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Tigers report: Inside slant

Inside slant · Notes, quotes · Strategy and personnel

On one hand, senior Marcus Randall showed he should be LSU's starting quarterback with his performance in the Tigers' 24-21 comeback victory at Florida two weeks ago.

"Marcus Randall has continued to show the kind of presence, confidence, leadership that we look for," LSU coach Nick Saban said, "and if that continues, which we expect it will, then he's going to be our go-to guy.

"We're happy that he had a great game when he came off the bench at Florida, and hopefully he can start a game and do the same thing. That's kind of how we'd like to go right now."

On the other hand, Saban likes the way Randall comes off the bench when he's had a chance to see what's going on. That's why redshirt freshman JaMarcus Russell might start at quarterback against Troy on Saturday, despite his previous statement about Randall.

When a confused reporter asked Saban if Randall would start against Troy, Saban responded, "I didn't say that. No. You heard what I said, right? It's as clear as I can make it."

Asked if that meant he had yet to make a decision, Saban said, "I didn't say that either. I said Marcus Randall continues to show the presence and the leadership in our offense that we'd like to see. We're very pleased about that. If he continues to do it, he's going to be the guy that we go with. Now what's confusing about that?"

Um ... uh ... well ... what about that initial statement about Randall?

"That's right, I did say that," Saban said. "I didn't think there was anything confusing about that. I mean, it's so important to you all that we have a depth chart and you know who's going to do this. I mean, I'm giving you every indication of what's going to happen."

Whatever. Either way, expect both Russell and Randall to play until further notice, and expect the 18th-ranked Tigers to build on their victory over Florida and last week's open date when they play host to Troy.

"It still comes down to execution," Saban said. "You can start a guy, and if he doesn't play well and doesn't execute well, that's not going to help the team either."

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