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LSU admits they underestimated Texas QB Sam Ehlinger

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Comments from Ed Orgeron and K’Lavon Chaisson after Saturday’s game raise questions about whether they actually watched any film on Ehlinger.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger responded to a slow start with a monstrous second half that included 265 passing yards in the second half and 401 passing yards and four touchdowns overall against the vaunted LSU Tigers defense.

It was a career high in passing yards for Ehlinger and only the sixth 400-yard game in school history. Accomplishing that feat against LSU — a school that has historically played defense at a high level — is also unusual. In fact, West Virginia’s Geno Smith was the last quarterback to throw for 400 or more yards against LSU back in 2011.

The performance forced LSU defensive K’Lavon Chaisson and head coach Ed Orgeron to reassess their opinions about Ehlinger’s talent as a passer.

“I made a comment that the quarterback couldn’t beat us throwing,” Chaisson said afterwards. “He proved me wrong today. I never thought Sam was a bad quarterback. I thought he was a better runner than passer and he showed different today with 400-something yards passing.”

Before the game, Chaisson stirred controversy by claiming that Ehlinger is a better runner than a passer, all while simultaneously claiming, rather disingenuously, that it wasn’t a shot at Ehlinger to say that.

Orgeron offered his own mea culpa.

“Phenomenal player,” Orgeron said of Ehlinger. “Better than we thought he was. I thought he was a good player going in. This guy is a phenomenal player. He wanted to take the game on his back, and he practically did.”

Ehlinger and the Texas offense were humming along so efficiently in the second half that Orgeron admitted that his defense wouldn’t have been able to stop the Longhorns on a final drive had the Texas defense come up with a stop on that crucial 3rd and 17 that resulted in a 61-yard touchdown for the Tigers.

Now the question is what exactly Chaisson and Orgeron saw on film that made them underestimate Ehlinger so significantly — he’d thrown for more than 300 yards in five career games entering Saturday’s contest. In other words, what he did against the Tigers wasn’t exactly the surprising to anyone other than Chaisson and Orgeron.