Tigers Continue Preparations For Oregon State
BATON ROUGE — LSU continued its preparations for Oregon State on Wednesday with a two-hour workout at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility.
The Tigers will practice again on Thursday followed by a walk-thru in Tiger Stadium on Friday. Saturday’s kickoff against the Beavers is set for 5:07 p.m. and will be televised to a national audience by ESPN.
The Oregon State game marks the first time since 1992 that LSU has opened its season at home against a team coming off a bowl appearance. In 1992, the Tigers opened the season in Tiger Stadium against Texas A&M, who played in the Cotton Bowl the previous year. The Beavers beat New Mexico in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl to finish with an 8-5 record.
“To play a Pac-10 team the quality of Oregon State in our first game and being at home is kind of a unique experience for us,” LSU coach Nick Saban said. “We haven’t had the opportunity to do that in the past, and I think it’s a good year for us to be able to do it.
“It has our players’ attention and I think it helps get them focused. We feel like they have a really good team and are really well coached. I know we have a lot of respect for Coach (Mike) Riley and their players.”
Against Oregon State, the Tigers will open the season against a team that features a veteran quarterback, who excels in all phases on the passing game. The Beavers led the Pac-10 in defense in 2003, while ranking first in their league in total offense a season ago.
“They have a very good offensive scheme and their quarterback has a very good grasp of the system,” Saban said. “(Anderson) gets the ball to their tight ends and running backs and they are also very effective at throwing the ball downfield as well.
“Coach (Mike) Riley has done a very good job there of implementing a lot of pro-style type stuff that they do a good job of executing.”
Saban said the season-opener against the Beavers would be an opportunity for LSU to prove just what type of competitive spirit it has.
“I think this team has got to prove, and this is an opportunity for them to prove like I said on Monday, what kind of competitive spirit they really have,” Saban said. “I think younger players are a little less consistent than older mature guys, and there are some things that younger players can’t learn until they play in the game.”
Saban said the only player to miss practice on Wednesday was true freshman offensive lineman Herman Johnson, who continues to be sidelined with an infection. Junior wide receiver Skyler Green practiced in a red non-contact jersey on Wednesday and is expected to play on Saturday after suffering a twisted ankle in LSU’s final scrimmage.
“I would say he’s (Skyler) probably 80 percent but making rapid progress in the last two days,” Saban said. “A lot of what happens with these things is when they work on them, how do they respond to them. It didn’t seem to bother him much after working a day before, so hopefully he’ll continue to get better and we’ll have some availability for him in the game.”