Tigers get running game rolling

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LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was reveling in the fact that, in the wake of his 145 yards rushing against Georgia, head coach Ed Orgeron had moments earlier admitted that the Tigers now have a viable dual system at running back.

"Knowing we have two consistent backs …"

"Three," quarterback Joe Burrow interjected, pointing at his chest to remind one and all that he had a 66-yard run and two quarterback-sneak touchdowns against Georgia to go with a 35-yard scoring run against Ole Miss two weeks earlier.

"Well, I guess we have three running backs now," Edwards-Helaire said.Burrow won’t be taking many toss sweeps — Orgeron still cringes whenever his quarterback takes off — but the improved running back situation seems to be spreading throughout the Tigers’ depth chart.

Orgeron said has a pet peeve — he doesn’t like to see talented athletes standing beside him on the sideline.

"When I see 11 guys on the football field (and) I see a better athlete sitting on the sideline, that’s not LSU football," Orgeron said. "We want to put our athletes in the best position to make plays. That’s my job."

He must be doing it well.

Even though guard Brumfield is likely to miss his fourth straight game this week against Mississippi State, the skin-thin offensive line is even threatening to come up with some depth. Adrian Magee has held down Brumfield’s spot but true freshman Chazen Hines is making it hard to keep him off the field.

On defense, the always-flush secondary isn’t going to run out anytime soon as players like Jacoby Stevens and Todd Harris get more time.

Stevens actually played just one play on defense Saturday.

"One play, one sack," Orgeron noted of a key fourth-quarter play that took Georgia out of field goal range. "Pretty good ratio. We need to play him some more … outstanding athlete. We need to find him some places to stay."

Backup nose guard Ed Alexander had his "best game" and, while he might push starter Breiden Fehoko, he mainly gives the Tigers more flexibility up front.

Regardless, more and more Tigers are playing, which will continue as receiver Dee Johnson and another nose guard, Tyler Shelvin, will be available again this week.In that suddenly crowded backfield, Edwards-Helaire also gives LSU more options.

"I would see them as equal now," Orgeron, who earlier in the year declared Nick Brossette the clear lead back. "They do different things. We have different packages for each of them.

"Obviously Clyde is a good zone runner. Nick is more inside. That doesn’t mean Clyde can’t run inside.

"More and more, they may be running behind Hines, who got rave reviews from Orgeron for his play Saturday as he continues to learn.

"Very athletic," Orgeron said. "Sometimes unsure of himself. He hadn’t really let loose, explode like he can.

"He was a defensive lineman also. Can come out of his hips. He’s very strong, very smart. Knows his plays … can handle one-on-one blocks. We feel you’re going to see a lot more of him this week."

Ditto for Alexander in the middle of the defense.

"He’s a two-gap nose tackle that you’re looking for. Breiden (Fehoko) is a good football player. Breiden is a really better (at) end for us, more athletic so you can move around."

Orgeron was impressed with the job Alexander did on Georgia’s Lamont Gallard, one of the nation’s best centers. "Ed had a tremendous game against him."LSU may have to pick its spots with Alexander, who has battled soreness in his lower body and wasn’t going to practice Monday.

"I think he will be ready to play," Orgeorn said. "We’re going to need him against Mississippi State."

Another Orgeron would like to see more of is special teams standout Racey McMath at tight end.

6 p.m. Saturday | ESPN

””<p>LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) runs against Georgia defensive back J.R. Reed (20) in an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</p>Matthew Hinton

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