lighting it up

Going into Saturday night’s game with LSU, Mississippi State has piled up 131 points in its three games so far this season — the most the Bulldogs have scored in their first three outings in 70 years.

In 1944, State scored 146 points in victories over Jackson Air Force Base (41-0), Millsaps College (56-0) and Arkansas A&M (49-20).

The Bulldogs have registered 500-plus yards in total offense in all three games this season, which gives them a school-record streak of four such games dating to a 44-7 romp over Rice in the Liberty Bowl last December.

MSU rolled up 533 total yards against Rice before adding Southern Miss (550), UAB (516) and South Alabama (514) to the list this season.

Louis 85 percent

Linebacker Lamar Louis aggravated his groin in the win over Sam Houston State on Sept. 6 and is “85 percent” healthy, he said Tuesday.

Louis didn’t play against Louisiana-Monroe last Saturday as a precaution. He said that he could have played, but coaches decided to hold him out “at the last minute.”

Duke Riley replaced him. Riley led the team with eight tackles.

“I kind of saw the game from a different perspective. Felt like my freshman year all over again, but I had a different insight,” Louis said. “Proud of what (Riley) did. Coaching him up on the sideline, giving him little tips. We learn from each other.”

Louis is expected to play and start in the game against Mississippi State, coach Les Miles said earlier this week.

Louis said his groin injury is “getting better every day.”

Tittle in the house

Former LSU quarterback Y.A. Tittle, a first-round draft pick and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will be in attendance at Saturday’s game, LSU announced this week.

Tittle is still sixth all-time at LSU for wins by a starting quarterback with 23 from 1944-47. Tittle might be most known for leading LSU to a scoreless tie against Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, a game known as the “Ice Bowl” because of the icy and snowy conditions in Dallas.