Two things that will change, two that won't for LSU after loss to Wisconsin
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU’s 16-14 season-opening loss to Wisconsin was the kind of game that leads to changes.
And there will be changes with the Tigers this week.
No, there won’t be any head coaching changes with Les Miles or coordinator changes, like an hour down the road where a rough season opener led to Louisiana-Lafayette changing defensive coordinators.
But there will be some subtle tweaks when LSU’s season resumes Saturday with its home opener against Jacksonville State.
Here are two things that will change, and two things that won’t, this week for the Tigers:
Things that will change
1. Cam Cameron back in press box
LSU’s offense seemed to struggle getting calls on the field in a timely matter, and part of the fault, Miles said, was that information was not coming quickly enough from the press box.
With that in mind, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will return to the press box for the Jacksonville State game this week.
Cameron was in the press box throughout his LSU career but moved to the field for last year’s Texas Bowl win over Texas Tech. Consider the experiment over after two games.
2. Offensive line
With offensive guard Josh Boutte suspended for this game, Maea Teuhema will get his first start of the season at right guard.
Teuhema started at guard for all but one game last year but moved to left tackle in the spring. However, he lost the starting job to K.J. Malone after Teuhema was hobbled by an ankle injury early in camp.
Miles said spotty offensive line play was the result of an August camp where “we were treading water there.”
“They went through a camp where this guy was down, that guy was down. We are gaining health.”
Things that won’t change
Starting quarterback Brandon Harris came under fire after his 12-for-21, 131-yard, 2-interception outing against Wisconsin.
But Miles came to his starter’s defense and, while he said there will be the usual thought given to playing backup Danny Etling this week, he was standing by Harris.
“He was errant at times,” Miles said. “But there are two drops, and if those are caught, he’s 14-for-21 and a much better quarterback.”
One of the drops, Miles noted, was a deep ball to Malachi Dupre where the defender stripped the ball out of Dupre’s hands as he came down.
The late-game interception to D’Cota Dixon that iced the game only came after Harris avoided a sack and went into scramble mode.
2. Left side of offensive line
Miles said the left side of the line was “nicked up,” helping to account for LSU’s offensive line troubles in the Wisconsin loss.
But both left tackle K.J. Malone and left guard Will Clapp are “coming to health,” and there will be no changes to the lineup this week.
The left side had a tough sequence on the last drive. After LSU got to the Wisconsin 30-yard line with just over a minute left, Clapp was penalized for a false start, pushing the Tigers out of field goal range. Then Biegel, Wisconsin’s talented pass-rushing outside linebacker, broke through unblocked, right between Clapp and Malone. His pressure led to Harris’ interception to Dixon.
Could Teuhema have stepped into one of those positions? That became moot when Boutte was suspended.