True freshman quarterback Brandon Harris will have “an opportunity” to play in LSU’s final two games of the season.
That’s according to comments made by coach Les Miles on his radio show Wednesday night.
Harris hasn’t seen significant playing time in more than a month — since his struggling start at Auburn on Oct. 4 — and the Tigers have won three of four games with Anthony Jennings leading an offense that heavily relies on running the football.
No. 20 LSU (7-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) travels to play Arkansas (4-5, 0-5) on Saturday night with a passing unit that ranks as one of the nation’s worst. The Tigers are averaging 177 yards through the air, 107th of 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams, and Jennings is passing for 126 per game.
More than one caller Wednesday night asked Miles about playing Harris. LSU’s conference championship implications were dashed by an overtime loss to Alabama last week.
“He’ll have an opportunity in the next several games to show his wares and play some more,” Miles said Wednesday.
“If it looks like it’s best for us to win the game to substitute another quarterback, we will absolutely do that. For me, it’s the best opportunity for victory, the guy who has the greatest chance to help us win the game. Frankly, Brandon Harris is getting closer and closer. We’d love to get him in the game.”
Harris enrolled in January and was part of LSU’s No. 2-ranked signing class. A four-star prospect from Bossier City, Harris was the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings.
He was successful in spurts against Sam Houston State, Mississippi State and New Mexico State before taking over for the game at Auburn. He went 3-of-14 for 58 yards, and LSU lost 41-7.
“He’s improving, legitimately improving with each snap he takes,” Miles said.
The Tigers and Razorbacks first played in 1901 in Baton Rouge, with LSU holding a 37-20-2 overall lead in the series. LSU is 14-8 against Arkansas since the Razorbacks joined the SEC in 1992. The teams will play for “The Boot,” a 175-pound, 24-karat gold plate trophy in the shape of Louisiana and Arkansas, for the 19th consecutive year.
For many years, the Tigers and Razorbacks played in Shreveport, where LSU holds a 16-9 series lead. This will be just LSU’s third trip ever to Fayetteville, having lost there 30-6 in 1992 and won 20-13 two years ago.
LSU is 6-3 against Arkansas under Les Miles. This is the first time since Arkansas joined the SEC — other than 2001, when the Auburn game was moved to December because of the Sept. 11 attacks — that LSU won’t wrap up the regular season against the Razorbacks.
Starting this season, LSU’s final game will be against Texas A&M, this year on Nov. 27. Arkansas’ new season-ending opponent is Missouri.
Fournette in fifth
LSU freshman running back Leonard Fournette needs just 20 rushing yards Saturday to move past Jeremy Hill into fourth place on LSU’s list of the most rushing yards by a freshman in program history.
The former St. Augustine standout has 736 rushing yards this season. Hill rushed for 755 yards in 2012. Justin Vincent holds the school record with 1,001 yards in 2003.
Ross Dellenger, Lawrence Barreca and Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.