Senior linebacker Michael Divinity and junior left tackle Saahdiq Charles will play this weekend against Texas, coach Ed Orgeron said Tuesday, after neither appeared in LSU's season-opening win over Georgia Southern.
Though both players warmed up and dressed, they spent the game on the sideline. Sophomore Damone Clark and junior Jacob Phillips started at inside linebacker, while senior Badara Traore and redshirt freshman Dare Rosenthal rotated at left tackle.
Asked after the game why Divinity did not play, Orgeron said “we handle all those things in-house,” adding Charles’ absence was a coach’s decision.
Divinity and Clark went through practice as No. 6 LSU began preparations for No. 9 Texas. And during his press conference Tuesday afternoon, Orgeron said, “both of them will play this week.”
Some are calling it Texas' biggest home game in 10 years when No. 6 LSU travels to Austin this weekend to face the No. 10 Longhorns at 6 p.m. …
LSU is a 4-point favorite over Texas, according to most betting lines. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be broadcast by ABC.
With Divinity absent last Saturday, Phillips (10 tackles) and Clark (nine tackles) led LSU’s defense to a dominating performance. The Tigers held Georgia Southern to 98 total yards. Junior Patrick Queen provided relief at inside linebacker, and he recovered a fumble in the first half.
As LSU practices this week, it will work Divinity back into the rotation at inside linebacker. Divinity played outside linebacker last season, so he can also shift toward the line of scrimmage.
“We're going to see how we can work those guys in,” Orgeron said. “Maybe a first-down situation for somebody. A third-down situation for somebody else. And play all four of them in equal snaps. They deserve it.”
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LSU’s offensive line, which this year needed to improve more than any other position group, did not allow a sack against Georgia Southern — even though it did not have Charles, who has started 17 games at left tackle.
As Orgeron evaluated the performance of the offensive line, he gave cautioned optimism. He thought Traore played OK but “made some mistakes.” He believed right tackle Austin Deculus played better than he had in preseason camp.
He also said left guard — the Tigers played Adrian Magee and Chasen Hines — needed to improve.
“Some of the other guys weren't ready,” Orgeron said. “I do believe having Saahdiq back this week at left tackle is going to help us. But we're going to get tested.”