USA Today/Derick E. Hingle

LSU's offense not as conservative as it seems because Brandon Harris checked out of several pass plays

LSU's offense may not be as conservative as it seems, because Brandon Harris said he checked out of several pass plays

It's the critic's favorite complaint about the LSU offense — they're just too dang conservative.

Quarterback Brandon Harris would like to convince you otherwise.

He may have only thrown it 14 times Saturday against Mississippi State, and a lot of those were quick throws not more than five yards past the line of scrimmage. That's why he only had 71 yards passing on nine completions.

But that isn't because Les Miles and Cam Cameron had any limitations on him entering his second career start.

"[Coach Miles] has a lot of confidence in me," Harris said. "He doesn't go into a game saying we need to be conservative."

There's more to the LSU offense than meets the eye, according to Harris. He said Cameron called "well over 25" passes against Mississippi State, but a lot of those were changed to run plays at the line of scrimmage.

Harris has that authority to make presnap checks. If a pass is called, and he spots the defense coming with a blitz, he can switch it to a run instead. 

"We had a lot of pass plays called, and they had some blitz looks where I don't think we could've picked it up," Harris said. "At the line of scrimmage, we checked into run plays and those picked up yards. That's a positive."

Miles was even asked Monday during his weekly press luncheon if he'd label his offense as "conservative." He would not, instead calling it "imperfect" because of penalties that stalled drives and took points off the board.

He had a similar take postgame, saying the reason they ran the ball so much was because of Leonard Fournette and his ability, not because of a lack of confidence in Harris.

"Let's not change the offense," Miles said. "Let's make sure we execute what we call and not hold or have an infraction."

Harris said Fournette and Darrel Williams were "running the ball crazy good," so why not hand it to them as much as possible.

But just because this team runs it more than they throw, it doesn't mean they're still the same conservative offense that's frustrated fans for years.

"The game plan was aggressive," Harris said. "[MSU] just got into some different looks and we had to check to runs...There are a lot of things Coach Cam sees upstairs because he has a better viewpoint. He may call a run because they're sending a blitz that I don't see...

"That's how it went."

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