LSU players talk about strengths of Brennan’s 2 freshmen backups

LSU quarterbacks Max Johnson (No. 14) and TJ Finley (No. 11)
LSU quarterbacks Max Johnson (No. 14) and TJ Finley (No. 11)(Gus Stark and Chris Parent / LSU Athletics | LSU Athletics)
Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 5:44 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Some of the LSU football players shared their thoughts Tuesday, Oct. 20, as the Tigers approach the weekend’s home contest against the South Carolina Gamecocks, and while many of the questions centered on the quarterback situation, several other topics were also discussed.

One of those is the defensive struggles that have played a huge role in the Tigers' 1-2 start. Linebacker Jabril Cox said the players need to be more accountable.

“We haven’t really been playing to the LSU standard and we’ve taken that amongst ourselves this week,” said Cox. “Go ahead and show that Coach Bo, he’s a great coach, the scheme he has and everything really works. We just, as players, have to show it.”

“We’re focusing on what we can do better and not so much what other teams are doing and more what we’re not doing,” added punter Zach Van Rosenberg. “And I think that’s going to roll over into the game on Saturday.”


But just like Monday during head coach Ed Orgeron’s media availability, quarterback questions dominated the players' time with journalists Tuesday. Coach O should update the status of junior quarterback Myles Brennan when he speaks to the media Wednesday morning during his teleconference.

Brennan could be unavailable for this game after suffering what is reported to be a torn muscle in his abdomen. There’s zero experience behind Brennan, as true freshmen Max Johnson and TJ Finley are now preparing to charge out of the north tunnel of Death Valley as the starter, getting the first snaps of their collegiate careers.

“Max and TJ, they’re getting all the reps. They have been getting time that in previous weeks they haven’t really had because they’re running with the ones. They’re taking turns at the one position,” Von Rosenberg explained.

The 30-year-old punter from Zachary is having quite the year so far. He is averaging more than 46 yards per punt and has put 11 of his 15 boots inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. As a fifth-year Tiger, he lived the dream on last season’s national championship squad and is now witnessing a tough transition taking place.

“Max is a left-handed quarterback; that’s kind of a new thing around here,” noted guard Ed Ingram. “TJ is a bigger guy. Max has a strong arm. TJ has a strong arm. Both of them have speed. It’s kinda hard to choose from both of them. Both of them are pretty good guys.”

“They both have a ton of upside,” stated center Liam Shanahan. “It’s going to be a good battle between them for this week to see what happens if Myles can’t go.”

LSU (1-2) and South Carolina (2-2) will start at 6 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. ESPN will broadcast the game on TV.

LSU is 16-2 in night games in Tiger Stadium under Coach O. The Tigers have won 11 straight night games in Death Valley. They are 18-2-1 all-time against the Gamecocks, which includes the current streak of six-straight wins. LSU is 6-1-1 against South Carolina since the Gamecocks joined the SEC in 1992.

LSU is also 11-0 in games following a loss under Orgeron. The Tigers haven’t lost back-to-back games since dropping three-straight in November 2015. LSU is 13-2 under Orgeron in games played during the month of October.

The Gamecocks have won two straight, including a 30-22 triumph over then No. 15 Auburn in Columbia.

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