In an expected move, coach Les Miles announced Wednesday that Anthony Jennings should start at quarterback for LSU against New Mexico State on Saturday.
But the coach left the door open for a change.
“I think Anthony Jennings will take the first snap,” Miles said. “Right now it looks pretty forthcoming, but, again, it could change.”
Jennings, a sophomore from Georgia, has started LSU’s first four games after winning a quarterback battle with true freshman Brandon Harris. Jennings has struggled at times, and Harris helped lead No. 17 LSU (3-1) to a near improbable comeback in a 34-29 loss to Mississippi State on Saturday.
Miles said Wednesday that Harris has closed the gap between him and Jennings “some.” The freshman is getting “a lot of snaps” with the first string in practice, the coach said.
Miles said Harris has earned — and will get — more playing time than he’s had in previous games.
Harris played three snaps in the season-opening win over Wisconsin, but saw the field only with LSU up by more than three touchdowns against Sam Houston State and Louisiana-Monroe.
His first snap against Mississippi State came with the Bulldogs leading 34-16 and with 3:43 left in the game. He threw for 140 yards and two touchdown passes to make it a tight finish.
Jennings is averaging 180 yards passing a game, has completed 51 percent of his passes and thrown five touchdowns to one interception. Harris, a highly rated dual-threat from Bossier City, is 11-of-16 passing for 216 yards and three touchdowns in his minimal playing time.
Harris and Anthony Jennings were locked in a tight battle for the starting job through spring practice and fall camp, but Jennings won out. The battle appears to be back on.
The competition will “play out” in practice, Miles said Monday of the quarterbacks.
“We’ve got a long season ahead of us. Practice weeks are very revealing,” the coach said. “When there’s a separation there, that will be noticed, and changes will be made.”