Bomb threat derails LSU's practice

Updated: September 17, 2012, 9:45 PM ET
By Gary Laney | GeauxTigerNation

BATON ROUGE, La. -- A bomb threat on LSU's campus Monday disrupted the Tigers' preparations for Saturday's SEC opener at Auburn as the campus was evacuated and all LSU on-campus activity was canceled for the day, including the Tigers' Monday practice.

LSU players and coaches had to clear the practice facility as part of the evacuation. They were able to get back in for meetings and to watch film Monday evening, but by then it was too late in the day to practice.

"That part of the day was lost to the threat," LSU coach Les Miles said. "I think our team will respond and our preparation won't be hurt."

It's the second time in four weeks the Tigers lost a game-week practice to a crisis. On the Wednesday prior to LSU's season-opening win over North Texas, LSU had to cancel practice because of the approach of Hurricane Isaac.

This time, the threat was unexpected.

At 11:30 a.m. CT, a message posted on LSU's website and through social media told students to leave campus immediately because of a bomb threat. The order came down just as media gathered for Miles' weekly news conference, scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. By 2:15 p.m., all activity on campus had been canceled for the day and students and faculty were urged to stay away from campus.

Eventually, buildings were opened one at a time after they were searched by law enforcement.

"It's really created some confusion," Miles said on ESPNU's College Football Daily. "What normally would be a really productive day has changed completely."

Miles also said running back Alfred Blue will likely not play against Auburn because of a lower leg injury. Blue, LSU's second leading rusher with 270 yards on 40 carries, had started the Tigers' first three games and broke 100 yards in the first two.

"I don't know if this week is realistic," said Miles when asked if Blue, who was injured on the second play of the third quarter of LSU's 63-14 win over Idaho last week, might be back for Auburn. "In a couple of weeks ... he may have more opportunity (to return)."

The good news for LSU is its deep backfield won't be any more thin than last week. Spencer Ware, the 2011 starter, is back at practice this week after missing the Idaho game. True freshman Jeremy Hill got his first action against Idaho and stepped up with 61 yards on 10 carries.

Kenny Hilliard, the Tigers' leading rusher with 303 yards on 37 carries, including a bruising 71-yard touchdown run against Idaho, is the likely starter for Auburn.

Miles said LSU would resume its normal game-week preparation on Tuesday.

LSU was the fourth university that has had to evacuate students since Friday, when the University of Texas, North Dakota State and Hiram College in Ohio had evacuations because of bomb threats.

Gary Laney | email

Reporter, GeauxTigerNation