SEC: James Hairston

Wild sequence for Aggies, Owls

September, 14, 2014
Sep 14
12:05
AM ET
A 12th man saved Texas A&M three points. Then, more than 12 men took six away.

In a wild sequence to end the first half of Saturday's game against Rice, the Aggies went from allowing three points to scoring six to scoring none. Rice kicker James Hairston made a 53-yard field goal to end the first half and pull the Owls to within 11 points of Texas A&M at 21-10.

However, the field goal was waved off by officials after they ruled that the Aggies made an illegal substitution. They had 12 men on the field and because it was a dead-ball foul, the play didn't count.

So Hairston and the Owls had to attempt the field goal again, this time five yards closer, and the 48-yard attempt was blocked. As the ball rolled toward the goal line, Texas A&M freshman safety Armani Watts sprinted to pick up the ball at the 7-yard line, ran all the way across the field and returned it 93 yards for a touchdown and a 27-7 lead.

However, some of the Aggies players on the sideline ran onto the field after the block and Texas A&M was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at its own 42. The Aggies received an untimed down at their own 27, but Kenny Hill took a knee and the half expired with the score the same way it was before Hairston connected on his first field goal try at 21-7.

The bizarre series of plays was followed shortly thereafter by a halftime interview where Kevin Sumlin discussed his team's dumb penalties and "bad football."

Here's the block and return that went for naught:

video

Sumlin spoke about the sequence after the Aggies' 38-10 victory.

“We coach our team that if the ball is blocked and it goes on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage then we will pick it up, scoop and try to score," Sumlin said. "If the ball is blocked and it goes on our side of the line of scrimmage, then we leave it alone, because there are only bad things that can happen. Unless you’ve got a guy like Armani Watts who has never played and been on the field goal block team."

Sumlin noted the chaos of having players run off the field, others running on it and Watts sprinting by them all en route to the end zone.

"I’ve been around 20-something years, I’ve never seen that happen," Sumlin said. "It was just a really bizarre ending to the first half. Hopefully we won’t see anything like that again."

Strong and weak: LSU Tigers

June, 25, 2013
6/25/13
5:00
PM ET
Every year, players come and go in college football. With the turnover teams can either grow or take steps back.

It's time to check out LSU's strongest position and weakest position heading into the 2013 season:

Strongest position: Offensive line

There was a lot of shuffling and reshuffling along the offensive line last year, but it should be a real strength of the Tigers this fall. LSU returns four linemen who started at least six games last year. The Tigers have some seasoned guys returning, along with some very talented youngsters to use. Junior La'el Collins spent last season lining up at left guard, but with Josh Dworaczyk gone, he'll get his chance to protect Zach Mettenberger's blindside at left tackle. Sophomore guard Trai Turner, who started seven games last year, is back as well. The coaches are very excited about his potential and he showed that he can be a special player after getting thrown into the fire early last year. In 559 snaps, he registered 51 knockdowns. Fellow sophomore Vadal Alexander, who started nine games at right tackle last year, was an named an Freshman All-SEC member by the coaches and should cement a very strong right side with Turner's return. Senior guard Josh Williford missed most of last season with a concussion, but his return should help make the left side very strong as well. The concern is at center, where junior Elliott Porter is replacing P.J. Lonergan. He has limited college experience and transferred to LSU after a year at Kentucky. Also, look for junior college transfer guard Fehoko Fanaika to help out.

Weakest position: Kickers

With All-American Brad Wing leaving early for the NFL, the Tigers find themselves with issues in the kicking game. Jamie Keehn, who is also Australian, replaces Wing at punter, but has little game experience. He punted 12 times last year, averaging 43.7 yards per kick. He has a strong leg, but can he change games like Wing once did? No one is quite sure. The real problem is at placekicker, where the Tigers had two walk-ons competing this spring. Junior James Hairston has a chance to take the placekicking duties, but he's spent all of his career as the kickoff man and hasn't been very consistent kicking field goals. Then you have redshirt freshman Colby Delahoussaye, who walked onto the team last year. Redshirt freshman Trent Domingue will compete for the starting placekicking spot, too, but will also serve as Keehn's backup.

Opening spring camp: LSU

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
9:00
AM ET
Schedule: The Tigers open spring practice Thursday and will conclude the spring April 20 with their annual National L Club spring game at 3 p.m. ET in Tiger Stadium.

What’s new: Cam Cameron steps in as LSU’s offensive coordinator after spending part of last season in that role with the Baltimore Ravens. Cameron replaces Greg Studrawa as LSU’s play-caller on offense and will also coach the quarterbacks. Studrawa remains on staff and will coach the offensive line. Steve Kragthorpe will move into an administrative role after coaching the LSU quarterbacks the previous two seasons.

On the mend: Reserve quarterback Rob Bolden (knee) and defensive end Justin Maclin will both miss the spring while recovering from injuries.

On the move: Junior La’el Collins will get first shot at left tackle this spring after starting all last season at left guard. Senior Josh Williford will shift from right guard to left guard. Junior Terrence Magee is moving back to running back after playing receiver last season and catching just one pass.

Question marks: The Tigers are replacing five of their top seven defensive linemen. Junior tackles Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson and junior end Jermauria Rasco need to take that next step and become every-down forces up front. Head coach Les Miles said sophomore tackle Mickey Johnson has lost weight and had a promising offseason. Playing with more consistency at receiver will also be important. The Tigers had too many dropped passes last season and didn't make a lot happen down the field. Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry will be counted on to make big moves as juniors. LSU also has to find a new place-kicker and punter. Sophomore Jamie Keehn heads into the spring as the punter, while junior James Hairston will have to hold off redshirt freshman walk-on Colby Delahoussaye for the starting place-kicking job.

New faces: Junior-college newcomer Logan Stokes will battle for a starting job at tight end, while junior-college newcomer Fehoko Fanaika could factor in at offensive guard. At receiver, redshirt freshman Travin Dural will be one to watch after injuring his knee last season along with a pair of early enrollees -- Avery Peterson (Patrick Peterson’s younger brother) and John Diarse. Two more true freshmen, Anthony Jennings and Hayden Rettig, will be among a handful of players vying for the backup quarterback job. The Tigers have a total of six true freshmen on campus who will be going through spring practice as early enrollees. Redshirt freshman Dwayne Thomas is a prime candidate to be the Tigers’ third cornerback on passing downs.

Breaking out: In reality, senior linebacker Lamin Barrow has already broken out. He had 104 total tackles last season, but was overshadowed by Kevin Minter. With Minter leaving early for the NFL draft, Barrow will move this spring from weakside linebacker to Minter’s middle-linebacker spot. The 6-foot-2, 232-pound Barrow has everything it takes to become an All-SEC performer. If he sticks in the middle, it just makes the Tigers that much deeper at linebacker. Talented sophomores Kwon Alexander, Deion Jones and Lamar Louis can all play on the outside along with senior Tahj Jones, who returns after missing all but one game last season for academic reasons.

Don’t forget about: Senior running back Alfred Blue returns to give the Tigers one of the deepest backfields in the league. He injured his knee in the third game last season and was No. 2 in the SEC in rushing at the time. The 6-2, 220-pound Blue has excellent speed and also catches the ball well out of the backfield. He’ll team with sophomore Jeremy Hill to give LSU a dynamite one-two punch. The 6-2, 235-pound Hill had four 100-yard games as a true freshman and led the Tigers in rushing. Following a splendid freshman season, Kenny Hilliard was the forgotten man last season. He’ll be looking to regain his form this spring, while Magee will add some speed to the Tigers’ backfield.

All eyes on: Now that senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger has a season as a starter in the SEC under his belt, can he capitalize on the improvement he showed toward the end of last season? In particular, Miles wants to see Mettenberger get better at throwing the deep ball and understand all of the throws better. Mettenberger struggled early last season, but he didn’t get a lot of help from his receivers. The best news for Mettenberger was the hiring of a veteran offensive coordinator like Cameron, who’s tutored a ton of quality quarterbacks. There’s no question that LSU has to be more consistent on offense if it’s going to return to the SEC championship picture. How much Mettenberger improves from his junior to senior season will go a long way toward determining whether the Tigers will be a part of that equation.

SEC All-Freshman Team announced

December, 8, 2011
12/08/11
4:30
PM ET
The SEC coaches announced their selections for the 2011 SEC All-Freshman Team Thursday.

LSU led the way with five selections, while Tennessee and Arkansas both had four selections.

The coaches also made Arkansas tight end Garrett Uekman, who died suddenly last month, Honorary Captain.

South Carolina placed three on the team, including SEC Freshman of the Year Jadeveon Clowney.

Here is the 2011 SEC All-Freshman Team:

OFFENSE

HONORARY CAPTAIN
Garrett Uekman, Tight End, Arkansas

TE - Malcolm Johnson, Mississippi State
OL - A.J. Cann, South Carolina
OL - Marcus Jackson, Tennessee
OL - Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
OL - Chaz Green, Florida
C - Reese Dismukes, Auburn
WR - Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
WR - Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
QB – Maxwell Smith, Kentucky
RB – Isaiah Crowell, Georgia
RB – Kenny Hilliard, LSU
AP - Bruce Ellington, South Carolina

DEFENSE

DL - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DL - Trey Flowers, Arkansas
DL - Anthony Johnson, LSU
DL - Kaleb Eulls, Mississippi State
LB - A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
LB - Curt Maggitt, Tennessee
LB - Serderius Bryant, Ole Miss
DB - Brian Randolph, Tennessee
DB - Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama
DB - De'Ante Saunders, Florida
DB - Tevin Mitchel, Arkansas

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK - James Hairston, LSU
P - Brad Wing, LSU
RS – Marquel Wade, Arkansas
  • I'm actually surprised to see Saunders get the nod over teammate Marcus Roberson. Roberson was easily Florida's best cornerback this season. He has the makings of being a talented cover corner, but he did get overly aggressive throughout the season. I guess coaches paid attention to flags he earned.
  • It had to be tough when the coaches looked at the quarterback position. Smith was probably the best of the bunch, and even he threw just four touchdowns to four interceptions. Still, Kentucky's offense moved down the field much better when he was on the field.
  • Remember when all the talk in Oxford, Miss., before the season centered around how great true freshman linebacker C.J. Johnson was going to be? Well, he had a solid first year, but it was Bryant who really came on as one of the young guys on defense. He saw tremendous playing time and was fourth on the team with 61 tackles.

LSU with some O-line changes

October, 8, 2011
10/08/11
3:39
PM ET
BATON ROUGE, La. -- There are a couple of changes to LSU's depth chart today.

Will Blackwell will move from right guard and start at left guard in place of T-Bob Hebert for the Tigers today. Hebert is expected to play, but won't start on the line today.

With Blackwell moving over to left guard, Josh Williford will start in his place at right guard.

LSU kicker James Hairston will wear No. 30 today instead of his regular No. 38.

The Tigers have just run out of the tunnel and things are definitely rocking inside Tiger Stadium. These fans and players have something special for Florida freshman quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who is making his first career start and will throw his first career passes today.

LSU won the toss and will defer to the second half. Florida has elected to receive, meaning we will see Brissett right from the start for the Gators.

It is around 86 degrees, but there is a slight breeze and the humidity is 51 percent.

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