BATON ROUGE, La. — Fans are calling for change after LSU’s middling offensive performance in a season-opening 16-14 loss at Wisconsin, but all they will get for now is a tweak.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is heading back up to the press box for games after Les Miles’ decision to bring all assistant coaches down to the sidelines this season proved to be a short-lived one.
“We did not get as much information from the box as we would have liked, and Cam is pretty good, has a good view of offense and defense and can really tell what’s going on very quickly from there as opposed to having it relayed, especially in between calls,” Miles said. “So, we look to reverse that, and we feel like there’s two young quarterbacks that can really help Brandon off the field as well as (receivers coach) Dameyune Craig who played it. We feel like we would reverse that step there and put him back in the box.”
The reason cited for bringing Cameron downstairs was to give him a chance to be more hands-on with quarterback Brandon Harris after a successful trial in a 56-27 Texas Bowl win over Texas Tech. However, it appears at this point that success had more to do with the utter ineptitude of the Red Raiders defense than anything that may have occurred on LSU’s sidelines.
Speaking of Harris, Miles reiterated his support for the junior quarterback, but for the first time acknowledged that the in-game light bulb is going to have to turn on sooner than later.
“I recognize that he’s got to still come (along),” Miles said. “We all do. And he doesn’t have a lifetime to do it. There are other quarterbacks to go to.”
Despite the warning, Miles has faith in Harris.
“I have to be honest with you. I’ve seen some of the scrimmages that we’ve had in Tiger Stadium, and he’s been just tremendous,” Miles said. “And so I know the capability, as do our team. We just need for that capability to continue to come.”
It’s simply a matter of Harris calming down, as evidenced by the two throws he skyrocketed to start the game and the pass he forced for the game-sealing interception in the final minute.
“… Really relaxing and letting the game come to him, at times he struggles there,” Miles said. “But again, we’re a talented team. If he can just get the ball to the guys that we’re really insisting that he throw to in some ways, we’re going to be a very — we’re going to be able to run it and we’re going to be able to throw it, and the quarterback can move his feet and extend plays and go get yards.”
After watching LSU’s offensive line struggle against the Badgers, it’s pretty understandable why Harris might be so jumpy. But Miles thinks the line is going to be fine, and is not making any changes other than starting Maea Teuhema at right guard for the suspended Josh Boutte.
“I think it will mature nicely. But they went through a camp where this guy was down, this guy was down and they had limited action, so instead of really gaining a lot of ground in camp, we kind of treaded water there for a while,” Miles said. “But now they’re gaining their health. It potentially could be a very, very good line.”