LSU to be without starting offensive tackles Austin Deculus and Cam Wire and DE Ali Gaye
BATON ROUGE - LSU will be without starting offensive tackles Austin Deculus and Cameron Wire and starting defensive end Ali Gaye against McNeese State, coach Ed Orgeron said Tuesday.
Senior linebacker Jared Small, a former walk-on who missed the season-opening loss to UCLA, is out for the year with a knee injury and safety Jay Ward has an injury and is doubtful to play Saturday (7 p.m.) against in the home opener against McNeese.
Orgeron also ruled out two reserves - wide receiver Jontre Kirklin and defensive end Soni Fonua. Orgeron did not say when asked if some of the players were suspended for disciplinary reasons or if they were all injured.
LSU NATION SPEAKS:LSU football reader mailbag: "I feel like it's Groundhog Day, 2020"
"I just told you the guys that are unavailable, and that's unavailable," he said.
Deculus was injured during the game, left the field, but returned.
Asked if he tends to spread disciplinary suspensions over non-conference games instead of SEC games, Orgeron said, "We can do that, yep. Good question."
Orgeron said he expects to use sophomore backups Charles Turner and Anthony Bradford, who both play guard, when the Tigers (0-1) play McNeese State (0-1).
"Guys are going to have to step up," he said "We're going to play some young guys, mix and match and see what's the best thing for our team."
Freshman tailback John Emery Jr., who did not play against UCLA for academic reasons, remains not available.
"I will not know until the end of the week," Orgeron said. "Right now, he's unavailable. That could change. I will not know that until Friday. Jared Small will be out for the year. There's no question about that. I'm not sure about Jay Ward yet. I would list him doubtful for this week. We'll see. I'll know more by Friday."
Orgeron took the blame for the loss to the Bruins that knocked the Tigers out of both major polls on Tuesday.
"There were a lot of mistakes made. Most of the mistakes can be fixed by coaching," he said. "I take the responsibility myself. They outschemed us on offense and defense. We've got to eliminate those things. There were a lot of things we could've eliminated as coaches, and we didn't do it. We've moved on. We watched the tape. We dealt with it. Now on to McNeese."
Orgeron was asked if the comments by UCLA fan David Witzling, as identified by the Los Angeles Times, angered him before the game. "No, that was all in fun. All that was in fun," he said.
"We’re going to beat you down," Witzling told Orgeron as he walked toward Rose Bowl Stadium before the game Saturday.
Orgeron replied, "Hey, bring your (expletive) on in your little sissy blue shirt."
Witzling was wearing a black shirt with small, light blue UCLA logos, according to the Los Angeles Times. His young children were the ones wearing the sky blue tops.
Orgeron thanked the thousands of LSU fans who made the trip to the Los Angeles area for the game. "Our team, myself, we really appreciate it," he said. "We look forward to getting back on a winning track."