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LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) shouts instructions during warmups for LSU's game against Northwestern State at Tiger Stadium Saturday Sept. 14, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La.

What will it be like playing such an early game in a relatively small SEC stadium?

Burrow: I’m used to it. In the Big Ten you play a lot of noon games. But if you’re not excited for the SEC opener there’s something wrong with you.

Do you think with the open date Vanderbilt had last week do you think the Commodores will have something different prepared for you guys?

Burrow: We’re going to have to be really good at in-game adjustments, because they’re going to have something new for us that we haven’t seen.

How good has your team been at in-game adjustments?

Burrow: We weren’t great at it on Saturday. The coaches made the adjustments, but we didn’t do a very good job of carrying them out on the field. That was a point of emphasis for us this week.

Your Heisman odds have jumped the past two weeks? What does it feel to have that kind of attention and how do you ignore it?

Burrow: It’s not that hard for me to ignore it. It’s week (four), and this is the first SEC game. I’m really not paying attention it all. The numbers are great, but I’m all about winning games. I told you that when my numbers weren’t great last year. When my numbers are great this year I’m going to tell you the same thing. The individual awards are going to come with winning games. The big reason (Leonard Fournette didn’t win in 2015) was LSU wasn’t winning big games late in the year. That’s going to be critical for us.

Is Myles Brennan pretty happy after the way he played Saturday night (8 of 9, 115 yards passing)?

Burrow: I really haven’t talked to him very much about it. I was happy with his performance. I’m sure his family was. I thought he played very well. He was calm in the pocket, stepped up and made some big-time throws.


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Is good footwork an overlooked thing when you’re trying to improve your passing?

Burrow: It’s all about going through your progression reads, but also manipulating the pocket with your feet. Getting your feet set for awkward throws. I was working a lot on off-platform throws this summer. Manipulating the pocket, and as soon as a guy comes open I can get my feet set a lot quicker than I did last year.

Are there any quarterbacks you watched to get better at that?

Burrow: Aaron Rodgers. He’s pretty good at it. I watched a lot of my own film. I used to be pretty good at it but last year I was pretty bad at it. So I watched a lot of my old games, even going back to high school, and worked on my footwork all summer on my own.

You have made a strong connection through three games with Terrace Marshall with six touchdown passes. What do you think has worked so well for you guys?

Burrow: He’s a big body in the red zone and you have to put a big body on him to cover him. He’s just kind of popping open for me on scramble drills and broken plays. He just seems to always be in the right place at the right time. I’m super happy for him, leading the SEC in touchdowns. He’s going to have a bigger season coming up.

Are you hoping to leave a legacy this season for what you hope LSU can become as an offensive team?

Burrow: I want to phrase this correctly. Whenever you go somewhere new you want to leave it better than the way you found it. With what we’re doing right now, and the trajectory we’re on, we’re going to do that. But we have to keep it going.

I haven’t talked to any recruits. But I’m hoping the whole world is seeing what we’re doing and taking notice, and realizing LSU is an explosive offense and an explosive team now.

Do the coaches help encourage your mentality to complete more passes?

Burrow: They had to kind of calm me down because I was upset. My goal going into Saturday was to complete every ball. I was kind of upset with myself for one, the interception, and two, the other two incompletions. So they kind of had to make me realize I still completed 88 percent and we threw for over 400 yards as a team. We were really good on offense on Saturday and I still think we can get a lot better.

Coach Orgeron said eventually someone will stop LSU’s passing game …

Burrow: We’ll see.

... He said eventually you’ll have to run the ball. Are you not quite getting the pop you want with the running game?

Burrow: People keep saying that but we’re still running for over 100 yards every game. Maybe they’re used to seeing LSU run for 250-300 yards in 40 attempts. We do want to get more effective in the running game and pick up some critical down and distances running the football. But we’re still running it fairly effectively. We do need to get better, though. But our quick passing game is an extension of the running game.

Are you back there when you pass thinking, ‘I have all these choices and all of them are good’?

Burrow: I told you in the offseason we have five or six number one guys. Everybody has to cover the entire field when they play us. We have too many weapons, too many places we can go with the ball. When we have five people on a route you have to pick your poison. You can play deep and give up underneath routes and give up seven or eight yards a pop. Or you can play up tight and try to take those away and we can go over the top.

When you look at film do you see multiple people open?

Burrow: All the time, yeah. I just take the ball to what the defense gives me. Receivers are always coming back and letting me know, ‘Hey, I was open.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, that guy was open, too, so he got the ball.’”

Coach Orgeron talked Monday about Drew Brees getting injured and that he was going to remind you to run out of bounds and that you would probably say, ‘I’m not going to.’

Burrow: I’ll probably get out of bounds in SEC play. He was mad at me for the one where I scrambled and stepped out of bounds and tried to cut it back. I’ll probably just run out of bounds next time.

You seem to have this exceptional confidence with the receivers. Do you have any specific approach to try to achieve that?

Burrow: That’s just throwing individual routes for eight months in the offseason. I’m throwing the ball before they’re coming out of their break and they’re exactly where I expect them to be. Last year, it wasn’t that way. I’d only been here a month and a half before the season and we really couldn’t get the timing that we really needed. Me being here a year and all those guys coming back has been what we needed.

You talked last year about all the people in Ohio who are now LSU fans. Are you hearing from some of them?

Burrow: Absolutely. Nashville is only like four hours from Athens (Ohio), so I’m having like 200-250 people from Athens coming to this game. I’m excited to see everybody.

Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com