Last week’s audition appeared to go well for LSU quarterback Danny Etling.
Les Miles confirmed on Friday, in a video posted on the school’s official Twitter account, that the Purdue transfer would be the Tigers starting signal-caller for the team’s upcoming game against Mississippi State.
“Offensively I think we’ll be fine. I think Danny can handle the place and the stage and playing in a televised game in Tiger Stadium,” Miles said. “Danny will take the first snap.”
Etling completed 6-of-14 passes for an even 100 yards last week against FCS foe Jacksonville State. He threw for a touchdown, ran for another and tossed an interception after replacing ineffective starter Brandon Harris. While the offensive performance has been nothing to write home about for LSU through their first two games, the hope is clearly that Etling’s arm helps open things up in the passing game and provides a bit more rhythm during the game going forward.
Interestingly, despite what would appear a firm endorsement of the new starter under center, Miles — in a way only he can — did note in the video that he has a right to change his mind as to which quarterback would start on Saturday. He has given every indication this week that Etling will be the guy this week but it says plenty about the timid nature of the team’s offense that not even the head coach can fully commit to a quarterback.
No matter who lines up in the backfield first however, they will likely play second fiddle to running back Leonard Fournette as the focus of the offense. The Heisman Trophy candidate sat out last week’s win after getting injured in the opener against Wisconsin but appears to be fully healthy after a good week of practice.