Tape It Up: LSU: Losing the Line

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LSU: Losing the Line

LSU offensive tackle Mark Snyder is hurt, again. Snyder sustained a significant knee injury during Monday's morning practice, bringing back painful memories of 2004, when Snyder tore his ACL during his junior year of high school. Head coach Les Miles is not sure the extent of the injury, but said that it might be another tear, which would really put a rip in the Tigers' offensive line plans.

Snyder has had a rough road since tearing up that knee in '04. Displaced by Hurrican Katrina, he switched high schools for his final year before redshirting for the Tigers in 2005.

Snyder sat out that freshman year with the understanding that this year, he would step in at backup behind senior right tackle Carnell Stewart. If Snyder is out, LSU is going to have to go digging for some answers at O line.

Senior lineman Will Arnold, a preseason All-American who started at left guard last season and will most likely shift to the right side of the ball this season, is not in good shape. Attempting to recover from a myriad of injuries, as The Advocate describes it, Arnold's status is day-to-day. With Snyder potentially out for the year, Cole Louviere is left as the man to step up at tackle, and his resume isn't exactly a novel: Louviere has yet to see game action since arriving in Baton Rouge, and the 6-5, 286-pound junior spent last fall working with the defense.

There is hope in three freshmen working to earn playing time, but Joseph Barksdale, Josh Dworaczyk and Jarvis Jones do not solve the inexperience equation. And Barksdale is another defender-turned-O lineman, having been recruited on the defensive side of the ball.

Offensive line is easily one of the least appreciated positions on the gridiron, but LSU better come up with some answers if they're going to make a run for a national title. Matt Flynn will never get the chance to prove himself if an inexperienced line can't give him some protection in the pocket, and those blockers up front are essential to any semblance of a run game. Knowing LSU, they'll whip these guys into shape long before opening kickoff, but for now, there is plenty of shaking up to do with the names on the line.

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