One of Sunday’s notable Week 1 college football games is the night game in New Orleans between the Florida State Seminoles and the LSU Tigers (7:30 p.m. Eastern, ABC). The Seminoles got their season, head coach Mike Norvell‘s third at the helm, off on the right foot with a 47-7 Week 0 home win against the FCS Duquesne Dukes last Saturday. This is the first game of the 2022 campaign for the Tigers, and the first at LSU for new head coach Brian Kelly.
And Kelly has kept his starting quarterback decision between Garrett Nusmeier and Jayden Daniels (following Myles Brennan stepping away from football) under wraps. On Monday, he said he’d decided on a starter, but he wouldn’t yet reveal who it was. On Sunday, Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports reported that it will be Daniels getting the start for LSU.
Daniels, a senior, transferred in from Arizona State. He put up 2,381 passing yards, 10 touchdowns against 10 interceptions, and a 65.4 percent completion mark for the Sun Devils last season (he’s seen above warming up for them ahead of the Las Vegas Bowl last December), also rushing 138 times for 710 yards and six touchdowns. Perhaps his best Arizona State season was as a sophomore in 2019, when he threw for 2,943 yards with 17 touchdowns against two interceptions and a 60.7 percent completion mark while also rushing 125 times for 355 yards and three touchdowns.
Nussmeier, a redshirt freshman (and son of long-time coach Doug, currently the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback coach), played in four games for the Tigers last year, throwing for 329 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions with a 50.9 percent completion rate. He’s been battling Daniels for the starting job throughout the offseason. And as per Kelly’s comments Monday (when he said he’d picked a starter, but wouldn’t name that starter to the media), both Nussmeier and Daniels are expected to see playing time this year. Here’s what Kelly said on his quarterbacks at a press conference Monday, in two pieces via Koki Riley of The Lafayette Daily Advertiser:
“I think everyone here wants to know who the quarterback is here, I get that,” Kelly said at his opening week press conference on Monday. “But I think it’s a tactical advantage for us not to announce it.”
Kelly added that he only chose who the starter would be 48 hours ago.
“It’s been that close,” he said.
…“When we’re talking about both quarterbacks, this is a 1A and 1B. This is not a one and a two.”
We’ll see how Daniels does against the Seminoles, and if Nussmeier gets any playing time in that game.
[On3 Sports; photo from Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA Today Sports]