The world saw Joe Burrow on Sunday night, the quarterback, the leader, the first-time collegiate starter, leading LSU to a 33-17 victory over Miami in Arlington, Texas.
Reporters got to speak to Burrow for the first time Sunday after the game, mostly asking him to describe his part in the anatomy of an upset over the Hurricanes.
Tuesday, we finally got a chance to find out a little more about Burrow the man, what makes him tick and what led him from the familiarity of his home state in Ohio, where he was an early graduate at Ohio State, to take a chance on making his mark at LSU.
Joe Burrow sat down with reporters Tuesday, for only the second time since he arrived at LSU this summer. Now he is the Tigers’ starting quart…
Here’s some of what we found out:
Joe Burrow does not think he is superstitious, but he does have a particular pregame routine. Before every game, he puts on one sock inside out (usually the left) and eats a caramel apple sucker on the bus going to the stadium.
“One time one of my socks was inside out and the other one was right side in, and I forgot about it,” Burrow said. “It just kind of became a thing for me.”
Did he throw a bunch of touchdowns that day?
“No, it just kind of happened, and I just kept going with it,” he said.
As for the suckers, Burrow said a girl asked him to the high school prom with 10 bags of caramel apple suckers.
“I’m still kind of going through those,” Burrow said with a laugh. “And then my mom always gets me a bag for Christmas, so I have a lot of bags of caramel apple suckers.”
Can't see video below? Click here.
Joe Burrow is funny. If he keeps winning, he may soon find his locker filled with suckers mailed from grateful LSU fans.
“That’s an NCAA violation right there,” he said.
Joe Burrow is serious about attention to detail. I was struck at one practice last week by something Burrow did. He and fellow quarterback Myles Brennan were throwing passes to three different spots: left, right, over the middle. When it was Burrow’s turn, he motioned for the receiver on the right to turn his body to just a certain angle and move a couple of steps back, like he was positioning an outfielder for a hitter coming up to bat.
LSU sports news in your inbox
By now, it is widely known that Burrow audibled to the play that resulted in Nick Brossette’s 50-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, and to another running play in which Brossette moved the chains on fourth down.
“I don’t think you can win games if you are not attentive to the details of every play,” Burrow said. “If one guy steps with the wrong foot first, a D-lineman can get in the backfield for a 3-yard loss. But if everyone steps the right way on every play, then you can hit a big gain, like we did on third down with Nick.
“The details are very important on every little play.”
LSU apparently made a big impression on head coaches and the media with its statement win over Miami in prime time Sunday at AT&T Stadium …
Joe Burrow is a little amazed he is here. Burrow took a moment to soak in the scene at AT&T Stadium when he went out for his first series.
“I kind of took a couple of seconds to sit back and realize I was on national TV, the only game on Sunday night, and probably millions of people were watching me,” he said. “Then those 3 seconds passed, I had to get back in the game play, call the cadence and read the defense. There isn’t a lot of time during the game to think about it. I was just out there playing.”
Not five months ago, he was playing in the Ohio State spring game, fighting with Dwayne Haskins to be the Buckeyes starting quarterback.
“If you would have told me a year ago I would be the starting quarterback for LSU, now I would have told you you’re crazy,” he said. “I’d been in New Orleans one time in my life before I moved down here. My dad played in a bowl game down there (coaching at Ohio), so I was there a couple days. But I didn’t know anything about Louisiana or LSU.
“I came down here for a visit and fell in love with the people, fell in love with the place. That was really the main decision for me, along with the opportunity to come down here and compete for the job and end up winning it.”
Joe Burrow wants to be one of the guys. He said he misses recently transferred quarterbacks Justin McMillan (now at Tulane) and Lowell Narcisse (now at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College). Though his elder, he said he considers the younger Brennan more a peer than a pupil.
“I wouldn’t say I put him under my wing,” Burrow said. “”He’s a really good quarterback of his own, a really smart guy, (has) a cannon for an arm. He could go out there and play just as well, if not better, than I did.”
But the job is Burrow’s now, with plenty to work on before Saturday’s home opener against Southeastern Louisiana.
“Obviously time management,” he said. “We had to burn a couple of timeouts early (all three before the first quarter ended). That’s on me. And execution on third down (LSU was 3 of 16). We’re not going to be able to win big games in the SEC if we can’t do that.”
If he can lead LSU to some big SEC games, expect to see trick-or-treaters at your door at Halloween, wearing No. 9 LSU jerseys, their left sock turned out, demanding caramel apple suckers.
Southeastern Louisiana already faced one FBS team this season, having lost a 34-31 heartbreaker at UL-Monroe in last week's opener.