Why LSU won’t have any scholarship quarterbacks for Texas Bowl against Kansas State

Brad Davis’ only chance to lead LSU to victory looks like it will be an uphill battle. Davis, who is normally the Tigers’ offensive line coach, will serve as interim head coach for their Texas Bowl game against Kansas State on Tuesday.

The Tigers, like many other college football programs, are dealing with the opting out of some of their best players. They are giving up the game of bowling to prepare for the NFL Draft. The team’s leading rider, Tyrion Davis-Price, took this route. He had 211 carries for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns.

LSU is even slimmer as a quarterback after starter Max Johnson was traded to Texas A&M. Myles Brennan returned from the transfer portal but did not play Tuesday. Athletic reports that the Tigers have only 39 scholarship players in total, none of whom are quarterbacks.

The Tigers (6-6) had a low year, with five losses to ranked teams, all in SEC play, just one win over one ranked team (Texas A&M), and a stretch from October 2 to November 13 in the one they won. just once. However, the Tigers ended the regular season with two wins in a row.

Sporting News takes a look at the LSU roster situation ahead of the Texas Bowl.

Who will play LSU quarterback?

The Tigers got a useful game from Max Johnson this season. The sophomore completed just over 60 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,814 yards, with 27 touchdowns and six interceptions.

But Johnson brought his talents to Texas A&M last month. That potentially paved the way for Myles Brennan, who went in and then went out the portal last month. Brennan, however, is recovering from surgery to repair a broken arm. Garrett Nussmeier, Freshman Substitute not expected to play; He was reportedly deciding whether to keep his red jersey.

That leaves LSU with no scholarship quarterbacks for this game. But someone has to make plays in center, so Davis could lean on quarterbacks Tavion Faulk or Matt O’Dowd, or catcher Jontre Kirklin.

O’Dowd played just two games last year as a senior at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, but like a junior he completed 56.2 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,396 yards and 15 touchdowns on six interceptions.

KIrklin, who is a senior, has 20 career receptions for 313 yards and three touchdowns, but it was a prolific quarterback in high school. He amassed 7,468 yards while completing 54.9 percent of his passes and scoring 97 touchdowns for 35 interceptions at Lutcher High School in Louisana. He was also an outstanding running back, with a total of 3,035 yards and 51 touchdowns.

Is LSU sold out at other positions?

LSU won’t have much more than Johnson and Davis-Price. The team’s top receiver Kayshon Boutte has missed significant time with an ankle injury and will not play Tuesday. Corey Kiner, who had 65 carries for 271 yards as the team’s second-leading running back, and tight end Jack Bech, who was second on the team with 43 receptions for 489 yards, will look to step up as replacements.

The Tigers will also be left without several key high school members, including Derek Stingley Jr., Eli Ricks and their replacements. The team’s top tackler, Damone Clark, opted out and declared himself in the NFL Draft, as did Neil Farrell Jr. The two combined for 24.5 tackles per loss and 7.5 sacks.

2021 LSU offensive and defensive rankings

Even when everyone was healthy and available, Ed Orgeron’s final year in Baton Rouge was less than stellar. Things have gone downhill for the program since quarterback Joe Burrow and quarterback coach Joe Brady went to the NFL after the 2019 Tigers national championship season. The Tigers did not participate in a bowl on last year and are 11-11 since they won the title.

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The offense in particular struggled this season. LSU ranked 83rd nationally in red zone offenses, 85th in total offenses and 86th in third-down conversion percentage.

The defense was a little better. Orgeron’s squad was ranked 56th in scoring defense, 58th in total defense, and tied for 59th in defense at third down, but was also 87th in red zone defense.

One area in which LSU excelled was in not committing penalties. They committed the third-fewest amount nationally. That number could be higher than normal with an inexperienced lineup facing a tough Kansas State team.