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How Bad Will LSU Be Against South Carolina Without Myles Brennan?

Myles Brennan had the unfortunate task of taking over for record-setting quarterback Joe Burrow at LSU. Following in the footsteps of a guy who threw for over 5,600 yards and 60 touchdowns can’t be easy. But Brennan had to step up to the plate, regardless.

It was a rocky start for the junior quarterback in Week 1 against Mississippi State. Statistically, Brennan didn’t look terrible, but he wasn’t anywhere close to Joe Burrow. He threw for 345 yards and three scores, but he also tossed two costly interceptions. The Tigers ultimately lost 44-34, and Brennan was a factor in the outcome.

Since then, Brennan has continued to show steady improvement week-over-week. He’s averaged 383.5 yards passing in the last two contests with an 8-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The team has posted a mediocre 1-1 record during that span, but Brennan and the offense haven’t really been the problem.

But now the Long Beach, MS native is dealing with what is being described as a “significant” lower body injury. It’s an issue that could — and probably will — keep him out of Saturday’s game against South Carolina. Ed Orgeron and company are hoping Brennan only misses one game, but who knows at this point?

The bottom line is that the backup quarterback — and the offense in general — has to step up. This is a 1-2 LSU team that is facing off against a Gamecock squad that just upset another Tiger from the SEC West in Auburn. They’re dangerous, and LSU is vulnerable.

As of right now, a starter has not been named in place of Brennan. It’s going to come down to two true freshman, TJ Finley and Max Johnson, but we haven’t officially been given word on which one it will be.

At 6-foot-6, 242 pounds, Finley brings more of a big-bodied, pocket-style approach to the position. Johnson, on the other hand, has a little bit more mobility even at 6-5, 219 pounds. Johnson was the higher-rated prospect coming out of high school, but that probably doesn’t matter at this point. Both could see the field in Brennan’s absence.

The good news is weapons have started to emerge, and both of the two quarterbacks will have some quality targets. On top of No. 1 option Terrace Marshall (21 receptions, 424 yards, seven touchdowns in three games), there are two true freshman, both former five-star prospects, who are slowly having more of an impact.

One of them is tight end Arik Gilbert. At 6-5, 249 pounds, the Marietta, GA native is a towering presence who already has 14 catches for 177 yards and two redzone touchdowns. The other is Kayshon Boutte, whose steady increase in targets, receptions and receiving yardage has him trending in the right direction.

But despite these improving options, the main question remains whether one of these first-year backup quarterbacks can get something going against a defense that picked off Auburn quarterback Bo Nix three times and that includes a talented secondary with Jaycee Horn, Israel Mukuamu and Jammie Robinson. The answer is probably not.

It’s going to be rough day, especially if the LSU defense continues to struggle getting big stops. Like we’ve seen with Brennan, a lackluster defense forces more pressure on either Finley or Johnson. That is not how Oregon wants this game to play out.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

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