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Leading rusher one of two LSU players with eligibility questions

Arkansas v LSU Getty Images

Hurricane Isaac may not affect LSU’s season opener against North Texas — for now — but an eligibility issue could result in the Tigers being down a couple of players at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Les Miles said Monday that running back Michael Ford and linebacker Tahj Jones are still working to overcome eligibility hurdles before the game, but wouldn’t elaborate on what’s reported to be an academic issue.

“There is some appeal process that’s being undertaken for those guys, and we’ll kind of have to wait to see how that all turns out as we get closer to the game,” Miles said.

Ford was the team’s leading rusher last season with 755 yards and seven touchdowns, but the Tigers run the ball via committee. Sophomore Kenny Hilliard and junior Alfred Blue are two bruising backs that combined for just under 900 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2011. After solid preseason camps, the two were listed as co-starters on the latest depth chart.

Spencer Ware, the team’s second-leading rusher from 2011, is in the mix too.

Jones was competing for a starting spot at linebacker when preseason camp began, but has since slid down the depth chart. He’s spent most of his two years with LSU on special teams.

As a result of the possible absences, LSU is now a mere 120-point favorite over UNT.

(Hat tip: New Orleans Times Picayune)

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13 Responses to “Leading rusher one of two LSU players with eligibility questions”
  1. southernpatriots says: Aug 28, 2012 1:13 PM

    Ben! “…a mere 120-point favorite over UNT”? Now if they actually win by 30 or 40, they will not meet expectations and…. ha. It does give a UNT a chance to play in Death Valley and experience the crowd, the great food, etc. Though everything will likely be quite soggy.

    Ben: Does memory serve us correctly, that maybe UNT is your alma mater?

    We’re fighting flooding right now in south LA, and the winds are picking up now. Many roads to exit are already closed, so exit will be about impossible soon. Everyone left will “hunker down, help their neighbors, and the elderly and challenged which remain” and hopefully, it will not be too bad. Curfews will be in force soon throughout most Gulf Coast or nearby parishes.

  2. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 28, 2012 1:21 PM

    correct, Southpats. Graduated in ’09.

    Please be safe with the incoming hurricane.

  3. southernpatriots says: Aug 28, 2012 2:24 PM

    Ben: Hoped that our memory was not defective, as it sometimes is…ha. It will be an experience for the good fellows there at UNT, hopefully, without too much water or wind by that time. The field at Death Valley is natural grass and is covered, but even with that if they get many inches of rain, it may still be soft at game time.

    This is an increasing mess we are dealing with. The major north-south evacuation route has been closed and a temporary levee put across it because the Army Corps of Engineers thinks 2 to 5 feet of water will take that route as a river heading north, flooding communities along the way. This is the first time we have ever experienced this closure, but maybe it is “the abundance of caution.”

    We are anticipating a complete loss of power so we have our propane tanks all filled and ready to cook for everyone who is staying in our area. I am planning Jamaican Jerk chicken, slow smoked hams and pork shoulders, fire roasted vegetables, and we’ll probably start cooking all the shrimp and seafood we have in the freezer and serving it to the deputies, Louisiana National Guard, etc. as they patrol.

    Thank you for your kindness. Some younger ones stayed as well, so we have their help with all this, for which we are most grateful.

  4. florida727 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:01 PM

    Ben’s just trying to sucker you into a bet “southernpatriots”. Don’t fall for it. Lay the points :)

  5. florida727 says: Aug 28, 2012 3:05 PM

    Sorry, southernpatriots, forgot to also extend best wishes for safety. Having been on Samaritan’s Purse disaster recovery trips to New Orleans after Gustav, and Gulfport/Kiln, MS, after Katrina, I do know firsthand what’s headed your way. Hopefully not as severe as those were. God bless. – DJ…

  6. cometkazie says: Aug 28, 2012 6:35 PM

    Ben Kercheval says:
    Aug 28, 2012 1:21 PM
    correct, Southpats. Graduated in ’09.

    Please be safe with the incoming hurricane.
    Same here SP to you and yours from up in the BlueGrass. I went thru a couple of these in my 43y stay in the BR area, and I hope things go well and you keep us up to date.

  7. southernpatriots says: Aug 28, 2012 6:35 PM


    I knew Ben was up to something there…ha.

    Thank you for your kindness. We lost electricity for the past 4 hours and suddenly we had electricity back but it will likely be out again within minutes.

    I was smoking/roasting Jamaican Jerk chicken, pork shoulders, whole hams, sausages, and some fish for our many neighbors who are elderly (they are in the same condition as I…ha.) and some who are physically challenged who had no capacity to cook. If power is off for the next few days, I will begin to empty my freezers of shrimp, red snapper, oysters, et al and cook it all and share it with the Entergy power crews and Cleco folks coming to help remove fallen trees from power lines.

    Samaritan’s Purse is a great group. We have worked with them over the years, after they found us in New Orleans during Katrina and they could find no other group willing to work with them. I just invited them on our boats and was glad to have the help, though the Red Cross did not like it, I grandfathered them in with arm bands and all.

    The then Red Cross director was quite upset with me and with us, but I told her that the Red Cross did not even show up for over 2 weeks so I was not willing to quit what we were doing saving lives to accommodate a bunch of bureaucrats from Washington D.C.

    There is a mandatory curfew going to be in effect within minutes. The sheriff visited us and gave us a variance with deputy badges to continue our meals to those in need. We know the sheriff well, but he looked us up, thinking we would be out there trying to help. We had the young ones with us so he said we were raising up a new generation, and that made us all laugh.

    So far, power is holding.

  8. southernpatriots says: Aug 28, 2012 6:51 PM


    Great to hear from you. This is the first time I have seen north-south evacuation routes (LA Hwy 1, etc.) blocked off and now with temporary levees over them. The Army Corps said these roads would be an “expressway” for the Gulf waters blown by Hurricane Isaac…flooding is building up all around us. I think we are high enough in a low region, but with a territory as large as Rhode Island eroded from the coastline of Louisiana over the past decades, we no longer have the protection from Gulf waters we once did.

    I am going to try to make several sauces for the meats we are smoking and roasting now that we have electricity, so I will hopefully be able to post somewhat later.

    Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes!

  9. alligatorsnapper says: Aug 28, 2012 9:18 PM

    Rain has been hitting us for the past 24 hours or so and now the winds are blowing down trees and snapping off large limbs from trees. Many roads are impassable. No gas station, no grocery store, no department store, no restaurant is open in our area. Maybe tomorrow.

    Hopefully, this storm will move on, and not linger and move slowly as it has been doing.

    All the best to all who are going through this storm.

  10. cometkazie says: Aug 28, 2012 9:30 PM

    Snapper: I’m glad you are hanging in there and apparently still have power. Where are you?

  11. tigersgeaux says: Aug 29, 2012 7:41 AM


    I think alligatorsnapper lost power. I heard from others in his area that they lost power last night.

    He works and lives near the Texas border, west of Lake Charles, but was staying with his parents in Galliano. They did not want to leave this time, and he did not want them there by themselves. Most houses in Galliano are on pillars, so most are not flooded, but all streets are. The streets look like rivers. Cells still work so that means the towers are still operational. Gusts there over 110 mph. Incessant rain and storm surge is getting them at this time.

    I have lost power about 2 dozen times since yesterday afternoon. Somehow Entergy is able to get it up again once it goes down, at least so far. We were out about 5 minutes ago, we have power now, and it may be off again in 5 minutes.

  12. cometkazie says: Aug 29, 2012 10:59 AM

    Thanks TG. A reminder: Often when voice communications don’t work, texting does, at least it did for me during Katrina and Gustav and for some others after the terrible tornadoes in Tuscaloosa. Apparently, the messages can be queued and sent when space is available.

  13. tigersgeaux says: Aug 29, 2012 11:11 AM


    Thank you for letting me know this important info. My neighbor just returned and I am filling him with bottled water and sending him on to southernpatriots on his way back to lower Lafourche and lower Terrebonne Parishes to get hot cooked food and he said he would check on alligatorsnapper’s parents, he knows the address though he will get there via boat because the road is now a river. He will relate that info to the family so alligatorsnapper will get it, even if he is not there but out helping others.

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