No. 2 QB Garrett Nussmeier throws 3 TD passes for second straight LSU football scrimmage

Glenn Guilbeau
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

BATON ROUGE — LSU freshman No. 2 quarterback Garrett Nussmeier threw three touchdown passes for the second time in a full scrimmage and eclipsed 300 yards Saturday at Tiger Stadium.

Starting quarterback Max Johnson did not put up as impressive statistics with 11-of-19 passing for 125 yards and a touchdown in the closed scrimmage, but he remains No. 1.

"Max is our starting quarterback," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "But I have no problem if Max goes down and Garrett goes into the game. Garrett is going to be one great quarterback. He is dynamite."

The No. 13 Tigers open the season at UCLA on Sept. 4 (7:30 p.m., FOX). 

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Nussmeier, an early enrollee last January after signing with LSU as the No. 14 drop-back quarterback in the nation from Flower Mound, Texas, completed 18 of 32 passes for 308 yards with one interception.

"He had some big plays," Orgeron said. "He had a fourth-and-27 or something and hit a bomb for 60 or 70 yards."

Nussmeier completed 11 of 17 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers' first scrimmage in Tiger Stadium a week ago. Johnson was 11-of-19 passing in that scrimmage as well for 127 yards and a touchdown.

Orgeron was asked why Nussmeier got significantly more attempts than Johnson from offensive coordinator Jake Peetz, who called the plays.

"Just the way Jake called it," Orgeron said. "Max ran the first team. They ran the ball more. It shouldn't be different, but it all depends on the game and that was the way Jake called it."

Junior Devonta Lee led the wide receivers with five catches for 85 yards. Freshman Malik Nabers of the Lafayette area caught four for 79 yards with a touchdown, and freshman Deion Smith of Jackson, Mississippi, caught three for 67 yards with a touchdown. 

Orgeron said the Tigers' offensive line had too many protection issues. "But overall I thought the offense had the better day," he said.

Junior tailbacks John Emery and Tyrion Davis-Price did not participate in the scrimmage because of minor injuries. Sophomore Josh Williams led all rushers with 66 yards on seven carries. Freshman Armoni Goodwin gained 25 yards on six rushes, and freshman Corey Kiner rushed five times for 15 yards as Orgeron continues to look for a dominant back.

"Josh did a great job," he said. "Tyrion and John have been off and on. We need some consistency out of both of them. And we hadn't got it really all camp."

Junior kicker Cade York booted a 54-yard field goalL 3 yards shy of his school record game-winner that beat Florida last season.

"Obviously, he's one of the better kickers in the country," Orgeron said.

Junior safety Jay Ward, who has switched from cornerback, led the defense with eight tackles. Freshman defensive tackle Maason Smith of Terrebonne High in Houma had three sacks.