QB Jayden Daniels might miss Florida game for No. 19 LSU
League: NCAA Football
Posted on: 08 Nov, 2023 at 09:31 AM
Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
LSU won't know if star quarterback Jayden Daniels will be available to play on Saturday until later in the week.
Daniels sustained a concussion last weekend during LSU's loss to Alabama, so the No. 19 Tigers are getting Garrett Nussmeier prepared to play in case he needs to make the start on Saturday against Florida in Baton Rouge, La.
Nussmeier has never started a college game and would have big shoes to fill with Daniels enjoying a monster campaign for LSU (6-3, 4-2 Southeastern Conference).
Daniels took a brutal hit from Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner in the fourth quarter of the Tigers' 42-28 defeat to No. 8 Crimson Tide and missed the remainder of the game.
Tigers coach Brian Kelly said Daniels is day to day and going through the concussion protocol. The senior didn't practice on Tuesday.
Kelly wasn't sure if he would have Daniels on the field against the Gators (5-4, 3-3).
"This is a process that we'll just have to see how it plays out from day to day, but I can tell you he's made some progress," the coach said.
Kelly was not pleased with the hit Daniels absorbed.
"We sent it into the league office because we felt like it checked all the boxes," Kelly said. "Again, we want to protect the quarterback here, obviously."
Daniels has passed for 2,792 yards, the fifth-highest total in the nation, and 27 touchdowns with four interceptions. He also has a team-leading 684 rushing yards and six scores on the ground. Daniels accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one running) against Alabama while throwing for 219 yards and one interception and rushing for 163 yards.
Nussmeier completed 5 of 10 passes for 53 yards after entering the contest. He has thrown for 1,325 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions in three college seasons.
Florida coach Billy Napier isn't waiting to see what quarterback decision LSU makes.
"I think we'll prepare for both," Napier said. "They're definitely different players, but they're both very capable. And I think ultimately, they do a nice job distributing the ball to the skill they have."
Star LSU wideout Malik Nabers had 10 receptions for 171 yards and one touchdown against Alabama, and he leads the nation with 1,152 receiving yards to go with 66 catches and 10 touchdowns. Nabers joins Josh Reed (2000, 2001) as the only LSU players to post multiple 1,000-yard receiving campaigns.
Florida has dropped two straight games, turning up the heat on Napier, who is 11-11 in two seasons.
A special teams gaffe helped lead to a 39-36 overtime home loss to Arkansas last week.
The field-goal unit ran on the field while the offense was preparing to spike the ball in the final seconds of regulation, prompting a 5-yard penalty. The ensuing 44-yard field-goal attempt by Trey Smack was wide to the right.
The critics were out in full force after the Gators lost in OT.
"It's not my job to preach patience," Napier said. "It's my job to coach the team. When you lose games, there's going to be criticism. I understand it. I've grown up in this profession. It comes with the territory. We knew this was going to be a challenge, and we're right in the middle of it."
Gators quarterback Graham Mertz passed for 282 yards and matched his season best of three touchdowns against the Razorbacks. He has thrown for 2,409 yards, 17 touchdowns and two interceptions this season.
LSU has won the past four meetings and 10 of the past 13.
--Field Level Media