Flynn makes the most of playing time

For sophomore quarterback Matt Flynn, having the opportunity to play against North Texas means more than just seeing the field. This game gave him to chance to be with his teammates and lead them on the field as he does on the sidelines.

At the opening of fall practice, LSU fans speculated about a quarterback controversy involving Russell and Flynn. Russell, however, earned the starting position and kept it thus far.

Flynn has taken an active role as the Tigers' back-up quarterback to JaMarcus Russell. Watching from the sidelines has allowed Flynn to obtain a different perspective on the game and the opposing defense.

Instead of trying to earn the starting role, Flynn just wants to help his teammates win the game. He not only holds the ball for Chris Jackson and Colt David on kicks, but also communicates to Russell about the opposing defense.

"If I see something that they're doing different or something that JaMarcus might not have seen, I'm helping him on the sidelines," Flynn said. "When he comes out there, I'm working with him, just telling him what I saw, giving him my perspective."

His ability to recognize defenses and their weaknesses has made Flynn a valuable asset to the Tiger offense. He is able to see the whole defensive scheme and communicate that to Russell during the game.

"Going through practices and going through meetings all week, I know what to look for in the defense, what side we should be working to," he said.

Flynn also learns opposing defenses from watching film all week. Flynn said that when he is not doing school work or practicing, he spends a lot of time watching the game film and understanding the next opponent.

Flynn also gives the signals from the sidelines to Russell, a responsibility he takes seriously.

Flynn said he rotates the signals to prevent the other team from picking up on LSU's play calling.

The constant involvement in the game focuses Flynn in case something was to happen to Russell. He understands that there could be a time when he must step in for Russell, and tries to be prepared if it comes.

"The toughest thing is keeping your mind in the game," Flynn said. "Giving the signals helps me tremendously."

With a comparatively easier set of opponents in the future for the Tigers, Flynn looks forward to getting on the field and gained valuable playing time.

Flynn said actually playing lets him use that knowledge he learned on the sidelines and incorporate it into the game itself.

While the game appears faster on the field than it does on the sidelines, Flynn feels confident that the different experience should not affect him.

"It's just a little bit of a different angle," he said. "It's something that we look at everyday in practice so it's not something completely new."

With the opportunity to see considerable playing time against North Texas and Appalachian State, Flynn has spent more time working with the first team. He said he is excited about the opportunity, but has not altered his usual routine.

"I am looking forward to it. I'm just going to go out there like I do every week," he said.

Despite the new leader under center, Flynn wants to keep the offense working just as it does with Russell.

"I think that's the identity of a good team. When one person is down, the next person can come in and not lose any pace, not changing the team identity," Flynn said.

Flynn's constant attention to detail earned him respect from his fellow teammates.

"He tries very hard. He's a competitor," wide receiver Craig Davis said.

Davis said because of Flynn's dedication to learning the signals and reading the defense the entire game, if something were to happen to Russell, the offense would no miss a step with Flynn as their starter.

"He and JaMarcus compete at practice, but JaMarcus understands that if he goes down, Matt has to come in and step up. They're really good team players," Davis said.

In Saturday night's game against North Texas, Flynn did not miss a beat, connecting on seven of seven pass attempts for 139 yards and three touchdowns. In his true fashion, he focused his attention to the success of his receivers rather than himself.

"A couple of receivers made some really good plays for me, and that's all we do all week is prepare for it helped me out a lot," he said.

That selfless attitude has made Flynn one of the leaders on the team, whether or not he takes a snap in the game.

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