LSU offense looks different with true freshman QB

LSU offense looks different with true freshman QB
Quarterback TJ Finley (11) of the LSU Tigers during the first half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynold Razorback Stadium on November 21, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Source: Chris Parent / LSU Athl/Chris Parent / LSU Athletics)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The year 2020 has been crazy enough and no one thought LSU would be in the position of having to play a true freshman quarterback for much of the shortened season but that’s the Tigers’ reality right now with TJ Finley taking the snaps.

Because of it, not only does the LSU offense look extremely different from 2019 but even different from when Myles Brennan was pulling the trigger earlier in the season.

LSU offense with freshman QB

The youth of Finley is going to come with ebbs and flows, no doubt, and we’ve seen how the offense has tried to lean on the running game more and more to control the clock and limit opponents’ possessions.

Those things are all part of the plan considering the circumstances Coach O said while speaking on his radio show Wednesday night. One caller asked why the offense isn’t as open as everyone had grown accustomed to with Joe Burrow and Brennan.

“Coach Ensminger is doing a great job with what he can with the freshmen quarterbacks,” said Orgeron. “We can’t open up the offense like we could with Myles. Myles is an experienced quarterback. He’s been in our system three years. These guys are just learning where to go with the football. So, it all depends on how much they can handle throughout the week.”

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LSU is 2-1 with Finley as the starter. Finley is 57-of-87 passes for 679 yards and four touchdowns in those three games. In the win over Arkansas, Finley put up career-highs for completions (27), attempts (42), and yards (271) to go along with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. He is just the eighth true freshman to make a start at quarterback for LSU since WWII. Brandon Harris made the previous last true freshman start in 2014.

Myles Brennan during the second half of a game between LSU and Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.
Myles Brennan during the second half of a game between LSU and Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. (Source: Gus Stark/Gus Stark / LSU Athletics)

Before going down with injury, Brennan was 29-of-48 (career-high) for 430 yards (career-high) at Missouri. He had a career-long 75-yard pass to Terrace Marshall Jr. Brennan has a total of 1,112 passing yards on the year and second in the league and fourth in the nation with 370.7 passing yards per game.

Offensively, LSU ranks No. 4 in the SEC in scoring (34.3), total offense (451.5), and passing offense (327.2).

Marshall leads LSU with 38 catches for 597 yards and nine touchdowns (No. 2 in SEC). He ranks No. 4 in the SEC in yards per game (99.5) and receptions per game (6.3). Tight end Arik Gilbert is second on the team in receptions (27), yards (314), and touchdowns (2).

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