Pat’s POV: Should Garrett Nussmeier be in consideration as the starter

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In this week’s edition of Pat’s POV, I look at the quarterback situation for the LSU Tigers.

Going into the 2021 offseason it was expected to be a battle at quarterback between fifth-year senior Myles Brennan and sophomore Max Johnson. The two quarterbacks combined to throw for 2,181 yards with 19 touchdowns to just four interceptions. They completed 59.4% of their passes in 2020.

It was expected to be an intense battle, under Brennan the team was 1-2, however, the defense gave up 44 and 45 points in the two losses. You could hardly put that on Brennan. In the two starts for Johnson, he went 2-0 as the quarterback. The defense gave up 34 and 48 in those two games but the Tigers came out victorious.

Looking at a W-L record really isn’t the way to go in a quarterback competition, it boils down to which passer puts the team in a position to be successful. Going into the year with a new offensive coordinator in Jake Peetz, Johnson felt like the better fit for what they want to do on offense. He was the more mobile quarterback which fit the heavy RPO offense, much like they used Joe Burrow under Joe Brady.

Unfortunately, the quarterback competition never got underway in fall camp due to Brennan’s injury. It was all about Johnson from that point forward. Freshman quarterback Garrett Nussmeier was expected to be the No. 2 guy, at least until Brennan could return from a broken arm. Should Nussmeier be in consideration for the QB1 job?

While one shouldn’t believe that Nussmeier, with no career starts should immediately get the nod, he has shown in two scrimmages that a conversation should take place. Head coach Ed Orgeron has spoken highly of the young gunslinger in recent weeks. Orgeron also was adamant in stating that “Max is the starter.”

“Garrett is going to be one great quarterback. He is dynamite.” – Orgeron following the second scrimmage

In the second scrimmage, Nussmeier outgunned the starter with his performance. A breakdown of their performances in both scrimmages shows that Nuss has been more productive.

Nuss

Comp

Att

Yards

TD

Johnson

Comp

Att

Yards

TDs

1st

11

17

225

3

1st

11

19

127

1

2nd

18

32

308

3

2nd

11

19

125

1

Looking at the average yards per attempt, Nuss averaged 10.9 to Johnson’s 6.6. Experience is obviously a huge factor in the decision as well, the freshman was playing for Flower Mound High School last year as Johnson played in six games in an SEC-only schedule.

Perhaps in the upcoming nonconfernce schedule, the team can see how the young gun looks running with the ones against Central Michigan or McNeese state to make a better decision. Given his performance throughout fall camp, Garrett Nussmeier is trying to force the conversation.

List

Highest-graded returning players for LSU on offense