Tiger Fans Can Expect Miles To Vacillate On QB Decision
Bags are packed, early flight to Chicago early today and then van-time with other Louisianans as we go to South Bend, Indiana for a Notre Dame football game. Saturday night’s ND-Michigan State matchup marks my fifteenth game on the storied campus. Most of our travel group have been multiple times also.
While I am very much looking forward to another four-day stay that has turned in to an
annual spiritual/athletic/friendship pilgrimage, I could not leave home without blogging about the hottest collegiate subject in the state at the moment. Will Les Miles start Danny Etling in the Tigers’ SEC opener against Mississippi State Saturday in Tiger Stadium?
Past history at LSU shows that Miles can be stubborn, hardheaded, and illogical at times. Some of his in-game decisions earned him the moniker “Mad Hatter” when he went against the percentages and his squad pulled off questionable plays to win some close encounters. Although that earned him some respect, time clock mismanagement, a propensity to play “not to lose” in key games, and a lackluster offense despite having talented players, has him on the hot seat—–AGAIN.
Just once in the past eight seasons has LSU’s passing attack ranked in the top 70 of Division 1 football. Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Dwayne Bowe, Malachi Dupre, and other talented receivers, wore the Purple and Gold, but the Tigers’ inability to offer assistance to runners like Jeremy Hill and Leonard Fournette has been frustrating, and telling when LSU played top SEC teams. In fact, LSU has a 2-7 record against Ole Miss, Alabama, and Arkansas in the past three years.
That, combined with the other reasons stated above, almost cost Miles his job last November. Once he was given his reprieve after defeating Texas A &:M in last season’s finale, he promised to make offensive changes. The 16-14 loss to Wisconsin in Green
Bay in the 2016 opener showed that to not be the case. It was the same oh, same oh. Predictable play calls, unimaginative schemes, downright boring football. Trying not to lose instead of going all out to win.
After stinking up Lambeau two weeks ago, returning starting quarterback Brandon Harris continued his ineptness in the first quarter against Jacksonville State. The boo birds were out in force and while I dislike seeing any college youngster receive such treatment, I feel better when I realize that the booing was really for Miles.
Etling replaced Harris on LSU’s third series early in the second quarter. The Tigers failed to post a first down in the first stanza as Harris repeated his inconsistencies of the previous week. Not saying Etling will be an all-SEC type player, but it sure was nice to see an LSU quarterback go through his progressions and spread the ball around the field. He threw to wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends that had become forgotten options of the forward pass.
The Purdue transfer (thank you Boilermakers for sending Louisiana Drew Brees and Etling) was only six for 14 passing, but that figure was distorted by a couple of drops. Even with his calmness and pocket presence, I predicted to a fellow Tiger season ticket
holder, who has sat by me for over five decades, that Miles would give his best coaching non-speak gibberish and proclaim that Etling’s effort only opened up the competition.
Particularly when Harris showed his unhappiness by running straight to the tunnel after the Jacksonville State victory. Sure, LSU has tried to cover for him by saying he was instructed to do that to avoid reporters on the field immediately after the game. The Tigers usually stand before the student section after home victories as the LSU band plays the school’s alma mater. LSU can spin whatever story they want, but Harris showed his immaturity by his locker room run, and his subsequent twitter message to former Tiger receiver Tyron Johnson. who transferred to Oklahoma State. His twitter account soon went private, but the message to Johnson, ” u smart”, could not have sat well with Miles and his staff.
Hey Harris, the position was yours, all you had to do was perform to a certain level. Amazing how young athletes are coddled and when something goes wrong they want to blame the coaches, the school, anyone but themselves. Have not seen any coach overthrow a pass in the last few years.
Etling—Harris. Harris—Etling. The LSU pass offense was ranked 106th in the nation in 2015. It was past time for a change. Most, and I am one of them, think Etling would have led the Tigers to victory over Wisconsin. One thing for sure, I do not think he
would have thrown that ill-fated interception Harris threw directly to a defender—-when another five to eight yards on the next two plays would get the Tigers into very makeable game winning field goal range.
It will be interesting to see what Miles does the first time Etling makes a bad decision and forces a pass. Will he showcase the tolerance he showed with Jordan Jefferson, Anthony Jennings, and Harris?
In eleven years at the Tigers helm, Miles has failed to recruit a star quarterback that could push LSU over the top. He inherited JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn. Zach Mettenberger was a Georgia transfer. Hopefully Etling will be able to produce Mettenberger-like in his two seasons.
Tuesday Miles said that Etling would take the first snap against Mississippi State but promised nothing past that. In his typical double-talk, he said things would be evaluated as they went along.
Final note to Mr. Harris. Grow up. Keep in mind how Miles threw Jarrett Lee under the proverbial bus after he led LSU to eight straight 2011 victories. He might unfairly come right back to you despite your lack of productivity.Thanks For Visiting JV Sport Shots .Com’s Website And Viewing Our Latest Blog(s) / Page(s). We Would Really Appreciate It If You Would Leave Us A Comment Or Remark Below. This Helps Us Provide Great Sports Content; You Would Like To See In Future Posts.
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