LSU has young players at running back now

Updated: October 15, 2003, 2:11 PM ET

BATON ROUGE, La, -- LSU is not a running team, coach Nick Saban said.

It is a team that needs to run the football, however, and this week, that means putting it into the hands of some young players.

Because of injuries to Joseph Addai and Shyrone Carey, freshman running back Justin Vincent is slated to start Saturday's game against South Carolina. Fellow freshmen Barrington Edwards and Alley Broussard are also expected to play.

"It's time for the freshmen tailbacks to get in there and play football," guard Stephen Peterman said. "Edwards and Broussard are talented guys, and Justin's been doing a good job. We'll be fine by Saturday."

No. 10 LSU (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) in 10th in the conference in rushing, with 138 yards a game. The Tigers' passing game is fifth in the league with 252 yards a game.

LSU gained just 56 yards on 24 attempts in the 19-7 loss to Florida on Saturday. And that was with Addai, an experienced back, in the game.

Saban is not worried about putting his freshmen in though.

"The guys that we have are capable," Saban said. "I don't think they have the experience, but they're very capable. They had the opportunity to play in games earlier this season, so if this happened they'd have experience."

Vincent gained 2,050 yards and scored 30 touchdowns his senior year in high school and was named to the Parade All-America team.

Vincent has gained 132 yards on 30 carries this season with two touchdowns and has four receptions for 34 yards.

"Justin Vincent has played a lot all year, and he's a pretty good all-around player," Saban said. "He's one of our best special teams players. We're going to have to limit his role on special teams because he's going to probably play a lot more at running back and we'll let him focus on that."

Edwards rushed 11 times for 47 yards this season with a lost fumble at Mississippi State. In that game he had two carries for 13 yards.

"Barrington Edwards has a little bit more size, and he's got some burst to him and a little more change of direction," Saban said.

Broussard was considered the No. 1 back in Louisiana last year at Acadiana High in Lafayette. He earned the title by gaining 1,910 yards and scoring 27 touchdowns, including 257 yards on 36 carries in a playoff game.

"I don't think that becoming just a passing team is going to help us be an effective team," Saban said. "I think that you need to run the ball effectively to be able to win."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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