BATON ROUGE – New starting LSU quarterback Danny Etling, a transfer who started at Purdue in 2013 and ’14, was interviewed by a throng of reporters Monday afternoon and discussed studying too much film at Purdue, Saturday’s game at Auburn and what gets his juices going about the game of football, among other things.
QUESTION: What happened in the second half of the win over Mississippi State when the offense stalled?
ETLING: “It was definitely frustrating to watch on film. I think we had a good game plan. In the second half, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot. That’s what I felt after the game. I think it’s something we can definitely improve on, and I think we’re all excited to get back to practice and keep working.”
Q: WHAT DID YOU THINK OF YOUR FIRST LSU START?
ETLING: “I feel good. I think we had a lot of guys making plays, and I think we got them the ball pretty well. And I think they did a lot of great things after the catch, and we had great protection up front. We just did what we were supposed to do, and we came out with the win. But there’s a lot of room for improvement. I hold myself to a high standard. I know Coach Cam Cameron (offensive coordinator) holds me to a high standard. We’re optimistic about the improvement we can have as an offense, and the improvements and decision making that I can continue to keep growing on.”
Q: ARE THE COACHES GIVING YOU THE FREEDOM TO AIR IT OUT?
ETLING: “I think a lot of guys think the coaches trust me, and I think that the players trust me. Hopefully, whatever the defense gives me, I’ll take it, whether it’s airing it out, whether it’s taking a check down here and there. Just got to be patient and take what they give you.”
Q: THERE WERE STORIES THAT SAID YOU MAY HAVE PREPARED TOO MUCH WHILE AT PURDUE WITH FILM STUDY. WAS THAT TRUE?
ETLING: “I think it’s natural. You don’t want to leave a stone unturned. I think that I was working too hard, and then I’d get to the time to play, and I’d kind of tighten up. And you’re thinking like you don’t want to mess up, or you start seeing ghosts. You start thinking, ‘Well, this is what I did this game,’ and so you start chasing what you thought you saw just because you saw it on film. But now you reach that certain point where you just want to study football. You want to understand football. When you get out there, you just want to see it as it is – football and understand what teams want to do and what they’re trying to do.”
Q: WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT?
ETLING: “I guess I had a lot of down time last year (sitting out at LSU according to the NCAA transfer rule). Wasn’t a lot of things to do but think about it.”
Q: HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO TRANSFER?
ETLING: “I definitely loved all my teammates there. I think it was a tough decision for me to want to leave them, and that’s kind of why I stayed the second year. I had a good relationship with my coaches, and when I finally decided to leave, I had to move on from it. I still have a lot of great friends there, and I still talk to them. I think it was something I had to do for myself.”
Q: DID STARTING 12 GAMES AT PURDUE IN TWO YEARS GIVE YOU THE COMPOSURE YOU ARE SHOWING NOW?
ETLING: “I think there’s a little bit to that. I’ve grown up a lot since then. I was a freshman and a sophomore when I started those games, and maybe I was a little nervous and stuff like that. But now when you go out there, you understand what you need to do to win the game and what it’s going to take. It’s relaxing when you have the kind of teammates I’ve got.”
Q: WHAT ABOUT YOUR FIRST ROAD START AT AUBURN SATURDAY?
ETLING: “I think Auburn, after watching some film on them, they’re a very talented team. We’ve got to take them really seriously. We’re playing in a tough venue. When we go into their place, we have to be really sharp. We’re going to have to get off to a fast start. It’s something that hopefully we can handle. And I think that it shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether we win or lose.”
Q: WHAT WERE YOUR TOUGHEST ROAD SITES IN THE BIG TEN?
ETLING: “I’d have to say Penn State. It was real loud. I remember there was a fourth down call in that game, and I was trying to make the call, and dudes were just yelling that they couldn’t hear me. That was the worst so far.”
Q: YOU THREW TO SEVEN RECEIVERS LAST WEEK. HOW MANY DO YOU LOOK AT ON A GIVEN PLAY?
ETLING: “I’ll throw it to the same guy every time if that’s what the defense wants to do to us. So it depends on what they want to do to us, and who’s going to be open on that play. We’ll just see what they give us.”
Q: TRAVIN DURAL SAID YOU IMPROVISED WHEN YOU FLIPPED IT TO HIM SATURDAY. WHAT HAPPENED?
ETLING: “Well, he was just there, I guess. My hot receiver got eaten up, and they had brought two that we couldn’t block. So I tried to get up in there to maybe buy me a half a second. So I had to go ahead and I guess improvise something. He made a great play. I’m glad he saw it.”
Q: ARE YOU BEING RECOGNIZED ON CAMPUS MORE?
ETLING: “It’s a little bit different. I mean it’s even different than when I was starting at Purdue. I guess it’s a whole different animal here when you can’t really walk anywhere without getting completely recognized. I guess the days of being anonymous like last year are a little bit over, but it comes with the territory. It’s something that, we have great fans, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.”
Q: YOU WERE SACKED 42 TIMES IN 13 GAMES AT PURDUE FOR 3.2 A GAME. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE SACKED JUST ONCE SO FAR AT LSU THROUGH TWO GAMES?
ETLING: “It’s nice. It’s always nice to have protection, but I think that some of those sacks at Purdue were my fault and not understanding protection schemes and what we were trying to do. It’s a nice combination of that and the offensive line doing a good job.”
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SEASON AS A WHOLE?
ETLING: “I think whatever we wanted at the start of the season, we can still obtain, and we still control our own destiny. We’ve just got to keep playing hard and playing smart and keep improving.”
Q: WHAT GETS YOU FIRED UP FOR A FOOTBALL GAME?
ETLING: “I just love competing, I don’t know why. It’s something I kind of thrive off of. I guess it’s that feeling right before the game - that little nervousness. I know that once I’m done with football, it’s going to be gone forever, so I’ll miss it. I think it’s just that whole feeling that you only have so long to play this game, and you just love every second you’re out there.”
Q: HOW DO YOU STAY GROUNDED?
ETLING: “I definitely try to stay away from parties and all that. I don’t have a Twitter. I don’t have a Twitter. That’s not my Twitter (in reference to a fake Danny Etling Twitter account). Don’t know whose twitter that is. Yeah, I don’t have a Twitter. I don’t read the articles and stuff. I consciously leave that to my family. If they want to do that, they can. You don’t want to have rabbit ears is what I’ve heard. You don’t want to have your ears up and trying to hear everything. You just want to keep your head down, and just focus on your opponent, focus on playing football and focus on each practice.”
Q: TO WHAT SCHOOLS DID YOU CONSIDER TRANSFERRING?
ETLING: “I narrowed it down to Arkansas and LSU. That’s the two I visited, and I ended up choosing here after visiting both schools. It was a very quick turnaround. Drove back home (to Terre Haute, Indiana), got my stuff and drove back down here.”
Coverage of LSU and commentary by Glenn Guilbeau supported by Hebert’s Town & Country Auto Dealer in Shreveport located at 1155 East Bert Kouns Loop. Research your next Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram at http://hebertstandc.com/.)