April 22, 2017
Mother Nature became the story of LSU’s spring game, which was moved indoors late in the second quarter where the White team proceeded to score 23 unanswered points in a 26-7 win over the Purple team.
Before weather forced the teams off the field, Lanard Fournette put the Purple team on top 7-3 with a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He had all 56 of Purple’s yards on that drive, both rushing and receiving.
The younger brother of Leonard Fournette is trying to carry on the family’s rich tradition at LSU. He has been seldom used in two seasons with the program, appearing in seven games in 2015-16 and having just 13 rushing yards.
Joshua Thornton of the Daily Reveille noticed the difference in LSU’s offensive pace during the drive in which Fournette found the end zone:
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron threw down the gauntlet by challenging his team earlier in the week when he said the first-team offense would square off against the first-team defense.
“Best again best,” Orgeron said, per Ross Dellenger and James Bewers of the Advocate. “Competition. That’s what we do. I want to see us get after it, see us compete.”
The offense was going to be the focus of the game because quarterback has been a problem position for the Tigers and Matt Canada is entering his first year as offensive coordinator.
Danny Etling was LSU’s primary starting quarterback last season and would seem to have the inside track on the job in 2017. He’s going to have all sorts of help with a deep running back stable, even with Leonard Fournette going to the NFL, led by Derrius Guice.
After Etling got off to a strong start on Saturday, things quickly unraveled for the senior, as noted by Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com:
Orgeron said after the game he wasn’t happy with Etling’s performance, per Andrew Lopez of the Times-Picayune: “Danny didn’t have a good night.”
LSU’s head coach was also honest about what he was looking for from a quarterback, per Lopez:
Cornerback Kevin Toliver II was the recipient of an Etling interception in the first quarter. He endured a difficult sophomore campaign due to a shoulder injury that ended his season after six games, so this was a key moment for him in his quest to get back into prime game shape.
LSU fans hanging their heads watching Etling scuffle can take some comfort knowing Myles Brennan is coming. The 4-star freshman from Missouri did not take part in Saturday’s game, and Orgeron noted everyone will have a shot at the job, per Dellenger and Bewers:
Until we feel like it’s solidified and everybody’s had a fair chance. We haven’t seen [Brennan] yet. We told him when we recruited him we would give him a fair chance. Guys are going to get better, so let’s see. Danny’s practiced with the first team most of the time. Unless somebody takes his place, they’re going to have to prove it.
While Orgeron did want to put his best team forward, Scooter Hobbs of the LC American Press noted LSU was keeping a lot of key players off the field:
LSU is heading into the 2017 season with some key questions, starting at quarterback and extending to replacing linebackers Duke Riley and Kendell Beckwith. The spring game didn’t provide definitive answers to any of those questions, especially due to the weather issues disrupting the rhythm.
The Tigers still have more than three months to get into game shape before their September 2 opener against BYU at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Recruit rankings and information courtesy of Scout.com.
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