BATON ROUGE (AP) — Defensive end Jermauria Rasco has a word of advice for the backups on LSU's defensive front heading into Saturday's game against No. 9 Texas A&M.
"Stay ready because y'all are going to play," Rasco said he told his younger teammates.
Chasing around A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and keeping pace with the Aggies' up-tempo offense can leave defensive linemen breathless and spent.
No. 18 LSU (7-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) plans to rotate in its backups more than ever against the high-octane Aggies offense, a unit that leads the SEC in scoring and in yards.
A&M (8-2, 4-2) has run 757 plays this season, ranking 24th nationally among teams that have played 10 games or less.
The Aggies run a play every 21 seconds, about 6 seconds quicker than LSU.
A&M's 75-play-per-game average is about five more than the national average. LSU's offense ranks 117th in the country running just 636 plays, or 63 per game.
"We are going to play at least two deep, and in some spots play three deep in a rotation that would allow us to stay fresh," LSU coach Les Miles said.
That means true freshmen Christian LaCouture and Tashawn Bower could see more time than normal.
LaCouture played at times against Alabama, including the Tide's third-quarter touchdown drive, a score that began Bama's 21-0 run to end the game. Bower hasn't seen extended time since early in the season.
Backup linebackers Lamar Louis and Kendell Beckwith saw action late against the Tide.
In this one, they may all take the field much earlier. That was the case against A&M last season, Rasco said.
Rotation is key against the Aggies and their speedy offense.
"This right here, it's crazy how fast they're going to be going," Rasco said. "Last year, I got more than I expected also."
Miles added: "You're going to have to be in shape. That's just the way it is. They'll come up and tempo you, and then obviously get snap after snap. You're going to have to get yourself off the field defensively."
Copeland forgetting fumble
Fullback J.C. Copeland has moved on.
In his first public comments since losing a fumble on the goal line in LSU's loss to Alabama, the senior said his open week was normal and his focus is not on that fumble.
"Some of the best players in the country fumble the ball," he said. "You've just got to keep your head up and move on."
On its opening possession, LSU marched down the field to the Alabama 3. Copeland took a handoff, swung left around the end and appeared to have a clear path to the end zone.
Bama linebacker Tana Patrick, in a diving effort, swatted the ball from Copeland's grasp and the Tide recovered.
Copeland never re-entered at the fullback position.