Brandon Harris is a true sophomore who started just one game last season. He’s a new player for many teams in the Southeastern Conference.
“We recruited him,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Wednesday on the SEC coaches teleconference. “We know all about him. Very talented young man.”
That’s not the only reason. Harris got his one start last year in LSU’s 41-7 loss at Auburn – a game in which he went 3-for-14 and was yanked for Anthony Jennings in the second half. Harris never saw significant time in a game for the final seven games of the season.
Malzahn echoed what coach Les Miles has said about Harris – he’s a different guy than the one who took the field in last year’s game at Auburn.
“He was in a tough spot last year,” Malzahn said. “You could tell after (last week) he’s comfortable and confident.”
Harris threw for just 71 yards but completed 9 of 14 pass attempts and did not commit an interception.
In coming out of Parkway High, Harris’ final three schools were LSU, Auburn and Ohio State. He visited Auburn, but said he always knew he was going to pick LSU.
“The whole time, I knew I wanted to come to LSU. Coach Cam and Miles and our offensive staff … It’s a place I wanted to be,” Harris said this week. “Growing up being a state a kid from Louisiana and knowing there’s not many quarterbacks that come from Louisiana, I wanted the opportunity to play and come.”
More from Malzahn on the SEC teleconference:
The status of DE Carl Lawson remains in question. Lawson, a sophomore who garnered some All-American praise last season, injured his hip in AU’s season opener and did not play last week in an overtime win over Jacksonville State.
Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson has started the season in rocky fashion. He’s thrown five interceptions in the first two games. Malzahn takes the blame for some of that, saying Wednesday that he needs to put Johnson in “more comfortable situations.” Malzahn said Johnson had a good week of practice. “He wants to go out there and play well. I think he’s in a decent spot. He knows what we have to do to win at LSU. Got to play very well,” he said.
Malzahn lauded LSU’s run game, specifically touching on RB Leonard Fournette multiple times, calling him “one of the best in the country. … They can run the football well. That running back they have is outstanding.”
Auburn hasn’t won at Tiger Stadium since the infamous “Cigar Game” in 1999 – a 41-7 Auburn victory. Temperatures at kickoff – 2:30 p.m. – Saturday are expected to be around 90 degrees. “It’s been a while since we won there. They play extremely well at home. Should be a pretty hot, humid game.”