LSU Makes Change At QB, Defeats Jacksonville State 34-13
For the first time since 2002, LSU entered week 2 of the football seasons with an 0-1 record.
With an FCS opponent in the Jacksonville State Gamecocks visiting Death Valley in Baton Rouge, the Tigers hoped starting quarterback Brandon Harris could shake off a rough performance last week and settle into his job.
As the first quarter ended, boos rained down in Tiger Stadium for the home team as Brandon Harris was 1-4 for 8 yards, a near interception, and 2 consecutive three and outs for the LSU offense.
After 5 quarters of stagnant offense, Harris was replaced by backup Danny Etling, who immediately drove LSU down the field for a touchdown, hooking up with tight end Desean Smith on a 46 yard touchdown.
LSU never looked back, beating the Gamecocks 34-13.
"Danny can run this team. Danny can win some games," said Tigers head coach Les Miles. "There were some mistakes, but he did a nice job."
Etling's numbers are overly impressive. 6-14 for 100 yards and 2 total touchdowns (1 pass, 1 rush). However, his early success throwing down the field opened up the offense, leading the Tigers to 363 yards in the three quarters he was under center.
"Just like every game, I prepared like I was going to play," said Etling after the win. "I got an opportunity when the coaches came me the nod and I tried to go out and make the most of it."
Etling, a junior, transferred to LSU from Purdue after the 2014 season. The right hander he played for the Boilermakers as a true freshmen in 2013.
Miles wouldn't commit to Etling starting next week when asked by ESPN immediately following the game. However, when asked in the postgame press conference a half hour later if there was a "chance" Etling would start under center next week, Miles responded, "Absolutely."
It would be a shock if Harris started at quarterback next week when LSU hosts Mississippi State.
LSU's special teams made the most special play of the night. Senior cornerback and returnman Tre'Davious White fielded a Gamecocks punt late in the 2nd quarter, returning it for a touchdown. While the play only counts as a 60 yard return, White ran 137 yards to earn it.
Star running back Leonard Fournette sat out to nurse an ankle injury. His backup Derrius Guice made the most of his playing time, carrying the rock 19 times for 155 yards and a touchdown.
LSU (1-1) turns their attention to conference play next week as the Bulldogs (1-1) visit Baton Rouge. Kickoff next Saturday at Tiger Stadium is set for 6:00pm.