Brandon Harris knows how to help his team score.
When it comes down to it, that's why the LSU freshman will take over the Tigers offense going forward. Struggling starter Anthony Jennings, a sophomore, was benched to make way for Harris.
The switch wasn't all too surprising for anyone who has watched a Tigers game this season. When Jennings was in, the offense was sluggish and ineffective. That wasn't the case with Harris, who electrified in little action and made a clear case for the starting gig.
"I think he deserved the opportunity to take snaps," Miles said while announcing the shift Monday. "I don't think it was a difficult decision."
Harris has led the 15th-ranked Tigers (4-1, 0-1 SEC) to seven touchdowns in seven possessions while leading the team. On Saturday, he replaced Jennings in the second quarter against New Mexico State and proceeded to rack up 178 yards with two touchdowns. He performed well on his feet, rushing for two scores as well.
Before that, Harris almost brought his team out of the jaws of defeat against Mississippi State. After entering the game late against the Bulldogs, Harris led two touchdown drives in the final four minutes.
Altogether, Harris has shown a certain amount of moxie that isn't found in most young players. To be able to have that confidence in football's most scrutinized position is an impressive quality and surely played a role in his promotion.
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Jennings showed some promise, leading the Tigers to a 5-1 record in his six starts going back to last year. But the offense had been unimpressive under his leadership, bottoming out when he turned the ball over three times – two interceptions, one fumble – against lowly New Mexico State before being pulled.
LSU coach Les Miles insisted that both quarterbacks would still be used going forward.
"It stands to reason that Harris would get the first snaps in the next game, but we're going to need both quarterbacks," Miles said. "I think what has to happen, too, is you have to realize that these are young guys that are not perfect and there's an opportunity for him to improve."
The decision was probably hastened by the fact that LSU plays at Auburn this Saturday. After seeing how much Jennings struggled against New Mexico State, Miles probably winced at what the sophomore would do against a snarling Auburn squad that has won its last 11 home contests.
Neither Harris nor Jennings have started in a road game and the experience will be a difficult test for whichever young signal-caller plays.