The best performance from every starting LSU quarterback this century

The story of LSU quarterback play this century has been something more resembling a Shakespeare play than a group of football players.

You have all the pieces for a great story. You have your superstar talents, like Joe Burrow and JaMarcus Russell. You have the guys that were late-round picks but still won titles, like Matt Flynn and Matt Mauck.

You have Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee, two guys who won a lot but caught a lot of flack from fans. Don’t forget signal callers like Zach Mettenberger, Danny Etling and Jayden Daniels — veteran transfers who proved to be critical additions.

And that’s not even the end of it.

Here, we’re looking at the best game from every LSU starting quarterback this century. Let’s not waste any more time and jump right in, beginning in the year 2000.

Josh Booty - Alabama

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Booty arrived at LSU after trying his hand at professional baseball.

It was Nick Saban’s first year and Booty had a solid supporting cast that featured running backs [autotag]Labrandon Toefield[/autotag] and [autotag]Domanick Davis[/autotag] and a star receiver in [autotag]Josh Reed[/autotag].

Booty lost his first two starts against SEC opponents, but turned it around and helped LSU rip off a four-game win streak. His best career game came in the midst of that streak against Alabama.

Booty threw 31 times for 275 yards and four touchdowns. He added 13 more yards on the ground. It was the first time LSU beat Alabama in Baton Rouge in 31 years.

Rohan Davey - Alabama

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This one was rather easy. Rohan Davey’s 2001 performance against Alabama still sits atop several of LSU’s single-game records.

His 35 completions and 528 yards are program records. He’s the only QB in LSU history to surpass 500 yards in a game. LSU scored 35 points and racked up 611 yards of total offense.

This was a bad Alabama team, but not even Burrow matched Davey’s single-game numbers.

Matt Mauck - Florida (2002)

Matt Mauck was a national championship-winning QB in 2003, but we’re going back to 2002 for this one. LSU traveled to the Swamp to play a ranked Florida team.

By today’s standards, Matt Mauck didn’t have his most prolific game but he went 13/20 for 153 yards and two touchdowns. He ran the ball for 67 yards and didn’t throw an interception.

LSU beat Florida 36-7 in a win that helped the Tigers ascended to the top of the sport during Saban’s tenure.

Marcus Randall - Arkansas

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Randall is one of the lesser-known LSU QBs this century. He was sandwiched between LSU’s title in 2003 and the arrival of [autotag]JaMarcus Russell[/autotag].

I debated between his performance against Kentucky in 2002 or his 2004 game against Arkansas but ultimately decided to roll with the 2004 game.

Randall scored four total touchdowns, two in the air and two on the ground. He completed 71.4% of his passes while averaging 12.4 yards per attempt. Randall did work on the ground too with 79 yards and two touchdowns.

Randall and Burrow are the only two LSU QBs this century to have a game with at least 150 passing yards, 70 rushing yards, and a passer rating over 200.

Jamarcus Russell - Notre Dame

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Jamarcus Russell’s best game also happened to be his final game. Russell led LSU to a Sugar Bowl win over No. 11 Notre Dame. The game wasn’t close with LSU notching a 41-14 win.

Russell threw for 332 yards, a career-high. At the time, the only LSU QB to throw for more yards in a bowl game was Rohan Davey. Russell threw two touchdowns and ran for one more.

His final touchdown was a graceful 58-yard touchdown, hitting [autotag]Brandon LaFell[/autotag] in stride.

Matt Flynn - Auburn

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I considered a few of Flynn’s games. He had to throw the ball 44 times against Alabama in 2007 and put up 353 yards and three touchdowns, but he had three picks to go along with it.

There’s the four-touchdown game in the national championship, too. But I’m going with the 2007 win over Auburn. Flynn threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns while adding 34 yards on the ground.

It’s this throw here that pushes this performance over the edge.

Flynn connected with [autotag]Demetrius Byrd[/autotag] in the final seconds to give LSU the win over a ranked Auburn team. It was a critical win on the way to a national title.

Jarrett Lee - West Virginia

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The 2011 LSU squad wasn’t known for its offense, but with College Gameday in town and in front of a hostile West Virginia crowd, Lee threw three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Lee totaled just 180 yards on the night, but he helped guide LSU’s offense to a big win. An honorable mention is Lee’s 2011 performance against Tennessee. He tossed three touchdowns and completed 76.5% of his passes.

Jordan Jefferson - Cotton Bowl

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In the 2010 Cotton Bowl, Jordan Jefferson totaled four touchdowns: three in the air and one on the ground. He delivered some big throws, including a couple of 40+ yard touchdowns.

There have only been 10 games this century where an LSU QB has thrown three touchdowns, ran for one and won the game.

Zach Mettenberger - Georgia

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Mettenberger’s 2013 performance in Athens is the only loss to make this list. His 372 yards were a career high while he tossed three touchdowns and kept the interception category spotless.

This was a back-and-forth game that saw Mettenberger duel it out with UGA’s Aaron Murray. The Bulldogs scored last and LSU couldn’t strike back with under two minutes remaining.

Anthony Jennings - Texas A&M

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Jennings crossed the 100 yard threshold through the air and on the ground against Texas A&M in 2014. It was Thanksgiving Night on the road to close out the regular season.

He threw for a touchdown and ran for another. Only five times this century has an LSU QB thrown and run for 100 yards in a game.

Brandon Harris - Florida

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Considering the opponent, this was Harris’ best performance.

His yardage total didn’t set the world on fire and this offense was based around Leonard Fournette, but Harris completed 68.4% of his passes and averaged 10.6 yards per attempt.

He had a couple of big touchdowns through the air and a 192.5 passer rating.

Danny Etling - Texas A&M x2

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Instead of just picking one, I’m going with both of Danny Etling’s performances against Texas A&M.

Etling posted 324 yards against A&M in 2016 and 347 in 2017. His two most prolific performances at LSU. The Tigers won both games. He put up five touchdowns across the two games with a solid completion percentage in both contests.

Joe Burrow - Peach Bowl

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There are so many to choose from with Burrow but I’m going with his eight-touchdown game that sent LSU to the national title.

On the biggest stage, Burrow put on a show. Throwing for seven touchdowns and rushing for one more along with 514 total yards is an all-time performance. Burrow’s passer rating of 239.8 was a career-high.

Max Johnson - Ole Miss

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I almost went with Johnson’s 2021 performance against Texas A&M, but the volume stats of his 2020 game against Ole Miss were too much to ignore.

Johnson threw for 435 yards, a career-high, along with 45 rushing yards. He had five total touchdowns on the day, leading LSU to a 53-point performance and helping [autotag]Kayshon Boutte[/autotag] set the SEC’s single-game receiving record.

Jayden Daniels - Alabama

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Daniels’ performance against Florida is when he looked the best, but the Alabama game gets the nod here. Daniels made too many big plays in big moments.

He came up huge in overtime, scoring on the first place and finding Mason Taylor to win on the two-point conversion.

His legs kept drives alive throughout the night and he connected with [autotag]Malik Nabers[/autotag] and Boutte on some key third-down conversions.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire