BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Don't shut the door on the Brandon Harris chapter of LSU football just yet. When Les Miles said they'd still need both quarterbacks going forward, I don't think many people were surprised. Look no further than the history of Miles with the Tigers for supporting evidence.
Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux, Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee, and Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson all come to mind, but obviously, some combinations produced much better results than others. Not to mention that it's not uncommon anywhere these days to see multiple quarterbacks used.
But the question with LSU is: are they good enough to warrant the use of two quarterbacks? Or is it strictly out of necessity and hope that one can put it together any given Saturday and do just enough for the Tigers to keep the defense at bay to open up holes for their running backs?
The answer is yet to be seen, but before we declare Etling the best option, let's not forget that Harris has at least one thing that Etling can't bring to the table. Harris has been through the SEC schedule. He's played the tough road games and experienced big victories and even bigger losses. It wasn't that long ago when Harris took the job from former Tiger Anthony Jennings, only to get a swift reminder that he's an SEC rookie a week later in Auburn.
That being said, I think Etling at least deserves a chance to not have to look over his shoulder. He proved he could feed of the adrenaline in the second quarter of Saturday's game against Jacksonville State and led three straight touchdown-scoring drives. Even more impressive was that Etling didn't show any signs of nerves.
"The main thing I told him when he first got in the huddle is just calm down and relax," said running back Derrius Guice. "We're going to do what we've got to do. We've got your back. Let's move the ball. Let's go."
The fact that Etling led the Tigers to 205 yards of second quarter offense compared to just 12 yards in the first quarter speaks volumes about his preparation in a backup role.
"Danny's a grinder," said tight end Colin Jeter. "And he's proven that since he showed up. He's in the weight room getting extra reps, or he's coming out here and throwing and doing whatever he has to do."
"Danny has had really great weeks of preparation to be honest with you," said Miles. "I think as he's approached game week, I think he's performed extremely well. So he was deserving of the opportunity. Again, we'll need both guys, and we'll expect both guys to be ready to play."
It wouldn't be LSU football without the drama, and it doesn't get more dramatic than a mid-season quarterback competition within an offense that would probably prefer never to throw the ball at all.