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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Les Miles Stuck with Jordan Jefferson Over Jarrett Lee Because of His Mobility

Jarrett Lee was LSU’s leading passer during the season, throwing for 1,306 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions, but he did not see the field in the National Championship Game. Lee struggled in the November 5th win over Alabama, getting pulled after going 3/7 for 24 yards and two interceptions. Fellow senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson finished the game going 6-10 for 67 yards. He also ran for 43 on 11 carries in the 9-6 victory.

Even though Jefferson was awful against Alabama in the National Championship Game, the first meeting between the teams must have been enough to convince coach Les Miles that Lee was unsuited to face the Crimson Tide. Miles never pulled Jefferson Monday no matter how much the quarterback struggled.

He explained his decision after the loss.

“We felt like with Jordan Jefferson’s feet and ability to move and get out of the rush, it was fair that he finished,” he told ESPN’s Erin Andrews.

Miles repeated the same idea to the rest of the media.

“We did consider Jarrett Lee, but with the pass rush…we needed a mobile quarterback,” Miles said.

The calls for Jarrett Lee to play came during halftime. They were incessant late in the third and fourth quarter when the Tigers weren’t doing much. But I understood why Miles stuck with Jefferson.

Lee went LSU already knew what Lee did against Alabama and they felt Jefferson gave them the best shot of winning. Even though they hadn’t produced, they were only down by two scores almost the entire second half. All it would have taken was two big plays on offense to catch up. Even on their second-to-last drive that ended in a fumble, I still thought sticking with Jefferson was the right move.

Everyone calling for Jarrett Lee forgets what a disaster he was in the first meeting. With the way Alabama’s defense was playing, almost all college quarterbacks would have struggled. I highly doubt it would have been different for Lee.

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