LSU has depth at receiver
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU's Michael Clayton has found out what happens to successful receivers in the Southeastern Conference -- games get tougher.
Clayton, with enough ability to play defense and special teams, attracted a lot of attention by catching 23 passes in the first three games.
Green caught the winning touchdown pass against Georgia, and Henderson caught seven passes for 114 yards and a touchdown against Mississippi State to help keep the No. 6 Tigers undefeated going into Saturday's game against Florida.
In the past two games, Clayton has caught five passes for 54 yards; Henderson has nine for 130 and Green six for 106.
Clayton's hot start had opposing defenses much more aware of the 6-foot-4 junior.
"I think some of it is the attention I've been getting," said Clayton. "But we're finding the open guys." He credited quarterback Matt Mauck for spreading his throws to other receivers. "I'm not going to get it every game. As long as we get the win, everybody's happy and we're moving toward a goal we want, winning a championship."
Against Georgia, Clayton went in with a bad ankle and hurt his shoulder early in the game. He caught two passes for 23 yards while battling tight man-to-man coverage from cornerback Bruce Thornton.
Against Mississippi State, coach Nick Saban said coverages dictated that the ball go to Henderson a little more than Clayton. Henderson caught a 36-yard scoring pass on LSU's first play of the second half to boost the score to 31-0. After that, LSU started running the ball.
Saban also said Clayton contributed in other ways with his blocking and special-teams play. He was the LSU Special Teams Player of the Week.
"Sometimes, it's the way things work out," Saban said. "From a coaching standpoint, I think Michael played his best game of the year (against Mississippi State). He did things to help us win."
Henderson is best known for catching the Bluegrass Miracle touchdown pass to beat Kentucky last year. But the converted running back had a good overall season going last year until he broke an arm against Ole Miss in the 11th game. He finished with 23 catches for 447 yards and eight touchdowns.
A converted running back, the 6-foot, 189-pound Henderson has made good yardage after taking short passes and breaking tackles for gains. But he also has sprinter's speed to run away from defenders, as he did on the 36-yard touchdown reception against Mississippi State.
Green is also a speedster, though he has been less consistent than Henderson. Green dropped three passes against Georgia, then ran the wrong route on the 40-yard winning touchdown play.
"He's still a young player, but his confidence level continues to go up," Saban said. "He has big-play ability that we certainly want to be able to utilize more and more as we go through the season."
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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