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In da Film Room: Brandon Harris vs. Eastern Michigan

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Film Room takes a look at Brandon Harris performance versus EMU.

Brandon Harris showing his receivers how you hold on to a football
Brandon Harris showing his receivers how you hold on to a football
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, did you forget that LSU played an uninspired game against Eastern Michigan? EMU tried everything they could to shut down the LSU running game which then exposed them to play- action. Cam Cameron was this close to having every single pass of this game come off a play fake.

Here's Brandon against MSUAuburn and Syracuse.

13:22 1st Quarter, 1st &10 on the LSU 27 -

The whole world bites on this play action fake to Leonard Fournette (#7) which frees up Malachi Dupre (#15) on a deep crossing pattern. Accurate throw by Brandon Harris (#6) to an open receiver. If Travin Dural's (#83) route was a deeper one, Dupre might take this for a touchdown because it's Dural's corner who makes the tackle. The play action works because two EMU defenders to the near side of the screen (their #s are hard to decipher but I think it's 33 and 22) both play the run. When the QB turns his back to hand the ball off, someone has to play the bootleg. No one did here. Big play, LSU.

11:19 1st Quarter, 1st & 10 on the EMU 30 -

Another play action that gets both EMU safeties jumping up. Harris' first read is the post to Dural and with the safeties getting caught upfield, he makes the right read. Dural is open because he has inside leverage on the cornerback. This should be a touchdown, Harris has a lot of room to throw that post and let Dural go get it. He under throws it and the corner makes a play on the ball.

11:12 1st Quarter, 2nd & 10 on the EMU 30 -

More play action. This time it's designed to hold the linebackers from getting underneath the hook (might be a comeback) by Dural. With the corner being off pre-snap, I think that made that route Harris' first read and he delivers a nice ball in rhythm and then Dural gets his YAC on.

8:54 1st Quarter, 1st & 10 on the LSU 34 -

The all-22 camera angle shows us another LSU play action. Harris sees that the safety on the high side is playing in no mans land and then the safety thinks about jumping on Dupre over the middle, that's why Harris wants to hit the post. Dural gets inside the cornerback again and I'll give Harris and Dural the benefit of the doubt that this would have been a completion had Dural not been held. I have no clue what either of the safeties are thinking on this play.

7:38 1st Quarter, 1st & 10 on the EMU 36 -

Rinse, lather and repeat.

7:28 1st Quarter, 1st & 10 on the EMU 21 -

LSU runs a nice little Run-Pass Option where Harris puts the ball into Fournette's gut while reading the weakside safety who has dropped down. The safety commits himself to stopping the run so Harris pulls the ball and wants to hit Tyron Johnson (#3) in that vacated space on a slant route. The corner does an excellent job flipping his hips and getting back around to cover the slant but with that said, Johnson has an inch of space and Harris puts the ball on his hands. Should have been a catch.

14:54 2nd Quarter, 1st & 10 on the LSU 28 -

The design of the play is to pump the bubble screen and then when the corner bites on it, throw the fade over his head. The problem is that the corners have been in man against this formation a lot so far this game so there's not a lot of reason for LSU to think that he's gonna bite on anything. He doesn't and Harris doesn't really have anywhere to go with the football.

9:07 2nd Quarter, 3rd & 11 on the LSU 47 -

It looks like LSU is running a quirky 4 Verts concept here. Fournette is running the nearside seam route from the backfield, Dupre is running a slot fade and Johnson comes underneath for the checkdown. Up top, you have your common 4 verts concepts with the outside guy running fade and the inside guy running seam. Harris drops back and looks to his left before coming back right to hit Colin Jeter (#81) in the seam. He's still not trusting himself to throw the seam before the receiver is past the defender but there's a huge hole for him to drop the ball into and he does for a first down.

6:57 2nd Quarter, 3rd & 7 on the EMU 10 -

Yes, Harris ends up missing Fournette wide open for a touchdown because of a blown assignment by the defense. I will forgive Harris because with the blitz coming, he knew he was going to get man and I've written before about how good corner routes are versus man coverage so he takes that route and throws a fine ball but the defender plays it really well. The problem is that the defender has outside leverage on the Dupre so it was always going to be a tough throw. These are the things that advanced quarterbacks see pre-snap.

2:42 2nd Quarter, 1st & 10 on the LSU 25 -

Easy-peasy screen pass that needs to be thrown at least somewhere near the intended receiver.

2:38 2nd Quarter, 2nd & 10 on the LSU 25 -

Someone with better knowledge of how slide protection works can tell me who's fault this is, Teuhema or Hawkins. I feel like Hawkins gets too wide and not deep enough so when Teuhema tries to pass the end off to Hawkins, he's in a bad position.

1:22 2nd Quarter, 2nd & 8 on the LSU 41 -

Another play action post. Harris underthrows John Diarse (#9).

0:30 2nd Quarter, 1st & 10 on the EMU 28 -

Harris throws the play action fade to a spot in the endzone and I feel like Dural misjudges the ball in the air because it seems like if he keeps running, the ball is going to fall into his hands.

0:24 2nd Quarter, 2nd & 10 on the EMU 28 -

Here's the same play action with the two hitch routes that Dural caught in the first quarter. Same read by Harris but he puts it a bit outside. I'll let you guys decide if it was catchable.

0:19 2nd Quarter, 3rd & 10 on the EMU 28 -

This "post- dig- wheel" concept that LSU runs here is pretty cool. Might have been the only time that they ran it this whole year. Harris is probably reading the post to the dig to the wheel. He doesn't like the post, although it seems as like Desean Smith (#89) is kinda open but that's fine because Dural is WIDE open when the EMU #33 decides to run to the flat instead of settling in the hook/curl zone.

10:01 3rd Quarter, 2nd & 20 on the LSU 41 -

LSU is running a double in concept to the field and a backside fade. Harris drops back and holds the safety before throwing the fade. He saw pre- snap that the corner was down so he felt like Johnson could just run by him. I'm not vehemently against throwing fades but just blindly chucking them up bothers me. Fade throws just aren't high percentage throws. Also, the EMU corners payed pretty well this game from when they had man coverage responsibility

2:25 3rd Quarter, 3rd & Goal on the EMU 5 -

EMU is in a Cover 3 scheme at the top of the screen and when Dural runs his five-yard in route, the corner has to come inside and squeeze the seam throw to Dupre. He's late in doing that and his linebacker friend is late getting underneath the route so Dupre is wide open in the endzone on what should have been a touchdown.