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LSU Football

Quarterbacks shine in LSU Spring Game

April 17, 2021

All eyes were on the quarterbacks for LSU in the 2021 National L Club Spring Game as the White team defeated the Purple team 23-14.

With all three quarterbacks who started games last season returning and the addition of highly touted freshman Garrett Nussmeier‍, it’s a four-man race to lead the Tigers going into the 2021 season.

“From a quarterback perspective, I’m really confident in this group,” Offensive lineman Austin Deculus‍ said. “They all showed a lot of talent today. “You see the long passes, you see the big runs, you see the energy and excitement in flashes that we saw in the 2019 offense.”

While no one established themselves as a clear-cut favorite, Myles Brennan‍ and Max Johnson‍ appeared to separate themselves from the others in this game - at least on paper.

While the defense had the upper hand for most of the first half Brennan eventually got the offense rolling connecting with everyone’s favorite first-half target, Kayshon Boutte‍ on a 39-yard touchdown giving the White team a 16-0 lead going into halftime. 

Brennan held the upper hand at halftime going 11-15 for 106 yards and the only touchdown with no interceptions. After the quarterbacks all switched teams in the second half, he finished the game 12-20 for 116 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.

Johnson played serviceably in the first half but was lights out in the second half going 7-7 for 120 yards and two touchdowns. In the game, he went 11-17 for 180 yards with two scores and no turnovers.

TJ Finley‍ went 10-19 for 84 yards and a pair of interceptions while Nussmeier was 15-25 for 132 yards and three interceptions and a touchdown.

“I think that what you saw out there today is what you’ve seen throughout spring ball,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said in regards to the quarterback play. “In the Fall, we’re going to designate reps to the first and second guy.”

The battle for the second receiver spot was wide open. Boutte certainly performed well enough to remain the top receiver as expected with 11 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown, but  Jontre Kirklin‍ was actually the leading receiver. He had 16 grabs for 209 yards and two touchdowns while playing for both teams.

“There is more to show in 2021 for sure,” Boutte said with a smirk. “We’re looking forward to it.”

Ty Davis-Price was the only LSU running back with notable carries on the day rushing.

Defensively, there appeared to be much improvement from last season’s troubled unit. Orgeron had high praise for his new defensive coordinator Daronte Jones whose defense forced six turnovers on the day.

“Our secondary was probably the most improved area of our football team,” Orgeron said. “Daronte Jones and Corey Raymond have done tremendous jobs of playing more zone coverage.”

The five interceptions were forced by five different players including linebacker Jared Small who led the Tigers with 14 tackles. 

The offensive line certainly showed improvement, but that didn’t stop a talented and deep defensive line unit from putting up a few numbers.

In all, there were eight sacks, three of which defensive lineman Jaquelin Roy‍ accounted for.

“Very pleased with the defensive line,” Orgeron said. “We’ve got some depth there. Andre Carter has done an excellent job of teaching them to come off the line.”

Despite forcing many turnovers and sacks, LSU’s veteran linebacker Damone Clark still wanted to show more.

“We’re still not to the LSU standard of defense, so we have to keep improving,” Clark said. “I’m proud of the way we fought, but we could have played better at the end.”

Clark finished second on the team with 12 tackles.

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