Twitter Mailbag is a post running each week answering readers’ qustions about the LSU football team. Readers submit their questions, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @RossDellenger to submit a question.
@RossDellenger do you think there was thoughts of inserting Brandon Harris in the Bama game?— LSU (5-3) (@tdougiee) November 8, 2016
Ed Orgeron was asked this twice - once after Saturday's game and again during his weekly news conference Monday. The coaching staff did not give thought to inserting Harris in the game, he said both times.
Coaches did not think Harris would have make a difference against the Tide, based on reps in practice, Orgeron said - a subtle shot at Harris' practice performance.
"Right now, we believe that Danny is our quarterback, not that Brandon can't play or anything like that," Orgeron said. "We think that Danny gives us our best chance to win."
@RossDellenger in your opinion is etling the sure starter next season or after this performance will Brennan or narcisse give him a run?— TJ Reed (@TJ__Reed) November 8, 2016
There is more hype surrounding Myles Brennan than just about any quarterback commitment in the last several years at LSU. Many believe he's the future of the program, especially if Orgeron stays on as coach.
Orgeron wants a pro-style quarterback for a pro-style scheme, he's said in the past.
But how quickly will Brennan be ready? That's the real question. Will he be ready enough to overtake Etling, a senior? I'm not so sure.
@RossDellenger Don't know if my eyes were deceiving, but I didn't see Kevin Toliver playing Saturday night. Injured? Benched?— Kyle Riviere (@kyleR_sports) November 8, 2016
You weren't wrong - kind of. Toliver played some on special teams, according to the team's participation chart, but he did not play defense because of an undisclosed injury.
He's questionable for the game against Arkansas. Orgeron would not reveal specifics of the injury when asked on Thursday night. At Tuesday's practice, Toliver wore a gold jersey, signifying limited contact.
@RossDellenger Why is it that Ole Miss and Arkansas were so effective and put up tons of yards against bama but we get shut down by their D?— Fhb giving (@giving_fhb) November 8, 2016
First off, those games played out differently. Alabama, I believe, got well ahead of Arkansas. Bama's defense, I'm sure, will play differently when leading by so much. Against Ole Miss, the Tide got down early and then led late.
Also, the Rebels have one of the better offenses in the league with one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. That is a big, big factor in this: Quarterback play and offensive creativity.
@RossDellenger why can't LSU throw the ball against Alabama? Ole Miss put up 43 points— LAsportfan (@LaSportFan318) November 8, 2016
See above. Also, Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly is an important piece here. Before his injury, many projected him as a first-round selection in the NFL draft.
Also, Ole Miss' offensive system is predicated on short passes and moving around the quarterback. That's a system that works well against an Alabama defense with such an aggressive front seven.
@RossDellenger Please ask Coach Orgeron if he ever considered going to Brandon Harris? And is Danny playing hurt? Thanks— TJ LSU DAD (@tj_lsudad) November 8, 2016
We've answered your first question above. Here's the answer to your second: Of course.
I'm not sure there's a major conference quarterback out there who's completely healthy. Etling has taken some serious blows this season. On one, specifically, he walked off limping. We believe it was against Missouri during a scramble play.
A defender hit Etling hard in the left thigh. He's worn a support wrap around the area ever since, we think.
@RossDellenger Do you think play calling was the issue for the LSU offense or was the o line just getting beat or out muscled?— Sid Backstrom (@sid_backstrom) November 9, 2016
Maybe both? But the bottom line is LSU's offensive line and tight ends struggled - like many teams - to handle Alabama's defensive front. O-line play is such a key for LSU's pro-style scheme. If it plays poorly, it ruins a system predicated on running the ball and play-action passing.
It's imperative, and against Alabama, it's struggled over the last two years, specifically. Having said that, every offensive line struggles against Alabama. The Tide has two first-round draft picks on its first line. Remember that.
In fact, Pro Football Focus-College ranked LSU's offensive as the best in the nation, according to a formula the outlet used. The formula adjusts for opponents.
@RossDellenger How many returning starters will this team have next year?— Fhb giving (@giving_fhb) November 11, 2016
As few as 10 and as many as 14, depending on which underclassman will return for their senior years.
- C Ethan Pocic
- TE Colin Jeter
- WR Travin Dural
- CB Tre'Davious White
- LB Kendell Beckwith
- LB Duke Riley
- DE Lewis Neal
- RB Leonard Fournette*
- S Jamal Adams
- DL Davon Godchaux
- WR Malachi Dupre
- OL Will Clapp^
^A draft-eligible redshirt sophomore
*Expected to leave early
@RossDellenger chances we see a package of RPO for Harris?— Brant Langlinais (@blanglinais) November 11, 2016
Very low. Orgeron was actually asked that exact question - or something very similar - during his radio show on Wednesday.
"We have some things that he does well if we were to ever put him in."
@RossDellenger notice all the cell phone lights while bama was on offense? Has that ever happened before? Bama struggled while it went on— Austin Greenway (@austin_greenway) November 11, 2016
That's nothing new. It was probably the third or fourth home game this year in which LSU fans did it.
@RossDellenger what's up Ross......What are the Tiger's Bowl destinations looking like?— Sean K. Benton Sr. (@skbeeasy) November 11, 2016
Here are some destinations we've seen (but it is still very early):
I actually believe this game at Arkansas is the toughest remaining for LSU. Remember, the Tigers get the Gators at home, and Texas A&M will be without its starting quarterback. Oh, and yeah, Florida is not expected to have its starting quarterback either.