LSU loses Fehoko out for season; overall injury news good for Tigers

<p class="indent">LSU noseguard Breiden Fehoko is done for the season after undergoing surgery Monday, but overall the injury news was good for the Tigers heading into a season-defining game at Texas A&amp;M.</p><p class="indent">Head coach Ed Orgeron broke the news on Fehoko, who has played in only one of the Tigers’ last five games, and later Fehoko tweeted from his hospital bed that he’d had surgery on the biceps that he injured against Georgia.</p><p class="indent">But the secondary that was missing several key players last week against Rice will be at near-full strength against the Aggies (7-4, 4-3 SEC).</p><p class="indent">Only starting cornerback Kristian Fulton will be out this week.</p><p class="indent">Freshman Kelvin Joseph, who normally backs up Fulton, also missed last week but will be ready to go this week, according to Orgeron.</p><p class="indent">Starting free safety John Battle, who’s missed the last two games, will be back, along with backup Todd Harris.</p><p class="indent">“They’re all going to be ready to play,” Orgeron said. “They should be ready to play. All three of them.”</p><p class="indent">With one game remaining in the regular season, Orgeron also thinks, the Tigers may have finally found the solution to losing pass-rushing specialist K’Lavon Chaisson in the season opener against Miami.</p><p class="indent">Patrick Queen, who’s played mostly at one of the middle linebacker spots, took over an outside position Saturday against Rice.</p><p class="indent">He had five tackles and although he officially had none of LSU’s five sacks, Orgeron was encouraged by the pressure he applied.</p><p class="indent">“He did some good things, he’s getting used to it,” Orgeron said. “It’s different when you’ve been a stack (middle) linebacker. When you’re on the line of scrimmage everything’s a lot quicker. He needs to use his hands a little bit better, but I think he provided some rush, he did some good things. He made some mistakes but I think that you’re going to see him there.”</p><p class="indent">That could be a key Saturday against Texas A&amp;M dual threat quarterback Kellen Mond.</p><p class="indent">“No question,” Orgeron said. “His instincts and being able to react in space, he’ll be able to know when to play the quarterback, when to play the pitch (man) when these guys run the speed option. I think that he is going to do well.</p><p class="indent">“At the point of contact, he’s little quicker … I think he’s going to be a good outside linebacker for us.”</p><p class="indent">Ed Alexander had filled in admirably at noseguard for Fehoko, who tried to play against Alabama but saw only limited action.</p><p class="indent">Behind Alexander, redshirt freshman Tyler Shelvin, a highly touted recruit who was a disappointment early in the season while struggling with his weight, has come on stronger in recent weeks.</p><p class="indent">“Tyler Shelvin has come along,” Orgeron said. “He’s making some improvement. He’s becoming the nose tackle that we all thought he could be.</p><p class="indent">“He’s still losing weight, but I think once he loses his weight, he’s going to be a really good player.”</p><p class="indent">LSU (9-2, 5-2 SEC) is likely playing for a New Year’s Day bowl berth against the Aggies, who haven’t beaten the Tigers in six tries since joining the SEC for the 2012 season.</p><p class="indent">But under first-year coach Jimbo Fisher, who Orgeron said has brought a physical style that A&amp;M was often lacking in the past, the Aggies’ only home loss this season was a close 28-26 setback to No. 2 Clemson.</p><p class="indent">“This is not the old Texas A&amp;M team that we played (in the past), this is a physical, tough team.”</p><p class="indent">Orgeron said he won’t have to mention what is at stake.</p><p class="indent">“Everybody knows what’s on the line,” he said. “I don’t need to talk about that for motivation. They understand that.</p><p class="indent">“They worked very hard to get where they’re at. We’ve got to finish strong. To me this is a one-game season.”</p>

6:30 p.m. Saturday | SECN

””<p>Alabama running back Josh Jacobs (8) is tackled on a pass reception as LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips (6) and defensive end Breiden Fehoko (91) close in, in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)</p>Gerald Herbert