|Scott powering LSU's offense|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 17 September 2008 13:28|
Farm animals roam the rolling, pine-covered hills around the LSU running back's Saline home. A cousin once dared him to climb on the back of a bull. The bull wasn't pleased and sent him flying.
``I'll never do that again,'' Scott said, chuckling at the memory of perhaps the craziest challenge he's ever accepted.
After something like that, Scott wasn't about to be intimidated by the prospect of competing for playing time on an LSU squad loaded with talented running backs like Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy.
Scott, a 5-foot-11, 233-pound junior, certainly has stood out lately, racking up 262 yards and four touchdowns in the sixth-ranked Tigers' first two games.
er catch myself being satisfied with where I am and I would always try to get better. That's how it is here. Competition day in and day out just to hold a spot or take a spot.''
LSU coach Les Miles has subscribed to a running-by-committee philosophy since taking over as head coach in 2005. LSU routinely gains 200 yards rushing as a team in a game, but it has been unusual to see one running back exceed 100 yards in a single contest. It happened only five times last season and only twice in 2006.
Scott has done it twice already this season.
He had 160 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in a season opening 41-13 victory over Appalachian State, then ran for 102 yards and two scores on only seven carries in last Saturday's 41-3 win over North Texas.
``I feel like I might be establishing myself,'' Scott said. ``I know for sure I've put it in the coaches' heads that I can be reliable when the offense needs a spark.
``Then again, we haven't played a defense like Auburn,'' Scott added.
LSU plays at No. 10 Auburn this Saturday, so Scott may get his chance to find out how good he's really is soon enough.
Whatever he does in that game, it's clear to Miles that Scott's recent offseason work is paying off.
he's much stronger or much faster than he's been, but I think he's trained himself to expect to see things, and it's working out for him.''
Scott said he spent numerous evenings over the summer, alone in LSU's practice center, working on drills meant to improve his agility and his cutbacks. He ran over sets of squares that look like ladders laying on the field, quickening the pace at which he placed his feet in the open spaces without tripping over the bars in between. He used a slick device called a slide board, driving from side to side with his legs, looking like an ice hockey player skating in place.
``Anybody can get in here and be strong,'' Scott said. ``I was already strong. I needed to be able to get my hips loose and just move better, and all summer I worked on it.''
It showed most on his second touchdown run against North Texas, a 43-yarder in which he broke four tackles. He bounced off two defenders, maintained his balance as he stumbled forward, then used a sharp cutback to his right to throw a final defender off balance while ripping through an attempted arm tackle before trotting into the end zone.
``He's physical, hard-nosed,'' Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. ``Over the years, they've had more slasher type guys.''
l until eighth grade. He learned quick. He was Louisiana's Mr. Football in 2005 at Jonesboro-Hodge High School, where he played running back and linebacker.
Scott enjoyed playing defense and credits his time as a linebacker for his physical running style.
``When I'm in a situation where you're coming to tackle me, I'm thinking about punishing you, and it's punishment to the point where if we keep hitting head on, who's going to quit first?'' Scott said. ``Either you're going to get tired of tackling me by the time the third quarter comes around, or I'm going to get tired of running into you. That's how I think.''