SEC

Around the SEC: LSU goes ‘down under’ again; Durr starting for MSU

FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2015, file photo, LSU coach Les Miles watches his team warm up before a game against Florida in Baton Rouge, La. That Les Miles could be even considered to be on the dreaded hot seat at LSU entering this season tells you all you need to know about job security among college football coaches these days - especially those in the Southeastern Conference.
FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2015, file photo, LSU coach Les Miles watches his team warm up before a game against Florida in Baton Rouge, La. That Les Miles could be even considered to be on the dreaded hot seat at LSU entering this season tells you all you need to know about job security among college football coaches these days - especially those in the Southeastern Conference. AP

LSU has had an affinity for Australian punters recently under coach Les Miles.

That trend doesn’t look like it’ll change anytime soon as redshirt freshman Josh Growden, from Sydney, Australia, is penciled in as the Tigers’ top punter.

“If the guy can’t speak Australian, I’m not interested,” Miles joked with reporters Monday.

Brad Wing was the first Aussie punter during Miles’ tenure. He was replaced by Jamie Keehn. Now it’s Growden’s turn.

Narcisse injured

According to the Sun Herald’s Louisiana partner, The Advocate, LSU quarterback commit Lowell Narcisse will miss his senior season at St. James with his second ACL tear. He injured his left knee during last Thursday’s jamboree.

“I know this is probably what everybody didn’t expect,” Narcisse wrote on Twitter. “My MRI just came back and yes I tore my other ACL. Thanks for all your prayers and calls. Go Wildcats.”

Narcisse was injured on a 17-yard run and finished with 113 yards and two touchdowns passing. He also threw an interception and rushed for 69 yards.

For Coast football fans, Narcisse is LSU’s “other” quarterback commit. St. Stanislaus QB Myles Brennan committed to LSU shortly before Narcisse pledged to the Tigers. Brennan is off to a hot start for SSC. In two games, Brennan has completed 62 of 85 passes for 678 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has also rushed 18 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Coast defense

Mississippi State’s starting defense has a strong Coast flavor.

Long Beach’s Richie Brown is expected to be one of the defense’s leaders once again and is set to start at middle linebacker. His high school teammate, Nick James, was expected to be a starter in 2016, but he was left off of the South Alabama two-deep after his most recent arrest.

Another South Mississippian expected to see significant playing time in Starkville is Harrison Central’s Lashard Durr. The former Red Rebel spent the last two seasons at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, where he recorded 63 tackles, 22 pass breakups and three interceptions in two seasons.

When Monday’s depth chart was released, Durr was marked as a starter at cornerback opposite Jamoral Graham.

Not so fast

Reports surfaced over the weekend that super freshman Jacob Eason was named Georgia’s starting quarterback. First-year coach and former Nick Saban protege told folks to hit the breaks Monday when he told reporters the Dawgs have not named a starter for Saturday’s opener against North Carolina in the Georgia Dome.

“No, no starter’s been named,” Smart said. “We’ll continue to practice guys, and get those guys ready, and when it does (happen that a starter is named) we’ll let you guys know.”

Smart did say Eason and Greyson Lambert have split time with the first unit, with Brice Ramsey running with the 3s.

Bateman, Barnett and Bama

Alabama hasn’t named a starting quarterback for Saturday’s showdown against Southern Cal, but Nick Saban did say the competition has been cut down to two — sort of.

“We’re sort of down to two guys here,” Saban said. “Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett are probably the two guys we’re getting ready to play in this game and that’s the way it’s going to be for right now.”

At least for the time being, true freshman Jalen Hurts seems to be the odd man out in the competition.

SEC schedule

Thursday

Appalachian State at Tennessee, 6:30 p.m. (SECN)

South Carolina at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday

South Alabama at Mississippi State, 11 a.m. (SECN)

Missouri at West Virginia, 11 a.m. (FS1)

LSU vs. Wisconsin, 2:30 p.m. (ABC)*

UCLA at Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)

Louisiana Tech at Arkansas, 3 p.m. (SECN)

Georgia vs. North Carolina, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)&

UMass at Florida, 6:30 p.m. (SECN)

Southern Miss at Kentucky, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Southern Cal vs. Alabama, 7 p.m. (ABC)*

Clemson at Auburn, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Monday

Ole Miss vs. Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)^

* - Denotes in Arlington, Texas

^ - Denotes in Orlando, Florida

& - Denotes in Atlanta

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