LSU’s defense clamped down on BYU to start the 2017 season and figure to do the same thing with UT-Chattanooga on Saturday. The Tigers will be without a few pass rushers when they take the field for the home opener however, as head coach Ed Orgeron confirmed that starting defensive end Rashard Lawrence will be out of the lineup ahead of the team’s first SEC game the following week.
“Rashard will not play this week,” Orgeron said, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.
In addition to Lawrence, LSU appears mighty thin along the defensive line even if they are just taking on an FCS squad this week. Opposite number Frank Herron has not been cleared to play on Saturday and at least three freshman will be rotating in for the Tigers at one of the defensive end spots. If there is one good note about the team’s line play, it’s that star pass rusher Arden Key appears to be much closer to returning to action and could even make it back in time to play at Mississippi State on September 16th.
“We’re just bringing him along slowly, seeing what he can do,” Orgeron added. “I work with him every day. I know where he’s at. He’s not ready.”
So some bad news for LSU defense is at least chased by some decent news about getting one of the team’s best players back just in time for conference play. None of the changes likely mean much for this Saturday but the Tigers’ defense does look mighty thin without several key members in pads this week.