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LSU running back Leonard Fournette, left, greets fans as the LSU football team walks down Victory Hill before the LSU Ole Miss football game Saturday Oct. 22, 2016, in Tiger Stadium.

LSU players kicked coaches out of the program's team meeting room Thursday.

The Tigers held a players-only meeting.

"Lasted 15 minutes, and when I came back, you could hear a pin drop in this room," interim coach Ed Orgeron said in his weekly post-practice news conference in the team meeting room.

In addition to that meeting, Orgeron invited back about 25 former Tigers to speak to the team this week.

Oh yes — it's Alabama week.

The 15th-ranked Tigers (5-2, 3-1 Southeastern) host the top-ranked Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0) on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium in one of college football's biggest games of the year. The motivational tactics are out in full force at LSU's football operations building.

Running back Leonard Fournette led the players-only meeting Thursday. What was said? 

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LSU running backs coach Jabbar Juluke speaks with LSU running back Leonard Fournette (7) during a timeout in the second half against Mississippi, Saturday, October 22, 2016, at LSU in Baton Rouge, La.

“Doesn’t matter," Orgeron replied. "I know what was said. Deep down in my heart, I know what was said. By the time I walked in, I know it was good. I know the guys that led it, and I trust them. I think it’s all good.

"Those thing are great for team bonding," he continued. "Doesn’t mean you win or you’re going to play better. But every once in a while — if they feel like they need to have a meeting — I like it. Leadership comes forward."

Ferguson suspended

Receiver Jazz Ferguson has been indefinitely suspended for a violation of team rules, Orgeron announced Wednesday.

Ferguson, a sophomore from St. Francisville, has played in all seven games this season with one start. He’s recorded two catches for 17 yards, both of which came in his first start against Missouri on Oct. 1.

He serves primarily as blocker when he enters the game. The 6-foot-5, 233-pound wideout played in two games last season and did not record any statistics. Ferguson was the only noticeable player to miss practice during Tuesday’s media viewing.

With four receivers transferring in the offseason, Ferguson served as one of two slot receivers during spring and fall practices.

Weathersby game-time decision

Right tackle Toby Weathersby is "ready to play," but Orgeron said Thursday that it remains a game-time decision on whether he'll start.

"He looks good," the coach said. "We’ll see in pregame whether he’ll start or not."

Before Tuesday’s practice, Weathersby told reporters that he had been “cleared” to play and has been rotating at right tackle with Maea Teuhema, another sophomore who primarily replaced Weathersby at right tackle during his month-long absence.

“I feel like I’m at the best of my playing level,” Weathersby said Tuesday. “I have no pain or nothing. I’m good. Ready to roll.”

Weathersby started LSU’s first three games at right tackle before suffering a high ankle sprain in the first half of the win over Mississippi State. He wore a walking boot for several days, missed the last four games and returned to practice two weeks ago in a limited role.

Slow starters

While LSU has scored just 42 points in the first quarter of its seven games this season, the Tigers have been exceptionally sluggish on their opening possession, which could be a real problem against Alabama.

LSU’s longest game-opening drive this season has been four plays. That “drive” in an Oct. 1 beating of Missouri netted 11 total yards and produced the only first down of the season on its first series. LSU has had a three-and-out to start its other six games and has sputtered to a total of 31 yards on 22 offensive snaps in those outings.

"We need to start faster," Orgeron said earlier this week.


Nose tackle Travonte Valentine's chances of playing against Alabama are not good, Orgeron indicated on Wednesday night during his radio show. Valentine, a junior college transfer who arrived at LSU during the first week of camp, has not played in LSU's last two games against Southern Miss and Ole Miss, missing the games because of poor practice and conditioning. He remains third string, the coach said. ... In partnership with the charitable gaming platform Win-Win, former LSU All-American and current Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson will make a donation of $42,500 to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation in support of Baton Rouge flood relief efforts. Peterson will fly into Signature Flight Support BTR at the Greater Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport to offer the check. … Peterson will represent one of four former Tigers who will serve as guest captains for Saturday’s game against Alabama, including Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones and former NFL defensive end Leonard Marshall. … ESPN Radio’s Russillo & Kanell will broadcast live from Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar on Burbank Drive at noon Friday.  

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.