It’s a secret: Kelly isn’t ready to announce Tigers starting quarterback
Published at 10:00 Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Brian Kelly knows who will be LSU’s starting quarterback for the Tigers’ season opener against Florida State on Sunday in New Orleans.
Presumably the team knows. But Kelly won’t tell anyone about this until the match starts at Ceasar’s Superdome.
Call it the opening of the season with a game of cat and mouse before the game itself.
“I think it’s a tactical advantage for us not to announce it,” Kelly said on Monday. “I’m not going to announce it.”
The small thing, perhaps, is to keep the Seminoles from knowing whether Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels or redshirted freshman Garrett Nussmeier will start under center.
But Kelly acknowledged that Florida State got its edge by playing what could be called a set-up game last Saturday to solve problems in a 47-7 loss against Duquesne.
“The advantage for us is that we didn’t play,” Kelly said.
“I think there are pros and cons here. I think we have the advantage of not having film on. We have a new head coach. You have new coordinators. For them, there is uncertainty, they do not know what to expect. So there was a little exchange.”
He said the decision on the starter was made over the weekend and did not elaborate on how he plans to keep it under wraps until this weekend.
On paper, Daniels and Nussmeier seem like completely different quarterbacks – Daniels is more of a double threat and Nussmeier is probably the best clean passer. But Kelly said the game plan won’t be much different no matter who plays.
“They both work very well,” he said. “They can both play out of the pocket… There’s no significant difference between them when it comes to playing calls.”
Kelly didn’t essentially release any part of the depth table, but cleared things up on the offensive line that the coaching staff spent much of August mixing and matching.
The key, Kelly said, was staff confidence that sophomore Garrett Dellinger was ready to take on the new position.
“Once we were comfortable with Garrett Dellinger at center, everything else fell into place,” he said. “There was a lot going on.
“I was pretty picky about him… from that day on we were able to decide which rotation was the best.”
He left the starting line with freshman Will Campbell and Cam Wire at the tackles and Anthony Bradford and Miles Fraser at the guards around Dellninger.
“This is one of those positional groups that … are now much more fortified.”
He also said it probably didn’t matter who started wide receiver as the Tigers would use talent and position depth to play to seven or eight.