LSU running back Alfred Blue scores on a 3-yard run during the first quarter on the Tigers' 63-14 win over Idaho on Saturday. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, September 17, 2012 9:15 PM
BATON ROUGE — If Auburn is on the schedule, LSU might as well go ahead and factor in some oddities and distractions.
Over the years, the Tigers vs. Tigers series seemingly has been visited by most of the seven plagues of ancient Egypt.
So, of course, with No. 2-ranked LSU scheduled to travel to Auburn for its SEC opener Saturday, for the second time in three weeks Monday the Tigers were unable to get a scheduled practice in.
Before the Tigers’ season-opener against North Texas, it was the Wednesday practice that wasn’t particularly feasible due to Hurricane Isaac’s arrival.
Monday, it was a bomb threat that was called into the Baton Rouge 911 office that forced the entire campus to be evacuated shorty before noon since the caller did not specify a particular building.
“It is the kind of thing, you just don’t know,” said head coach Les Miles, who until Isaac barged in had never had a team miss a practice day. “You rationalize it as not a sincere threat.”
But LSU officials had to take it very seriously, ordering the entire campus, including the football operations building, to be evacuated shortly before Miles was scheduled for his weekly press luncheon at noon.
“We were told to leave the building,” Miles said. “It was a sincere request.”
It was hoped the all-clear for the entire campus would come sometime Monday night after a building-by-building sweep of all 250 buildings on campus.
The football staff was allowed back in its building later Monday afternoon, where Miles eventually held an abbreviated press conference at 7 p.m.
He was scheduled to meet with the team afterwards, but not in time for a normal practice.
“That part of the day was lost due to the threat,” Miles said. “We did not practice today.”
Mondays are normally light practice days anyway, with as much time spent in meetings rehashing the previous game and getting a first look at the upcoming game plan.
Miles said that it helped that LSU knew the drill, having missed a workout before the opener — a Wednesday practice which are normally much more intense preparation days.
“I think our team will respond,” Miles said. “Our preparation won’t be hurt.”
His starting running back Alfred Blue wasn’t so lucky as he apparently suffered a knee injury in Saturday’s 63-14 victory over Idaho.
“I don’t know if (Blue) coming back this week is realistic,” Miles said. “Maybe a couple of weeks.”
LSU won’t run out of running backs though.
Kenny Hilliard, who had his breakout game last year against Auburn, actually leads the team in rushing and Michael Ford led the Tigers last season.
Plus, Miles said the deep stable should get Spencer Ware back this week after he sat out as a precaution against Idaho, and there’s also freshman Jeremy Hill, who debuted against the Vandals with 61 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
They were running behind a patched-together offensive line most of last Saturday’s game, but Miles expects the front that was scheduled to start against Idaho be ready for Auburn.
That would mean getting P.J. Lonergan back at center. He was held out of the starting lineup Saturday, but did play some in the second half.
Josh Dworaczyk, who was already subbing for preseason All-American Chris Faulk, was forced out of the game with bruise.
Miles expects both Longergan and Dworaczyk back in the lineup this week.
Ditto for the defense, where starters Craig Loston (safety) and Josh Downs (defensive tackle) were held out as a precaution and defensive end Barkevious Mingo didn’t start but did play briefly.
Miles expects all to be back in the starting lineup, even though Ronald Martin had two interceptions in place of Loston, including a 45-yard touchdown return, and Anthony Johnson had two tackles for losses in place of Downs.
Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org