LSU quarterback Joe Burrow made history Sunday when he took the field against the Miami Hurricanes as the first graduate transfer in Tiger history at the position. The debut also marked the first time since 1959 an LSU quarterback has started his first ever game with the team.
In his limited experience at Ohio State, Burrow completed 29-of-40 passes for 287 yards and 2 touchdowns.
This weekend, the 6-foot-3, 216 pound signal caller finished the game 11-of-24 for 140 yards as he led LSU to its 33-17 victory over Miami. Those numbers may not look the best on paper, but there’s so much more to quarterback performance aside from what lies in the numbers.
Action got started for Burrow even before kickoff, when a scuffle broke out between the two teams on the 45-yard-line. Burrow emerged from the conundrum with his index finger held high in the air after coaches broke things up a couple minutes in.
Apparently there was nothing surprising about the skirmish, though.
“Growing up watching Miami, it always happens,” Burrow explained. “I was kind of ready for it.”
Burrow has been praised in the past for his leadership qualities, and he showed no fear in the pocket and remained poised on Sunday despite being placed behind a struggling LSU offensive line and having to navigate a stout Miami pass rush.
Burrow also displayed his ability to extend a play on LSU’s first drive of the second quarter with a gain of five that helped keep the chains moving for the team. Coupled with his identity as a strong passer, this hidden mobility will play a big role in making him the quarterback the Tigers need under center this season.
“I thought I played OK,” Burrow said after the game. “I thought as an offense we played average. We kind of dominated the whole game so we’d like to get better at it.”
Perhaps his greatest impact was made with his pre-snap adjustments at the line of scrimmage. Burrow apparently called audibles to on a pair of the game’s most critical plays: Nick Brossette’s 50-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter and the back’s fourth-and-1 conversion one drive later.
“That’s what we have seen from Joe the whole time,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “That’s what we saw when we recruited him. He’s very smart. He’s cool under pressure, can make adjustments. He was ready to go. He was fired up today. That was a big audible on his part.”
Burrow and the Tigers will return to the action when they take on the SELU Lions in Tiger Stadium on Sept. 8.
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