BATON ROUGE — An uncharacteristic moodiness cloaked the LSU football complex Monday, with many players looking to dodge interviews and some who did show up acknowledging the season has not panned out as planned.
Despite a stout effort against No. 1 Alabama on Saturday, LSU (6-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) dropped four spots in The Associated Press poll to No. 19 after the 27-21 loss in overtime.
Still, that does not mean the 2008 season is over, several Tigers players insisted. Senior defensive end Tyson Jackson said he will play every game “as if it were Alabama all over again,” and his classmate, defensive tackle Marlon Favorite, said he took his parents’ advice to heart.
“It was devastating. It hurt. You know as a senior it hurt me, and as you can see I’m not the happiest person right now,” he said. “It felt bad, but I had a chance to talk to my parents last night, and they told me, ‘You know what, Marlon, just give it all you’ve got. Play the best you can and encourage your teammates to play the best they can.’ ”
That group will include a more prominent member — freshman quarterback Jordan Jefferson — beginning in Saturday night’s game against visiting Troy. After a season in which Jefferson’s status wobbled between backup and redshirt, Coach Les Miles said this week Jefferson will be prepared to play and will play against the Trojans (6-3, 4-1 Sun Belt Conference).
Redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee would not be available for interviews this week, LSU officials said. That was the school’s decision, not his, they acknowledged, as Lee has yet to duck a question this season and remained in the interview room a long time after his four-interception performance against the Crimson Tide.