You have to approach spring games like you would a possum. Curious but hesitant to make any rash judgment calls.
That thing about playing dead? Did LSU’s defense make a complete 180 overnight?
In other words, take everything you see in a spring game with a grain of salt, and honestly, that should always to be the disclaimer before analyzing what transpires in a glorified scrimmage.
But boy did we see a lot down in Baton Rouge Saturday... The defense dominated, as the squads combined to limit the offenses to convert 9-of-28 third down conversions.
The defense also secured six turnovers and eight sacks. That defensive line looked as advertised, as it’ll be the deepest its been since Ed Orgeron took over as head coach, and DBU looked like, well, DBU again. All of that is great and all, but I’m sure the question many of you want answered right off the bat is which quarterback shined the brightest in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Well, here’s how each individual did:
— Max Johnson 11-of-17 for 160 yards, 2 TDs
— Myles Brennan 12-of-20 for 116 yards, TD
— T.J. Finley 11-of-19 for 84 yards, 2 INTs
— Garrett Nussmeier 15-of-25 for 132 yards, TD, 3 INTs
Going off of both big plays and statistics, the first half belonged to LSU’s veteran gunslinger Brennan. The play of the half came with 12 seconds remaining when Brennan faked a spike and hit Kayshon Boutte, who high pointed the ball in the end zone for a 39-yard strike. Brennan completed 11-of-15 passes for 106 yards and had the lone score of the first half. The second half was Johnson’s, though. He found the end zone in the third quarter when he launched a 47-yard bomb to Jontre Kirklin for Team Purple’s first score of the game. Johnson stepped up in the face of pressure before unleashing a beautiful heave. On his second possession of the quarter, he put a perfect touch on a corner route to Kirklin before connecting with Kirklin again for another score. Johnson started 4-for-10 for 60 yards in the first half but went 7-for-7 for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter.
Kirklin, by the way, ended his day with a team-high 16 catches and 209 yards. Boutte recorded 11 grabs for 162 yards, and looked the part as the team’s No. 1 target.
Finley seemed to have the toughest day among the quarterbacks, and while Nussmeier had some freshman mistakes, LSU’s early signee still impressed. He showed a lot of poise pre-snap and wasn’t fully able to showcase his athleticism as he was barely touched by Jaquelin Roy on a “sack” that would’ve likely been an escape for Nussmeier in a real game scenario. He made a move in the backfield to free himself up and throw a long third-down completion, but it just takes a finger to down a quarterback in spring games… Given the crowded room, Nussmeier likely won’t make a huge dent in the quarterback battle this year, but you can see there’s a ton of potential with this Tiger.
I see this four-man race ultimately playing out similarly to what we saw in the spring game.
A four-man race will transform into a two-man battle between Johnson and Brennan due to experience, command and execution.
But after watching these quarterbacks in action again, and finally getting to see why Ed Orgeron continues to perk up any chance he gets to talk about Nussmeier, I truly believe LSU’s quarterback room has never been deeper.
Along with the actual winner of the Masters Tournament, Pat Hinson of Ferriday won the Panola Woods Masters championship in which local golfers are paired with a golfer in the Masters Tournament for their final round.
Hinson shot a 63 on April 11, while Hidecki Matsuyama shot a 65 in winning the Augusta, Ga., tournament for a total of 128 to win the green jacket from Panola Woods.
Cathy Hinson placed second with a 130, shooting a 62 to go with a 68 by Corey Conners.
Finishing at 137 was Jay Simms after firing a 67 to go along with 70 by Patrick Reed.
At 140 was John Rife, shooting a 70 to go along with a 70 by K. Na.
Cole Pace was one stroke behind at 141, shooting a 70 to go with a 71 by Will Zalatoris.
Peyton Young and Larry Wagoner tied at 143.
Wagoner shot a 71 to go with a 72 by Jordan Speith, while Young fired a 71 to go along with a 72 by Stewart Cink.
The Delta Charter fund-rasier golf tournament will be held Thursday at Panola Woods. The tournament is a fund-raiser for the cheerleaders.