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)
While the news of late has been littered with the exits of two SEC wide receivers, one team from the Big Ten is welcoming back a player who plays the same position.
In a press release, Rutgers confirmed that Leonte Carroo has been reinstated to the Scarlet Knights football program. The release stated that head coach Kyle Flood, who is suspended himself, “reinstated Carroo after the student-athlete agreed to the conditions of his reinstatement and after he accepted the responsibility that comes with his return to the team.”
The reinstatement comes one day after a domestic violence charge against him was dropped after the alleged victim decided not to testify against he former boyfriend. Carroo had been accused of slamming a woman with whom he had a previous relationship into the concrete outside of the RU football facility last month.
Carroo has missed the last two games (Penn State, Kansas) because of the suspension. He will be eligible to return to practice today and play in Saturday’s game against 10th-ranked Michigan State.
Despite missing those two contests, Carroo is still tops on the team in receiving yards with 181 and tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns. He’s also averaging nearly 26 yards per reception.
Carroo led the Scarlet Knights last season in receptions (55), receiving yards (1,086) and receiving touchdowns (10).
It’s been a bad week for talented SEC wide receivers.
On the heels of Auburn giving the boot to D’haquille Williams following an alleged bar rampage, Tennessee announced Wednesday that Pig Howard has been dismissed from Butch Jones‘ football program. Violations of unspecified team rules was the only explanation offered.
Howard had been suspended for the season opener for the same reason due to an unspecified incident several months before. It’s unknown if the dismissal is related in any way to that suspension.
Injuries had allowed the senior to play in just two games this season, against Oklahoma and Western Carolina. He had one reception for eight yards, with that coming in the overtime loss to the Sooners.
The past two seasons, Howard led the Vols in receiving with 54 and 44 receptions in 2014 and 2013, respectively. He accounted for 1,006 receiving yards in that span, and has also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns.