QBs in spotlight when Auburn hosts rival LSU
LSU lost its starting quarterback and did OK anyway.
Auburn stuck with its struggling starting quarterback and did fine, too.
The guys under center will be under scrutiny when LSU (2-2, 2-2) visits Auburn (3-2, 3-2) in an SEC game Saturday afternoon.
LSU’s Myles Brennan is the first player in school history to pass for 300 yards in each of his first three career starts, but he didn’t play last week because of a leg injury.
Freshman TJ Finley stepped in and completed 17 of 21 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns and one interception in a 52-24 victory against South Carolina.
Coach Ed Orgeron said Brennan will be the starter when he’s healthy, but he won’t play until he’s fully healthy.
“We don’t have to rush Myles,” Orgeron said.
Brennan suffered a “significant” leg injury in a loss at Missouri on Oct. 10.
“I don’t know if he’s going to play” against Auburn, Orgeron said. “It all depends how practice goes this week. I’m not putting him in unless he’s 100 percent ready.”
Orgeron said Finley “looked like a veteran” in his college debut against the Gamecocks, which makes it easier for the coach to be patient with Brennan’s recovery.
LSU has an open date next week, giving Brennan more time to get healthy for the Tigers’ home game against No. 2 Alabama on Nov. 14.
“At this point in the season, we have to do what’s best to win the football game,” Orgeron said. “I can’t think about nothing after but beating Auburn. Whatever we can do, whatever personnel we have to beat Auburn, that’s what we’re going to worry about.”
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn stood behind sophomore Bo Nix after the quarterback threw three interceptions in a 30-22 loss at South Carolina two weeks ago. Nix, who had a school-record streak of passes without an interception snapped in a loss to Georgia on Oct. 3, completed just 24 of 47 passes against the Gamecocks.
“Three interceptions is bad for any quarterback,” Nix said. “It’s not fun. But just the way they happened, they’re easily fixed. That happens in an offense that throws the ball. That happens in an offense that goes against a good team like they had. If you’re a quarterback, and you don’t expect to have those kinds of games, then you’re kind of lying to yourself.”
Malzahn resisted calls to bench Nix, the SEC Freshman of the Year last season, and said he was “very confident” that Nix wouldn’t “make the same mistakes again.”
Nix rewarded Malzahn’s confidence by completing 23 of 30 passes for 238 yards, including a 58-yard game-winning touchdown to Seth Williams with 1:11 left in a 35-28 victory at Ole Miss last Saturday. Nix also rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown.
“The offense executed when they had to,” Malzahn said of the 80-yard winning drive. “Bo was on target.”
–Field Level Media