BATON ROUGE, La. — The 2017 LSU football season gave us electric offensive showings and stifling defensive performances. But only 10 plays could make SEC Country’s countdown of the top LSU plays of 2017.
Heading into 2017, one of the most frequent criticisms against LSU’s offense was its inability to establish a deep passing game. Despite having receivers with NFL talent such as Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural, LSU couldn’t establish much of a downfield presence.
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Four games into 2017, that concern had passed. Quarterback Danny Etling was averaging an absurd 16.1 yards per completion. To put that in perspective, that’s less than half a yard behind what Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield averaged for the season.
In LSU’s Week 4 game against Syracuse, Etling pulled off the shining moment of his deep ball era, a completion worth appreciating and LSU’s longest play from scrimmage of 2017. Here’s Etling to Drake Davis, 87 yards later:
LSU was fresh out of halftime. The Tigers held a 14-3 lead, lining up for their first play from scrimmage of the second half versus Syracuse. Etling lined up under center with receiver DJ Chark coming in motion behind him and Davis lined up as a wingback to Etling’s left.
The senior quarterback play-faked to running back Derrius Guice. The play-action and Chark’s motion both drew Syracuse’s linebackers in. But from the snap of the ball, Davis was sprinting.
The sophomore slipped behind all of Syracuse’s defenders, breaking open toward the eye of the tiger at midfield. Etling roped a perfect pass – 55 yards through the air – that Davis corralled after an early bobble. By the time he controlled the ball, Davis couldn’t be caught.
One play into the second half and LSU had a 21-3 lead, thanks in large part to the Tigers’ success with the deep ball.
Check back with SEC Country throughout the next two weeks as we continue our countdown of the top LSU football plays of 2017.