Dig Baton Rouge

The Sports Troll: Etling the safe, smart choice

Ed Orgeron has failed in the SEC before.

He doesn’t plan to do that again anytime soon.

The Tigers’ first-year coach announced yesterday that Danny Etling will be the team’s starting quarterback for the season opener against BYU.

That is a wise choice.

Etling is a fifth-year senior who has been through the battles before.

If nothing else, he’s a proven commodity. LSU fans know he’s a solid C+/B- quarterback capable of winning games on the road in the SEC.

Etling won at Texas A&M and Arkansas last year. In those games, the Tigers scored tons of points. He also beat and outplayed Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in a neutral site bowl game.

He will not win awards, but he doesn’t have to.

Etling will be a steady, calm presence in the huddle – a guy who will get the ball to playmakers without major mistakes.

That’s good enough for me.

Myles Brennan is a future superstar in the sport, but right now, he’s an teenager without any experience on the field in a SEC game.

Teenagers don’t often win championships in this conference.

Jalen Hurts did, yes. But Jalen Hurts also had Alabama’s defense and the best head football coach in the history of the sport on his side.

He also had just four road SEC games to deal with.

Brennan and LSU have five.

Going with the senior is wise. It’s the right move.

If Brennan is ready by mid-season, then maybe we can re-explore this decision. But for the opener, I like to go with the guy that I know and trust.

And right now, that’s Danny Etling.

College football fans looking to feed their craving this weekend are in for a treat, because there are several games being played around the world.

Of interest for LSU is the BYU/Portland State game, which will be aired nationally on ESPN at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

The Cougars are going to roll in that game with ease. Portland State isn’t much of a threat.

But it still should be fun to see BYU’s team to try to gauge their speed, size and athleticism before meeting up with LSU next weekend.

I’ll have my eyes on quarterback Tanner Mangum. I want to see how he looks against an inferior opponent.

Mangum started in 2015 for the Cougars and passed for 3,377 yards and 23 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.

But he often struggled mightily against top competition, which may not bode well for his future.

Time will tell.

I’m curious to see how the Cougars fare at their first crack at some football.

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