The play still troubles Josh Boutte.
After all, his holding penalty in the season opener against Mississippi State not only cost LSU a touchdown – it cost him a starting job.
“Stupid decision, something that could have been avoided,” the rising senior offensive lineman said. “It kind of set me back.”
Boutte’s back in LSU’s starting rotation – well, at least during spring practice. He’s expected to play right guard with the Tigers’ first string in the spring game, set for 3 p.m. Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
The New Iberia native started last year at right guard. That lasted two quarters. He was benched for freshman Maea Teuhema at halftime in the win over the Bulldogs. The 340-pound Boutte never started again.
“It was pretty discouraging,” he said, “to come from working so hard and having it taken away from you.”
That holding call still bothers him.
It negated what would have been a 37-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Harris to Travin Dural. In a replay, Boutte is seen stretching out his left arm and yanking down Mississippi State linebacker Richie Brown, coming on a delayed blitz up the middle.
“I cost my team, pretty much everybody, a big touchdown play,” he said.
Seven months later, Boutte has done enough to break into the starting group for a second straight spring practice. Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes has Boutte only playing right guard in practice, he said, but the first-string group in spring isn’t likely to be the same one that start against Wisconsin in the season opener.
Andy Dodd is at center for Ethan Pocic, recovering from January hip surgery. Will Clapp is in and out of the lineup for what coach Les Miles last week called a sports hernia. Garrett Brumfield has been replacing him.
Maea Teuhema is getting a crack at left tackle, and Toby Weathersby and K.J. Malone are in a battle at right tackle.
Boutte lost a battle of his own last season to Teuhema following that season opener. Coaches moved Clapp from left guard to right guard during halftime of that game, inserting Teuhema at left guard.
“I never gave up and just kept pushing,” Boutte said. “You never know when they’re going to need me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the (seniors and juniors) left. I’m looking forward to showing the coaches what I can do.”
Jefferson expected to miss spring game
LSU is expected to be without another defensive back during Saturday’s spring game.
Rickey Jefferson, a projected starter at safety, twisted his ankle in practice last week and is not expected to participate in the spring game, a source said. Jefferson was seen in a walking boot at LSU’s practice Thursday at Tiger Stadium.
Jefferson is the third projected starting defensive back who will be out for the game, joining cornerback Kevin Toliver (shoulder) and nickelback Donte Jackson (academics). Safety John Battle is also out while recovering from shoulder surgery, and Corey Thompson moved from safety to outside linebacker. That leaves the Tigers with three healthy scholarship safeties, including Dwayne Thomas, Jamal Adams and Xavier Lewis.
Miles will make his second cameo appearance in a movie.
The LSU coach plays a police officer in the independent film, “Camera Obscura.” The movie, produced in Baton Rouge, stars Christopher Denham, best known for his role in Argo. Miles is on camera for just a few seconds, but he does have a line in the movie.
The movie is being produced by New York-based ModernCine. Andrew van den Houten, ModernCine’s Founder and CEO, said the film will be announced in two weeks, along with photos of Miles.
Miles had a cameo as an Oklahoma State recruiter in the Louisiana-made film “When the Game Stands Tall,” a 2014 sports drama about the De Le Salle High football team.
Fans have requested more than 10,000 tickets to LSU’s season opener against Wisconsin at Lambeau Field, according to Brian Broussard, the school’s assistant athletic director in charge of tickets. The deadline to request tickets is May 31. LSU officials will visit Lambeau Field for a site inspection next week. ... LSU announced the format for Saturday’s spring game Friday. The first string offense will compete against the first string defense and the second stringers will go against each other in the first half. In the second half, the first string and second string will go at it.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.