Miles fields QB questions

LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee, left, slaps hands with quarterback Jordan Jefferson earlier this season.
LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee, left, slaps hands with quarterback Jordan Jefferson earlier this season.

Two quarterbacks.

That was the theme for Monday’s Les Miles press luncheon.

Part of it is because LSU keeps facing opponents’ second quarterback. If Auburn names Clint Moseley the starter for Saturday’s game at Tiger Stadium instead of Barrett Trotter, the starter for AU’s first seven games, it will be the third straight backup quarterback to start against the top-ranked Tigers.

But most of the talk was focused on LSU’s tandem of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson. Especially after Jefferson saw his most significant, and effective, playing time in last weekend’s 38-7 win at Tennessee, giving a spark to the LSU run game.

“We enjoy our quarterback situation,” Miles said. “We’re fortunate to have two veteran quarterbacks who have both played as starters.”

And, Miles said, he plans to continue to play them both.

In case you somehow missed it, here’s a rundown of where we are:

Jefferson was the incumbent starter until his involvement in an August bar fight and subsequent arrest for assault in the fight led to a suspension for the first four games. His backup, Lee, a former starter, played well and upon Jefferson’s return, Lee remained the starter.

And Lee has done nothing to lose the starting job since. After throwing for three touchdowns against Tennessee -- officially up from two on Saturday after his fourth-quarter quick-hitch touchdown pass to Russell Shepard was changed from an official rush by Shepard to a pass on Sunday -- Lee now has 11 touchdowns and just one interception for the season.

But Jefferson has been no slouch either. He came off the bench to rush for 77 yards, mostly in the second half, as LSU went from being the balanced offense it’s been all season to a front-running, rush-first offense intent on grounding out the clock in the second half against the Vols.

It worked as LSU ate up chunks of second-half clock with both tailback Spencer Ware and Jefferson delivering blows to the defense.

A few weeks ago, Lee was the starter. Now, it’s evolved to Lee as the starter but with a passer/runner dynamic.

“A diversity of attack with our quarterbacks is what we want,” Miles said.

Miles said he likes making opposing defensive coordinators have to prepare for an offense led by Lee, a pure drop-back passer, and Jefferson, who tends to get snaps in the spread and either runs with it or is a threat to run with it that defenses must respect.

“It’s going to give defensive coordinators issues,” Miles said of the two-quarterback system. He noted that Jefferson, with his 585 career pass attempts, is hardly a one-dimensional run threat when he’s in the game.

“He has the whole playbook,” Miles said.

As Miles continued to sell his two-quarterback system as a positive -- and so far nothing in the results act as a counter argument -- it’s clear that the opponents’ quarterbacks situations have played into LSU’s hands.

In the last two weeks, the Tigers have faced backups playing for injured starters. This week, Auburn (5-2) is considering trying to spark a sputtering offense by replacing Trotter with Moseley, who started the second half of the Tigers’ 17-6 win over Florida Saturday in place of a struggling Trotter.

Auburn has announced it will name a starter Tuesday. Moseley completed 4 of 7 passes for 90 yards in the second half after Trotter connected on just 2 of 8 passes for 33 yards in the first half.

“We’ll have to prepare for both quarterbacks,” Miles said.

Also on Monday:

* Offensive tackle Chris Faulk was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, the second straight Tiger so-honored.

* Miles talked about the Nike Pro Combat uniforms it will wear against Auburn.

“Our uniform will represent LSU,” Miles said. “It will look very much like a uniform an LSU team would wear. It might look a little sleeker.”

* On playing a fifth ranked foe -- Auburn is No. 19 in the Associated Press -- Miles said “Our team enjoys national television games, grand venues.”

* Miles said he expected center P.J. Lonergan, who missed the Tennessee game with an ankle injury, to practice Monday. T-Bob Hebert moved over from guard to Lonergan’s center spot and Miles said another guard, Will Blackwell, is the third center.

Both Lonergan and Hebert are nursing injuries.