Heisman prose: No. 15 LSU rallies behind trophy QB to greet Ga. State
League: NCAA Football
Posted on: 15 Nov, 2023 at 02:09 PM
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
No. 15 LSU is going to a bowl game but can't win the Southeastern Conference championship.
Georgia State is bowl eligible but can't win the Sun Belt championship.
So neither the 7-3 Tigers' nor the 6-4 Panthers' primary preseason goals are swinging in the balance of their non-conference game Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.
Even so, the game holds significant importance.
Jayden Daniels and his LSU teammates can strengthen the quarterback's case for winning the Heisman Trophy.
And the Panthers have an opportunity to experience one of the premiere atmospheres in all of college football.
Daniels enhanced his Heisman candidacy with an historic performance in a 52-35 home victory against Florida last Saturday.
He accumulated an SEC-record 606 yards of total offense while becoming the first player in FBS history to pass for 350 yards and rush for 200 yards in the same game. The showing came seven days after he was forced from a loss at Alabama because of a concussion.
"He's the best quarterback in the country, best playmaker in the country and he's the best player," Tigers coach Brian Kelly said. "What matters is who's the best player, he's the best player. His numbers prove to everybody what he's done over the entire year."
Panthers coach Shawn Elliott agreed.
"I don't think there's any question about it," Elliott said.
Kelly pointed out that Daniels has had a lot of help. The Tigers have established the most productive offense in college football. The wall of blockers, as well as wide receiver Malik Nabers, who has 1,284 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, are drawing raves as among the best in the nation.
"You just have to look towards some of the key plays in the game (against Florida) and particularly the long runs, you don't run down the field unless you have others that are committed to making sure that occurs," Kelly said. "You have to have receivers that are committed to that as well and running backs.
"You're getting it from a number of different players that are setting up an unselfishness on our football team, in particular on the offensive side of the ball."
Georgia State has lost three consecutive games, a downer following a 6-1 start that had it in the thick of the race for the Sun Belt title.
"We've got to gain back the confidence that we had early in the year," Elliott said.
The Panthers lost to visiting Appalachian State 42-14 last Saturday afternoon.
"We ran into a buzz saw," Elliott said.
Then Saturday night Elliott learned of Daniels' record-setting performance that led to more than 700 yards in total offense for LSU, which the coach said "might be the most potent offensive team I've witnessed."
"I thought, ‘lucky me, lucky Georgia Panthers. We get to go play the LSU Tigers,'" Elliott said with a laugh. "We look forward to it. It's not all doom and gloom. If you're you're going to play LSU you want to play them on Saturday night. That's a great experience and it's going to be a great time for us.
"We're going to go down there and give it everything we've got."
--Field Level Media