The LSU Tigers (2-0) play their second game at home against the Northwestern State Demons (0-2) on Saturday night after last week’s thrilling 45-38 win over the Texas Longhorns.
Northwestern St. holds a special significance — it’s not only a matchup against another Louisiana school, but also is coach Ed Orgeron’s alma mater.
The Demons have had their fair share of struggles against small programs this year, and will have their hands full with an elite Tigers team on both sides of the ball. LSU should have no problem putting up 40-70 points on an opponent like this, and we shouldn’t expect to see all of the starters out on the field for long.
Here’s a look at how LSU’s Joe Burrow, Myles Brennan and Northwestern State’s Shelton Eppler stack up.
First Impression: Burrow has elevated the quarterback position since he joined the program in 2018, and he continues to surpass expectations each time he takes the field. The transfer put on a solid performance in Week 1, but has now proven himself on a bigger stage in his second year at LSU. Burrow has shown strong mechanics, reads coverages well and helps his receivers with strong ball placement.
Last showing: vs. Texas, W 45-38
Burrow was 31-of-39 passes for 471 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.
Bottom line for Saturday: Burrow and the Tigers didn’t take Georgia Southern lightly, and won’t play down on this opponent either. The talent gap between these two teams is large, though, and Burrow will record another dominant performance as he cements his place in the first round of 2020 NFL mock drafts.
First Impression: Brennan is still lacks a lot of on-the-field experience at the college level, but has made a good amount of improvement since last season. He had a solid first drive when he made his appearance in Week 1, but faltered afterward against what could easily be considered a lesser opponent. There’s still plenty of work to be done if Brennan is to take the reins in 2020, but Orgeron is giving him the opportunity to get as many reps in as possible this season.
Last showing: vs. Georgia Southern, W 55-3
Brennan was 7-of-12 for 72 yards.
Bottom line for Saturday: Given the opponent and what we’ve seen in practice, Brennan should get some significant time at quarterback this weekend. The Tigers are likely to pull their starters by the start of the second half, and that’s when Brennan gets a chance to put some more experience under his belt.
First Impression: Parrish is a freshman, dual-threat quarterback who brings a lot to the table for the future of LSU. The former Central High School signal-caller hasn’t had a chance to prove himself at the next level yet, but performed as well as anyone could have hoped for prior to college.
Parrish led his team to an undefeated season (14-0) and a 52-7 victory in the Alabama State Championship game in 2018.
Last showing: N/A
Bottom line for Saturday: Expect to see some very limited action from Parrish as he gains experience in Tiger Stadium.
First Impression: Eppler is a Trinity Valley Community College transfer who has found success with the Northwestern offense since joining the team in 2018. He holds the record for most completions in a single game (43), and threw for the second-most yards in a game against UT-Martin (387) on the 42-20 loss. He makes smart decisions in the pocket, and is an efficient passer overall.
Last showing: vs. Division 2 Midwestern St (TX) , L 33-7
Eppler was 28-of-42 for 177 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception.
Bottom line for Saturday: Eppler may be a competent enough quarterback, but the reality of the situation is that he’s only put three touchdowns on the board with an 0-2 team that hasn’t accomplished anything notable on offense. LSU is a much stiffer opponent with far greater defensive talent than both UT-Martin and Midwestern State had. This is a battle Eppler and his supporting cast simply won’t win on Saturday.