Using Both Options

Jarrett Lee has been the hot hand since stepping into the picture at quarterback, but Les Miles likes what a two-man attack can bring to the offense.

The leash on Jarrett Lee is getting longer by the week, and it should continue to do so if the junior keeps putting out performances like he had against Florida in a 33-29 win this past weekend, where his first incompletion came when he grounded the ball at the LSU goalline to kill the clock in the final minute.

What does that mean for Jordan Jefferson, who has gone down on paper as the starter in each of LSU’s six wins this season?

Much like with Lee, it becomes about consistency. If Jefferson can replicate the weekend’s performance (50 yards and 2 TDs rushing, 7-of-12 for 100 yards passing), his piece will remain.

If not, offensive coordinator Gary Crowton goes in a new direction.

“I certainly want to have the ability at both skill sets during the game, and how we play them obviously will depend on how that continues,” Miles said. “If at one point in time, the balance were to swing where the contribution is not equal to the number of reps, then certainly we'll give thought to playing them differently. 

“Right now, if they play like they did against Florida minus an interception, we kind of like to see that.”

It was a banner night for Lee, who led the team on the game-winning touchdown drive for the second week in a row. For Jefferson, two rushing touchdowns cemented his role as the team’s redzone running threat.

“I think Gary (Crowton) is finding out exactly what is best for both guys,” Miles said. “I think he is doing a heck of a job. I think it's a work in progress certainly, but one game certainly helped.”

For the second week in a row Jefferson took the start and the second series, giving way to Lee – and a back-and-forth rotation – the rest of the way. Jefferson’s first drive ended in a field goal, and LSU went on to get points on Lee’s only two series in the first half, which both came in the second quarter.

After a solo mission with Jefferson turned out nothing but negatives over the past month, splitting snaps between quarterbacks seemed to be having its effect.

“It appeared to me that there was a little bit more swagger in that position,” Miles said. “They were both going in there to play comfortably and make plays, which is one of the reasons they had success. 

“I don't know exactly what personal relationship those two guys have, but I'd have to think that they are both certainly rooting for each other, and both need to have success so that the other can play a lot. I think they are in it together, and at this point they are enjoying how it is playing out.”


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