LSU coach Les Miles has said there’s no question that two quarterbacks are better than one for this year’s team. The combination of Jarrett Lee’s passing and Jordan Jefferson’s running is better than either would be by themselves.
But, Miles said Monday, a two-quarterback system isn’t generally his preference.
“I would like to have one quarterback that had the same skills or a second quarterback that was exactly the same as the first quarterback,” Miles said at his weekly news conference, “the fact that you can train two quarterbacks in the exact same offense and plays, and there would not necessarily be a change in script.
“With that being said, you have to have two different quarterbacks and be prepared to play them in key times in the season so that you can win a championship.”
Lee and Jefferson have both played in all six games since Jefferson was reinstated after a four-game suspension.
“I have two quarterbacks who deserve to play and two quarterbacks that have different skills,” Miles said. “With that being said, I want both those skill sets on the field. It just happens to benefit our team in a long season and hopefully in a championship run to have quarterbacks ready to play.”
Jefferson started for the first time in the 42-9 victory against Western Kentucky on Saturday. Miles wouldn’t say who will start at Ole Miss this Saturday, but both will continue to play.
“We’ll consider that position and how we will go a little bit later in the week,” Miles said. “I really think that it is specific to whom we play and how those guys are playing. We need both. We will use both.”
Don’t forget number 3
Miles said he would have liked to have gotten sophomore quarterback Zach Mettenberger into last week’s game as well.
“We saw how we started and felt like we got pressure right away,” Miles said. “I like how Jordan has the ability to move his feet. We decided to stay with him initially in that regard. But frankly we would have liked to get Lee into the game a little earlier than (12 minutes remaining in) the second half.
“Had we started a little faster, I think Mettenberger would have played a lot of snaps.”
“No disciplinary action”
Miles denied local radio and television reports that not starting Lee for the first time this season and keeping him on the bench until the game was well in hand was not disciplinary related.
“There was no disciplinary action in any way,” Miles said.
Unanimous No. 1
Miles was asked about the significance of the Tigers being a unanimous No. 1 in the polls.
“I think that it is a compliment to our team,” he said. “I think there is an understanding of the work that they have done. The fact that this game and the games that we have played in this season have really put them in position to argue that we have played the most difficult schedule and are deserving. We do recognize that it is a position that we hold and not the final position that we would like to have.”
Defensive end Kendrick Adams (knee) and guard Josh Williford (shoulder) didn’t play against the Hilltoppers.
“I think both guys could have played last week, and both guys are at practice this week,” Miles said. “I anticipate that both guys could be cleared and ready to play this week.”
Miles said linebacker Karnell Hatcher had “a nick that we wanted to rest.”
Lamin Barrow got extended playing time because of Hatcher’s absence and because “we are training him to play both middle and outside linebacker,” Miles said.
Back to the basics
The consensus around the team after last week’s game was that the Tigers were flat after the physically and emotionally draining 9-6 overtime victory at Alabama a week earlier. Beginning Monday, Miles and the players said, it was time to get their edge back.
“We’re just going to go back to the basics, like fundamental tackling,” safety Brandon Taylor said, “doing everything at practice with a tempo like we did starting off with all those games before to intensify practice and work on small things like fundamental tackling and communication.”