During LSU’s spring game on Saturday, fans and media got a better understanding of what to expect from the program this fall. 247Sports Josh Pate thinks it’s clear that the Tigers are trying recreate the magic that they hand in their 2019 national championship run.
On Sunday’s edition of ‘The Late Kick with Josh Pate,’ he discussed some of the biggest takeaways from the spring game in Baton Rouge. Pate said that, based on LSU’s offseason hires and what he’s seen from the team this spring, it looks like head coach Ed Orgeron is trying to run it back to when the Tigers were dominating college football just a couple of years ago.
“They are trying to go, at LSU, as 2019 as possible,” Pate said. “If you’re following LSU, as you’ve read and as you’ve heard, from offensive coordinator hire in [Jake] Peetz to defensive coordinator hire in Daronte Jones, those are guys that have ties to the proper elements that were around in 2019. Peetz obviously has ties to Joe Brady … but also Daronte Jones has ties in his past to Dave Aranda.
“You see Ed Orgeron — and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand — find out when you were at your best. Find as many as many of the elements that are related to what you were when you were at your best. Throw them all in the room, shake it up, and not by the spring game but hopefully by the fall we have a product that’s a lot more 2019 than 2020.”
When it comes to the actual game on the field, Pate shared his belief that LSU’s quarterback battle is pretty clearly a two-player race between Myles Brennan and Max Johnson. While some programs will string along the backup in an attempt to keep him from transferring, Pate doesn’t think that’s happening with the Tigers. Johnson very much has a shot at the starting gig.
“We start at quarterback because, by 10 miles yesterday, that was the biggest storyline around LSU. Myles Brennan and Max Johnson,” Pate said. “We never viewed this, on this show at least, as a four-horse race. It’s not. It never was. We saw yesterday that those two have separated themselves. If you follow LSU, that’s not breaking news. If you’ve listened to Ed Orgeron talk, that’s not really breaking news. There’s no way that this is decided. It’s decided that it’s a two-man race, but it’s not decided by any stretch, that this is Myles Brennan’s job. We’re just gonna kind of keep Max Johnson on the line as long as we can because we don’t want him to transfer. That’s what some programs are going to do with their quarterback battle. That’s not what’s happening here. By no means is this decided.”
Pate did say that one of the signal callers at the top of LSU’s depth chart might have a slight edge over the other, even though the team’s spring game only solidified the idea that Orgeron’s decision will ultimately come down to Brennan or Johnson.
“Now, I will say this, watching yesterday sort of enforced my already held belief that I believe Max Johnson is in this,” Pate said. “He’s gonna have to definitively take that job. Whereas, I think Myles Brennan will only have to be competitive or be comparable. That’s just my personal feel on that. I could be wrong. That’s not information I’ve gotten from anyone. That’s just personal feel.”