Thursday, October 11, 2012
LSU could take another hit up front
By Chris Low
LSU’s offensive line was one of the strengths of the team a year ago in the Tigers’ run to the BCS National Championship Game.
But they haven’t been the same this season ever since losing left tackle Chris Faulk in September to a knee injury. And, now, it looks like they could be without their other tackle Saturday against No. 3 South Carolina.
Senior Alex Hurst, who had moved from right to left tackle for the past two games, is dealing with personal issues, according to Les Miles. It’s up in the air as to whether Hurst, who has missed practice time this week, will play against the Gamecocks.
Also, right guard Josh Williford is questionable after suffering a head injury last week in the loss to Florida. He still has to be cleared medically and is a game-time decision.
The Tigers have been searching for the right combination in the offensive line since losing Faulk, who was their best lineman and a potential first-round NFL draft pick.
This is not the week you want to be plugging new guys in up front and shuffling other guys around. South Carolina’s defensive line is one of the best in the country, and the Gamecocks’ two ends, Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor, are super disruptive coming off the edge.
Just ask Georgia, which had no answers for them last week.
If Hurst can’t play Saturday, Miles said sixth-year senior Josh Dworaczyk would slide back in at left tackle. Dworaczyk started there in the 41-3 win over Washington, but has been a guard most of his career.
The other projected starters would be La’el Collins at left guard, P.J. Lonergan at center, Trai Turner at right guard and Vadal Alexander at right tackle.
Of that group, Collins and Lonergan were the only ones to start in the opener.
The Tigers gave up four sacks last week in the Florida loss and have given up 15 in six games, tying them for 10th in the league.