How Danny Etling handles tests ahead will determine LSU’s season

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JD Moore, Danny Etling

Danny Etling (#16) has played well in a pair of LSU home victories (Photo: Terrill Weil).

His first performance as an LSU Tiger was solid, and his second was better.

As he readies for his first SEC road start, LSU starting quarterback Danny Etling has said the right things.

Asked about his 37 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark, Etling quickly deflected praise.

“It was tough to overthrow DJ,” said Etling.

Asked about his ability to avoid pressure and buy additional time in the pocket, Etling quickly handed off praise to his offensive line.

“I think I have a pretty good o-line,” said Etling. “When you move around and let them get their blocks, you are going to be pretty successful.”

Etling’s work in seven quarters have Tiger fans conjuring up images of Matt Flynn.

That is a very high bar. If Etling reaches it, LSU will compete for a championship this season in the Southeastern Conference.

However, that is a big if.

Because in 2007, fifth year senior Matt Flynn wasn’t good. He was special.

In the comeback against Florida, Les Miles gambled on fourth and three. Flynn threw a touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd.

Against Auburn, Flynn’s touchdown pass to Byrd with one second on the clock won it.

Against Alabama, Flynn again came up with the goods in the fourth quarter. On fourth and four at the Tide 32, Flynn completed a pass in tight coverage to Early Doucet, who hustled to the end zone for a score. LSU won their first meeting with their former coach, Nick Saban.

In the BCS championship, Flynn threw four touchdown passes as the Tigers routed Ohio State.

Flynn had a great season. He also had something else – the unquestioned trust of head coach Les Miles.

In two games, Etling has been more than a game manager. He’s made good decisions, actually having LSU fullbacks and tight ends involved in the passing game, and he is winning over his teammates.

Now, comes the next step.

Can Danny Etling made big plays in the biggest of games?

If he plays well, LSU will beat Auburn. If he plays well, LSU can certainly win at Florida.

After that, the bar gets even higher. Back to back home games against Ole Miss and Alabama will test all the Tigers.

With all due respect to the two schools, legends are not made in Tiger Stadium in September against Jacksonville State and Mississippi State.

It will be intriguing to watch and see if Etling is just a pretty good quarterback on a good team, or something far better.

 

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Ed Daniels

Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/WGSO 990am

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter at Channel 6. 1983 saw him promoted to Weekend Sports Anchor. He eventually joined WGNO TV as a freelancer in 1991, becoming a full time in employee in January of 1993. The sports director at WGNO TV since 1992, Ed…

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