Walk-on Zack Mahoney ‘the guy’ at quarterback for Syracuse _lowres

LSU running back Leonard Fournette (7) greets fans as he runs off the field after an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Fournette had 228 rushing yards, nine receiving yards, and three touchdowns as LSU won 45-21. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

LSU coach Les Miles, on Wednesdays during game weeks, speaks publicly three different times. Follow his comments here throughout the day.

SEC Teleconference

  • Miles said he and his coaches “routinely” talk about limiting sophomore running back Leonard Fournette’s carries through their headsets during games. Fournette, however, has no set number of carries each week, and his limitations are based on feel and vary week-to-week.

“We wanna take into account the specifics of our player. He’s a guy that seems to get warmed up the more reps he gets. We wouldn’t wanna wear him out before we get to some of the key contests in our season. But in the same vein, it’s also important that we win. The criteria is who is the guy that should touch the ball the most to give us an opportunity to win. In certain situations, you have the opportunity to reduce his exposure. In other games, you wanna give him every opportunity that he needs to get his carries. …If it was a pitch count, I think you would eliminate some of the great performances in college football. We’re still very cautious.”

  • Former walk-on Zach Mahoney has been declared “the guy” for Syracuse after a rash of injuries to its quarterback corps. The sophomore was at the bottom of the depth chart at the beginning of the season, but Miles expects him to efficiently command the Orange’s offense.

“We would guess that he can operate the Syracuse offense and all the best stuff that Syracuse has done will still be there. You’ll be able to see it. So many times, the cream rises to the top. The opportunity for a guy o step onto the filed and do what he did last week gives him a lot of confidence. Again, we expect him to be able to operate their offense as well as any.”

  • Despite the constant comparisons to great running backs, Fournette has repeatedly said he wants to carve his own path. Miles seems to be on board with that philosophy.

“He sits very comfortably with the very elite running backs that we’ve had here. Jeremy Hill, Leonard Fournette, the list is very long. It’s a very capable list. But considering that we’ve played two games in this season, I think we’ll let Leonard Fournette kinda define who he is.”

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