Let’s play two.
Both sophomore Anthony Jennings and true freshman Brandon Harris could play in the Tigers’ season opener against Wisconsin on Aug. 30, coach Les Miles said Tuesday.
Neither quarterback has separated himself in the battle for the starting job, Miles said following the Tigers’ final scrimmage of preseason.
It looks like both could see playing time in Houston when No. 13 LSU meets No. 14 Wisconsin, but the coach isn’t revealing the full plan.
“I think there’s an opportunity to see both quarterbacks play,” Miles said. “We have a full game week and several practices this week left so I think I’ll wait before describing exactly how we’d like to play these guys.”
The player who coaches choose to start the Wisconsin game will be told of the decision Thursday of game week, Miles said.
Harris and Jennings have been battling through the first two-plus weeks of fall camp for the job vacated by Zach Mettenberger. Miles has made the quarterbacks off limits to reporters, outside of interviews during the team’s media day Aug. 10. He has also withheld scrimmage stats from either quarterback.
All scrimmages and practices have been closed to reporters since Aug. 8.
Players, during interviews, have revealed little about the competition.
Miles said three touchdowns and two interceptions were thrown during the scrimmage Tuesday at Tiger Stadium, but didn’t say who threw them.
“Quarterbacks again are playing well,” the coach said. “I don’t know that there’s be separation from one to the other. Both provide a very high level of execution today.”
Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said earlier this week that he doesn’t plan to name a starter – incumbent Joel Stave or run-centric Tanner McEvoy – until game day. Stave seems to be the favorite.
Thomas, Dupre scrimmage
Defensive tackle Quentin Thomas and freshman receiver Malachi Dupre participated in Tuesday’s scrimmage.
Thomas tore his biceps during the first week of fall camp and was believed to be sidelined for the season. He plans on playing with the injury this year. Dupre has been hampered by a nagging injury, believe to be a hamstring.
Miles said Dupre and fellow freshman Trey Quinn “caught a couple of balls” each during the scrimmage.
Miles doesn’t feel as if Dupre’s injury will linger.
“He’s beyond an early injury,” Miles said. “He’s really just getting back to health. I think he’ll maintain this opportunity to play from this point forward.”
Miles said Quinn, Dupre and D.J. Chark are freshmen competing for playing time with the veteran wideouts.
As for Thomas, Miles said he still has some rehabbing to go. Thomas “played a lot” Tuesday, the coach said, and he’s got his full range of motion.
“There’s just one little piece, takes some strength to get it back,” Mile said. “Just needs a little rehabilitation.”
LSU defensive tackle signee Travonte Valentine is expected to begin practice with LSU in the next “two or three days,” Miles said.
Valentine, a four-star player from Florida, has been cleared by the NCAA to play, but he’s going through the final stages of clearance through the school. Miles said Valentine needs to be cleared by the Southeastern Conference.
“There’s another administrative hurdle, if you will, that it has to go back through certain channels including the conference,” the coach said. “It’s a new legislation, if you will, based on guys who would get qualified late.”
Running back Kenny Hilliard had more than 100 yards rushing in the scrimmage, Miles said.
Hilliard tweeted out, “Great scrimmage” on Tuesday night as the coach addressed reporters.
Miles said freshman Leonard Fournette continues to run well.
“Leonard is again running hard and giving us a very strong back to choose from,” Miles said. “Darrel Williams ran hard today. We’re going to have four very, very capable running backs.”
“The Les Miles Show” returns to the radio airwaves Wednesday.
The season premiere is set to air live at 7 p.m. at T.J. Ribs on Acadian Thruway. “The Les Miles Show” can be heard across Louisiana on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including on 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge and on the GeauxZone at LSUSports.net and on the LSUSports mobile app.
Cox Sports Television will televise the show on a tape-delayed basis each Wednesday at 8 p.m. “The Les Miles Show” will run for 15 straight weeks during the fall, including the week of both open dates.