Les Miles, for a third time in five days Wednesday, indicated that Danny Etling will start at quarterback against Mississippi State on Saturday.
"I can't imagine that Danny Etling would not take the first snaps, but we're going to let the week play out," Mlies said Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference teleconference.
Etling replaced Brandon Harris last week in the win over Jacksonville State, leading the Tigers (1-1) to three straight touchdown drives and completing 6 of his first 8 passes. Miles avoided officially announcing Etling as the starter, though.
Asked about his decision in naming Etling the guy, he said, "What will go into that decisions will be the game week and how he performed last week."
The coach has now indicated Etling's start three times since Saturday night's post-game news conference.
Asked about Harris’ removal, Miles said on Monday, “We would like to think that a respite from the starting quarterback, and the pressures thereof, might allow him to take a deep breath and step forward and compete. We saw it as a positive.”
In the post-game news conference Saturday, Miles said he wasn’t sure Harris will get a chance to get comfortable on the field. “I don’t know that that will happen,” he said. “Depends on how this quarterback position plays out.”
It was just a glimmer, two words, the briefest peek into the post-benching psyche of one Bra…
Miles and his staff "visited" with Harris earlier this week, the coach said Wednesday. Harris has started the last 14 games for the Tigers. He struggled in a season-opening loss to Wisconsin and misfired on three of his first four passes against Jacksonville State, inciting boos from the Tiger Stadium crowd.
Harris bolted off the field after the game, nearly beating the referees into the home team tunnel.
"That's certainly the issue, making sure he knows that this is a team and that his talents and abilities need to be prepared going into the game," Miles said. "I think he understands that. We visited with him. We would think he would understand his role, one in which would allow him to compete from this point forward to start."
LSU will renew its series with Tennessee next season in what's sure to be chilly Neyland Stadium.
Fournette nearing 100 percent
Running back Leonard Fournette is nearing 100 percent, and Miles continues to say that he "expects" the star junior to play against the Bulldogs (1-1).
"Practice this week is what we'd expect," Miles said. "He continues to get better, and we really want to wait until he's 100 percent, and he's really closing in on that right now. We expect that we may have him for Saturday."
It's unclear if Fournette has practiced Monday and Tuesday, but Miles indicated in his weekly news conference Monday that the running back is likely to rest at least the first day or two of this week.
Fournette is recovering from a bruised ankle he suffered on his last carry against Wisconsin. Then a game-time decision, he did not dress for the game against JSU. The bruise is on the same ankle he sprained during preseason camp.
Brandon Harris has enough to deal with.