LSU not ready to name Brandon Harris starter

Brandon Harris turned a lot of heads with his performance Saturday. But Les Miles isn't quite ready to name him LSU's starting quarterback.

The LSU fan base may have already crowned Brandon Harris as the new starting quarterback, but Les Miles isn’t yet ready to make that call.

After the true freshman led LSU on seven consecutive touchdown drives against New Mexico State, Harris seemingly separated himself from Anthony Jennings. After all, Jennings had a nightmare of a performance, turning the ball over three times on the first four possessions.

But Miles wants a bit more time before he determines which quarterback takes the first snap next week at Auburn.

“We’ve always done things in a measured fashion,” Miles said. “We’ll look back at the film and communicate with our team. We are going to do the things we do to reconcile games. That’s not necessarily the splash you want, but that is how we do things.”

It apparently doesn’t matter much to Harris. Speaking publicly for the first time since Media Day in August, Harris said he’ll prepare the same whether he’s the starter or not.

“No, it’s not important at all,” Harris said. “If my number’s called, I’m just going to come out and do what I can do.”



If that’s what he did Saturday, then Harris can do quite a bit. The former four-star quarterback threw three touchdown passes, the first true freshman to do that in LSU history. He also added two more scores on the ground, while completing 11-of-14 passes for 178 yards.

Still, Harris only gave his performance a “B-minus.”

“It seemed like everything was clicking when I was in the game,” Harris said. “But I’m a young guy. I can improve and continue to develop in certain areas…My confidence continues to be high.”

Jennings may not be feeling quite as optimistic. Jennings completed just 2-of-5 passes for 11 yards. He lost a fumble on LSU’s first offensive possession and threw two interceptions before the end of the first quarter.

The fans didn’t make it much easier on him. Boos regularly rained down on Jennings while he struggled with the student section chanting, “We want Harris.”

That actually rubbed Harris the wrong way.

“It’s important that we support Anthony when he’s in there,” Harris said. “It shouldn’t be the way it was tonight where we have people booing him. We need to all support him when he’s in there. It hurt me to hear that. You shouldn’t listen to that, but I just didn’t think it was the appropriate way to handle that situation.”

Miles isn’t ready to dismiss Jennings either.

“I can tell you this, we are going to need both quarterbacks as we go forward this season,” Miles said. “There is a long season left. Anthony Jennings is going to have to get better, and we are going to insist on it. I hope he has not lost his confidence.”

Miles didn’t want to rush to judgment though. While he’s said all season that if one quarterback separated himself from the other, they’d make that call. Maybe once he gets time to sit down with both quarterbacks, he’ll be more willing to name Harris the starter.

But the young quarterback won’t have to wait for Miles to make that decision.

“The thing is just improving, understanding it’s going to take two quarterbacks this year to reach our ultimate goal, which is to win a national championship,” Harris said. “I’m preparing just like I’m the starting quarterback or vice versa. That’s the mentality we take in our quarterback room.”

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