Changes coming to LSU lineup
LSU came through its 55-3 shellacking of Georgia Southern with no significant injuries and will get back two potential starters for this week’s top-10 showdown at Texas.
Starting left tackle Saahdiq Charles and linebacker Michael Divinity were held out of Saturday’s game despite dressing out and going through pregame warm-ups.
“Both of them will play this week,” head coach Ed Orgeron said Tuesday.
After Saturday’s game, Orgeron said the reason they didn’t play was a matter that “was handled in-house.”
Orgeron said Charles will be the starter at the all-important left tackle spot, where senior Badara Traore started Saturday. However, he was replaced by redshirt freshman Dare Rosenthal who played most of the game.
Divinity, who started 11 games last year, is projected as one of the starting middle linebackers next to Jacob Phillips. But Orgeron raved about the job sophomore Damon Clark did in Saturday’s game.
Clark was the second-leading tackler with nine.
It gives LSU options, Orgeron said, with Patrick Queen also playing well behind Phillips.
“Obviously we’re going to work Michael back in,” he said. “We’re going to go through the week and see what happens.
“Michael is an excellent linebacker for us, can play at the line of scrimmage when we need him.
“We’ll see how we can work those guys in, maybe a first-down situation with one, a third-down situation with somebody else. (Maybe) play all four of them equal snaps. They deserve it.”
• SPOTLIGHT: No. 6 LSU and No. 9 Texas will the big game nationally this week, with ESPN’s GameDay going to the Austin campus for its popular show. It will be the 28th time LSU has played a game where the show was hosted.
• NEW BLOOD: LSU played 14 true freshmen Saturday, including starting cornerback/punt returner Derek Stingley and placekicker Cade York. York became the first LSU true freshman to kick a field goal in his first game, hitting from 39 and 48 yards.
• RARITY: It has happened plenty of times in Southeastern Conference play. But Saturday’s game will mark the second time in its history that the Tigers have been in the top 10 and played a true nonconference road game against another top-10 team.
The other was in 1970 when No. 6 LSU lost 3-0 at No. 2 Notre Dame.
LSU and Texas last met in the Cotton Bowl following the 2002 season when the Longhorns won 35-20. The last meeting on one the school’s home fields was in 1954 in Austin.
Orgeron, despite his varied coaching background, has never coached in a game at Texas.
•COMBO: Orgeron said the play-calling collaboration between offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and passing game coordinator Joe Brady went smoothly in the opener.
The way it’s set up, Orgeron explained, Ensminger has final say in calling the plays with Brady looking one play ahead and free to make suggestions.
Orgeron said “a bunch” of Brady’s suggestions were used.
“They communicated very well; (Ensminger) had an open mind” said Orgeron, who said he was listening in on the headphones. “He called a great game. Joe had some suggestions. Some went through, some didn’t … It’s both their ideas. I think they work great together.”
Saturday LSU vs. Texas 6:30 p.m., ABC
LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (9) passes as LSU Tigers offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles (77) creates a passing lane while blocking Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Mack Wilson (30) at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday, November 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)
LSU Tigers linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. (45) makes the stop on Georgia Bulldogs running back Elijah Holyfield (13) during their SEC matchup at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)