LSU does a little bit of everything in spring game

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LSU did a little bit of everything well in the annual spring game as spring practices came to a close Saturday. The offense racked up 622 yards of offense, with 399 coming through the air, and the defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

On the offensive side, the focus was on the quarterbacks. In the battle to replace Zach Mettenberger under center, freshman Brandon Harris made quite the first impression by throwing for 195 yards and three touchdowns in the second quarter. Just for good measure, Harris rushed for 75 yards on six rushing attempts. One of those carries was good for a touchdown as well.

“He made some really big plays and nice passes, but he also made some mistakes,” head coach Les Miles said after the game. “I really think he made four to five major errors in the scrimmage, but he improved through the adversity. If we can eliminate the mistakes and play to the advantages, that’s what he’s looking to do.”

Anthony Jennings got his chance to run the offense as well, completing nine of 17 pass attempts for 157 yards and a touchdown, but Jennings was also intercepted twice.

“I think when we throw a menu of plays that we’ve thrown all spring long and then we limit the menu, I think there’s a pretty consistent theme to the defense to intercept some of these throws,” Miles said when asked about Jennings. “We’re going to let the competition continue and see how this thing plays out. It serves us to say that there’s some talent at that spot. We really think that we’ll develop quite nicely.”

One of the top offensive performances of the game was turned in by wide receiver Travin Dural, who recorded five catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Kenny Hilliard led the ground game with 16 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown.

The two defensive touchdowns were scored by linebackers Deion Jones and Kwon Alexander.

LSU’s Rob Bolden moving to wide receiver

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In Lincoln, Nebraska we have a wide receiver playing quarterback. Down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana we have a quarterback playing wide receiver.

LSU has confirmed that quarterback Rob Bolden will make a position switch and is working out at wide receiver this spring. Bolden transferred to LSU in 2012 after Penn State was slammed with NCAA sanctions. Although he was allowed to have a free transfer, he did redshirt one year at LSU after making the switch. Bolden had split playing time as Penn State’s starting quarterback with Matt McGloin in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Bolden had not thrown a pass since arriving at LSU. In fact, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., running back Spencer Ware and punter Brad Wing each recorded more pass attempts the past two years than Bolden, a former highly-rated quarterback recruit out of Michigan.

Bolden’s move to wide receiver came as a bit of a surprise, but LSU head coach Les Miles appears happy with the early play and signs of progress by a couple other quarterback options competing for the starting job this spring.

“I felt both quarterbacks, Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings, have gotten stronger and more capable,” Miles said. “Brandon, in his short amount of time here, has gained some weight and strengths and looks a little bit better. [Redshirt freshman] Hayden Rettig’s lost some weight, looks better, and he had a nice practice today.”

Jennings is the only quarterback returning this spring with any playing experience, not including the two seasons Bolden played quarterback at Penn State before transferring prior to the 2012 season.

LSU also confirmed a few other position changes Saturday. Jalen Mills will move from cornerback to safety. Lamar Louis is switching from middle linebacker to the outside. Kwon Alexander is also switching linebacker positions from sam linebacker to will linebacker.