LSU freshman QB TJ Finley will start vs. South Carolina

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Former Ponchatoula standout quarterback TJ Finley will start for LSU Saturday when the Tigers host South Carolina at 6 p.m. in Tiger Stadium, head coach Ed Orgeron announced Thursday.

The true freshman edged out his classmate Max Johnson, who Orgeron said will also play Saturday, to earn the starting nod in place of an injured Myles Brennan.

“It was a very close battle but at the end we felt TJ nudged Max just a little,” Ed Orgeron said. “I wish I could start two but TJ is going to be the starter. We are going to give him time to get his work done. I told Max I want to play him but it all depends on the flow of the game.”

“Right now Tj is going to start and Max is going to go in when available and hop that they can play the same amount of reps.”

Finley and Johnson split first-team reps this week as Brennan rehabbed a lower body injury he suffered in LSU’s Week 3 loss to Missouri. Orgeron said the position battle this week was extremely close.

“It could have been the flip of a coin, honestly, that’s how close it was,” Orgeron said. “TJ may have had one or two better plays in the third down than Max did. That’s all that was. And I just want to give them both a chance but it all depends on the flow of the game.

“You might get in the game and TJ gets hot. I’m not going to take him out and we are not going to be impatient with him either.”