Brandon Harris is not the answer for LSU at quarterback, according to ESPN’s Todd McShay.
The NFL Draft expert was at Lambeau Field for the Tigers’ loss to Wisconsin, and he really pins the result on the starting quarterback. He was a guest on Russillo & Kanell on Wednesday, and said that he believes Les Miles should bench Harris for back-up Danny Etling.
The full interview is available here in podcast form. We’ve transcribed the major points about Harris and LSU.
“I think what’s happened is Brandon Harris, because of all of his issues, and the fact that he’s just not translating what he learns to the field and doesn’t handle pressure well, I think they are so concerned with getting him healthy or happy and in a rhythm that they’re getting away from what they need to do.
And they’re putting too much on him because they want him to have early success in the game, and all of a sudden you look up and they’re three series in and (Leonard) Fournette only has four or five carries.
I would move on from Brandon Harris.
I personally think this is a great week to do it. Jacksonville State…at least give him an opportunity, Etling is the back-up, for success, and see what he can do. And Harris’ confidence is down and he’s a guy who’s really bothered by all the conversation and the talk, and all that stuff, so it’s really not going to hurt his confidence any more. I think his confidence is absolutely at rock bottom after this last game.
So if you have to come back to Harris because Etling doesn’t look good, so be it. You haven’t really lost anything. Harris isn’t going to get better against Jacksonville State anyway. I would give Etling a shot because there are so many throws, I think there are six or seven throws that you just have to make or put your receiver in position to make, that Harris did not make in that game that were the difference in that game.
Harris was very ineffective against the Badgers on Saturday.
He completed 12-of-21 passes for just 131 yards (6.24 yards per attempt), one touchdown, and two interceptions, including the one with under a minute left that sealed the game for Wisconsin. The second pick was especially back breaking, as the Tigers were driving deep into Badger territory, down two with a chance to kick a game-winning field goal.
Those struggles were nothing new for Harris, who has never been good against quality competition. Last season, his first as full-time starter, in games against SEC bowl teams, Harris was 94-of-176 (53.4-percent) for 1,153 yards (164.7 per game, 6.55 per attempt), six touchdowns, and five picks. Leonard Fournette bails LSU’s offense out, but a team with the receiver combo of Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre should have more success through the air.