Danny Etling’s Citrus Bowl Performance Epitome of LSU Career
Danny Etling had the best season of his college career this year as a Senior. He threw for 2,463 yards, 16 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. The name of his game is efficiency, not making mistakes, and running the offense the way it's designed to be run, in a perfect world.
However, we don't live in a perfect world and there have been times where LSU needed to rely on Danny Etling's arm to win them the game and that is just not his strength. Like I said, Etling had himself a nice career as the LSU signal caller, he helped steady the season back in 2016 after a shaky start and led with the poise of a true senior this year. He just could not get this program over the hump to win the big game, in the biggest of moments, when his team needed it the most.
There was no truer example of this fact than with the final drive of his LSU career on Monday.
Notre Dame had just scored on the very stout LSU defense to take the lead, 21-17, late in the ballgame with 1:20 remaining. We knew this would be Danny Etling's final drive as the LSU quarterback and he had a chance to go out a winner, to shed some of the "can't make the big play" talk that so constantly surrounded his game.
Etling missed on a couple throws to open the drive but then, not known as a running quarterback, picked up 11 yards for a first down, showing his metal. The next series proved fatal as Etling couldn't connect with any of his wide receivers four straight times and turned the football over on downs. With 32 seconds remaining, Notre Dame possessing the football, the game was over.
This final possession was the epitome of Danny Etling's LSU career in a big game. With the game on the line and needing to rely on his arm, he simply couldn't make all the throws that needed to be made. We saw the same thing in the Alabama game where he just missed on a couple deep shots that would have put LSU in really good position to potentially win that game.
Now, with all that said, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the toughness of Danny Etling, he's the true definition of a gamer. You saw in the Citrus Bowl what allowed him the opportunity to quarterback this program. You saw him stand in and deliver throws when he knew a hit was coming. You saw him get outside the pocket, lowering his shoulder and taking on tacklers to fight for extra yardage. For the things that Etling lacked, he made up for it with his grit, toughness, and determination.
Best of luck to Danny and all the Seniors graduating this year from LSU.