Anthony Jennings, Brandon Harris going through growing pains

Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- Quarterbacks Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings drop back to pass during practice this spring.
Advocate file photo by BILL FEIG -- Quarterbacks Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings drop back to pass during practice this spring.

LSU’s young quarterbacks are still going through some growing pains this spring.

LSU went through its first full-scale scrimmage on Saturday after holding an abbreviated scrimmage last week, and mental mistakes by the Tigers’ young quarterback duo continued to be an area to focus on in the coming practices.

Sophomore Anthony Jennings and true freshman Brandon Harris both got snaps Saturday, throwing for just under 300 yards combined, according to LSU coach Les Miles.

It was the work in the run game that plagued Harris, though.

The Bossier City native and early enrollee fumbled when attempting to execute a pitch play. Harris turned and never looked at the running back who was supposed to catch the pitch.

“That is based on the fact that he wasn’t with us in the fall, and in his fall, he never did that,” Miles said.

“He never turned and pitched the ball to a tailback. He just thought it was a function of turn-and-throw as opposed to sending it into a course. Those kind of things are corrections that happen, and then you go on.”

With LSU still working to piece together a viable offensive line, the squad has shuffled centers into the rotation, causing difficulties with the transfer of the ball on snaps.

LSU struggled with putting the ball on the ground early in the spring, but Miles said this season doesn’t differ from any previous campaign.

“You have to clear out the bugs,” Miles said. “It was very similar last spring because (sophomore center) Ethan Pocic had just moved in, and we put him at center, and he was snapping the ball right and left and had a very difficult time with it. (That was) until he settled down late in the spring, and we were good.”

Magee suffers ankle injury

According to Miles, senior running back Terrence Magee suffered a “sprained ankle” during Saturday’s scrimmage.

Magee walked off following the injury, but Miles said he was “not certain” of how severe it was.

The Franklinton native is expected to be an integral piece of the LSU run game in 2014 with incoming freshman Leonard Fournette and fellow senior Kenny Hilliard.

Last season, Magee rushed for 644 yards on 86 carries, scoring eight touchdowns.

Miles still shuffling trenches

Whether it was on the offensive or defensive side of the ball, Miles had a number of pieces to maneuver at the line of scrimmage following the losses of players like Ego Ferguson, Anthony Johnson and Trai Turner.

Through the team’s first two scrimmages, Miles has yet to find the perfect fit.

Miles said on Saturday that Pocic has played at left guard and center, senior Fehoko Fanaika has played at right guard, and senior Evan Washington has been subbed in at both right guard and one of the two outside tackle positions. Pocic has also gotten work at offensive tackle.

“I think those three guys have a place in the offensive line, and right now, they’re not necessarily locked in to a spot,” Miles said.

On the defensive line, a number of Tigers have gotten work on the inside, including freshman Maquedius Bain, sophomore Christian LaCouture and junior Mickey Johnson.

Miles said LaCouture had a sack in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“I think this group (of defensive linemen) has a lot of talent,” Miles said. “There’s a chance they could be as successful as any group we’ve had. If you look at the guys that are coming in behind them in this recruiting class, then we’ll be fine. I think these guys need to be dominant players, but improvement needs to take place.”