LSU started three players at new spots on the offensive line in win over Ole Miss
BATON ROUGE — Amid the 714 yards of offense gained by No. 1 LSU in its 58-37 victory at Ole Miss Saturday, you may not have noticed a revamped offensive line for the Tigers.
» Sophomore Ed Ingram started for the first time all season and started his first-ever college game at left guard after starting 12 in 2017 at right guard.
» Senior right tackle Badara Traore started for the first time all season.
» And senior Adrian Magee started for just the second time in his career at left tackle after starting nine games at left guard this season.
Defensive troubles: Orgeron plans to fix Tigers' defense
The juggling happened because regular starting junior right tackle Austin Deculus did not play because of an injury suffered the previous week at Alabama. Meanwhile, junior Saahdiq Charles, who has started five games at left tackle, and freshman redshirt Dare Rosenthal, who has started three games at left tackle, each did not play because of disciplinary suspensions.
Magee moved from left guard to left tackle with Ingram moving up to left guard and Traore moving up to right tackle.
Quarterback Joe Burrow did not notice any drop in performance on the offensive line as he completed 32 of 42 passes for 489 yards and five touchdowns around three sacks, while tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire gained 172 yards on 23 carries.
"That's a testament to their hard work all week," Burrow said.
"I thought they did well," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said after the game, which included 225 rushing yards for the Tigers at an average of 5.8 yards a carry. "I was proud of Badara and Adrian. We got Chasen Hines (sophomore backup guard) in there a little bit, too."
Orgeron said offensive line coach James Cregg was the most valuable player of the game for getting the revamped line prepared.
"Badara and Adrian Magee at the tackles played well," he said. "Did they play great? No. They made mistakes, a couple of them. But for us to have 700 some yards, I thought those guys did very well. Next man up. Very proud of those guys."
The starting five may change when the Tigers (10-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) host Arkansas (2-8, 0-6 SEC) at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN as Deculus has a chance to play in that game.
LSU is a 45-point favorite over Arkansas.
Michael Divinity Jr. practices
Senior linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. was seen practicing on Monday during the media portion of practice after leaving the team the week leading up to the Alabama game for disciplinary reasons. He remains suspended for the remaining two regular season games, however, according to LSU's policy regarding multiple, positive drug tests, according to a source.
Divinity may have a chance to play in LSU's postseason games. Should LSU win one of its next two remaining regular season games against Arkansas Saturday or No. 24 Texas A&M (7-3, 4-2 SEC) on Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. on ESPN, it will clinch the SEC West and play No. 4 Georgia (9-1, 6-1 SEC) in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. on CBS.
The College Football Playoff semifinals are on Dec. 28 in Atlanta with the national championship game Jan. 13 in New Orleans.
Divinity was suspended from playing in LSU's games against Georgia Southern on Aug. 31 and Northwestern State on Sept. 14 for disciplinary reasons while he did play at Texas on Sept. 7. The missed games fall in line with LSU's drug testing enforcement policy as it can choose the game or games a player misses.
Divinity also missed the Tigers' game against Utah State on Oct. 5, but he suffered an injury at Vanderbilt on Sept. 21. LSU was open on Sept. 28. He returned to action and played in three straight SEC games against No. 7 Florida, at Mississippi State and against No. 9 Auburn before leaving the team.
Despite missing five games, Divinity leads the team with three sacks and is 11th in total tackles with 23. Over the last two seasons, he has more sacks than any other LSU player with eight.
When Orgeron announced Divinity was leaving the team on Nov. 4, he said he was not shutting the door on a possible return.
Grant Delpit played with a hurt ankle
Starting safety Grant Delpit did not tackle well against Ole Miss, but he was clearly not at 100 percent. He is still nursing an ankle injury suffered against Auburn on Oct. 26 that has kept him out of most practices before the Alabama and Ole Miss games, though he played in both.
"It's tough when he doesn't practice all week," Orgeron said. "I don't know if any other players would have played against Alabama. Grant wanted to play. I thought he did well. But obviously, that ankle is very sore. Not getting reps hurts sometimes. Making tackles in open space hurts sometimes because he can't bend or run like he wants to. We're going to give him a couple days off this week, and hopefully he can get healthy for this weekend."
Related: A look at LSU safety Grant Delpit
Orgeron was asked if he might rest Delpit so he may be closer to 100 percent for the Tigers' regular-season finale against No. 24 Texas A&M (7-3, 4-2 SEC).
"I rely totally on Jack Marucci," Orgeron said of LSU's trainer. "I think he's the best in the business. Gives me a report every day. I let the coaches coach, doctors be doctors. He tells me what they can do. 'Coach, he needs a rest,' I'm going to rest him. 'Coach, he's going to play, he needs to play.' We're going to play him, and I'm going to talk to Grant. I talk to the trainer. Then I talk to the player. I say, 'The trainer says you can go, can you go?' If Grant needs rest this weekend, we'll give him rest."
LSU-Texas A&M kickoff at 6 p.m.
With CBS taking the Alabama-Auburn game on Nov. 30 for its 2:30 p.m. time slot, LSU and Texas A&M will kick off at 6 p.m. on ESPN that night in Tiger Stadium, it was announced Monday.
The Tigers and Aggies will play at night for the sixth straight season. Texas A&M won, 74-72, last season on the SEC Network in a seven-overtime thriller in College Station, Texas.