Golson reminds LSU defender of Nick Marshall

When defensive tackle Christian LaCouture watches Notre Dame's Everett Golson play, the quarterback brings to mind a familiar foe to LSU. TSD examines the comparison.

Notre Dame's Everett Golson and Auburn's Nick Marshall have started and lost the last two national championship games, respectively.

According to LSU defensive tackle Christian Lacouture, upon learning the Bayou Bengals would take on the Fighting Irish in the Music City Bowl, the comparisons between the two signal callers doesn't end there.

“I watched a little bit (of Notre Dame) when they played Florida State. Good thing I did," LaCouture told reporters. "Everett Golson is a dual-threat guy. We’re used to that. He reminds me a lot of Nick Marshall, loves to throw and run. He’s a guy that we’re going to have to really focus on."

Just how accurate is LaCouture? Let's go to the numbers.

In Golson's sophomore season of 2012, when the Golden Domers made it all the way to the BCS National Championship Game, he was 187-of-318 passing (58.8%) for 2,405 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions with 298 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and six touchdowns added on the ground.

In Marshall's junior season of 2013, when War Eagle lost the final edition of the BCS title game, he completed 59.4% of his passes for 1,976 yards, 14 touchdowns and six picks while toting the rock for 1,068 yards (6.2 ypc) and 12 touchdowns.

Their senior season follow-ups this fall: Golson is 250-of-416 passing (60.1%) for 3,355 yards, 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with 280 yards rushing (2.5 ypc) and eight scores. Marshall is also a 60.1% passer - eerie - and has totaled 2,315 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven picks through the air with 780 yards (5.3 ypc) and 11 touchdowns rushing.

Doesn't take long to recognize the similarities and the differences.

What's alike: The completion percentages, most notably, as both have identical marks this season and for their two-year college careers are both hovering around completing three of every five passes ... Both do operate on the ground and through the air, particularly inside the red zone, which has boosted Golson's rushing touchdown numbers despite a low yards-per-carry average ... Both were asked to throw a little more in their senior seasons, which in Golson's case (amid a number of other factors) led to more than double the amount of interceptions.

What's different: While both can run when they have to, Marshall is a lot better at it, and that's reflected in a much higher percentage of designed run calls for Auburn's guy and his efficiency. Marshall's never averaged lower than 5.3 ypc for a season while Golson has never averaged higher than 3.2 ypc ... Notre Dame asks Golson to chunk it way more than Auburn does Marshall, and because of it Golson has been more mistake-prone. Netting 3,355 yards passing is no small feat, but it's almost negated when you factor in the 14 interceptions this fall. Of course its also shines a light on how often the Irish have trailed, especially these last few games, that Golson has had to go that pass-happy.

And so the two aren't spitting images of one another in the way they play (or in what they're asked to do), but mimicking Marshall in bowl practices these next few weeks isn't a bad start in preparing John Chavis' defense for Golson. They key will be skewing things a little more toward the pass and getting a primary nickel set ready in the secondary.

Perhaps what LaCouture, Chavis and LSU as a whole are hopeful for is that Golson's stat line on Dec. 30 in Nashville won't resemble Marshall's on the plains several months ago, when the latter passed for 207 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 119 yards and two more scores.

Considering LSU's defense hasn't let up more than 137 yards rushing total to any team since that debacle at Auburn, it would stand to reason Golson won't enjoy that type of success.

Check out more of what LaCouture had to say about the matchup with Notre Dame, LSU's version of Rudy (and how it's not walkon Luke Boyd, an active duty Marine) and the benefits of winning a bowl game.



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