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There might not be a better time to have this conversation than the open week for the LSU Tigers. After seeing what Max Johnson has done over the last several weeks and limited action for Garrett Nussmeier, let’s discuss the quarterbacks.
Max Johnson hasn’t been terrible this season, let’s get that out of the way. He has been inconsistent and there are a lot of extenuating circumstances surrounding that. However, with the season quickly unraveling why not mix it up in the final four games?
In the last two games, Johnson averaged just 6.2 yards per attempt. In his six starts prior, the sophomore averaged 7.9 yards per attempt. Losing Kayshon Boutte was a huge impact in this area. Most quarterbacks would suffer in that situation, Boutte is a dynamic athlete that would make any passer look better. Looking at his history, he wasn’t exactly lighting it up for the Tigers offense in 2020 either, outside of Ole Miss.
Johnson often looks lost, holds onto the ball way too long, and is downright indecisive when determining where to go with the ball. Part of that has to do with a rookie offensive coordinator. Part of that has to do with not trusting your offensive line to maintain blocks. Part of his issue is the lack of zip on the ball.
We got the opportunity to see a little bit of Garrett Nussmeier against Ole Miss as he played the entire fourth quarter. After Johnson’s third turnover of the game, the team opted for the freshman. Nuss came into the game down 31-7 and led the team on two scoring drives.
Judging a player isn’t fair on just 19 plays but both turned into scores. The first was a 14-play drive that went 51 yards. Cade York capped it off with a field goal. Following the fumble caused by Damone Clark, Nussmeier led them on an 80-yard touchdown drive. On the final play of the drive, the freshman found Malik Nabers in the back of the endzone.
Garrett Nussmeier and the Tigers are not ready to end this one yet.
Impressive throw and catch for six. pic.twitter.com/FOOxdT8qCn
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 23, 2021
With the issues in protection, it might be a better idea to see what Nuss can do. He seems to be more mobile and has a quick release. You will have to live with his gunslinger mentality but at this point, the LSU offense needs an edge. I won’t call for him to start against Alabama, but they should open the QB competition this week.
If nothing else, give him a series in each quarter against Alabama. It might give this team the shot in the arm they desperately need.