Rick Clausen: LSU’s last left-handed quarterback. We don’t even have photo evidence of him in an LSU jersey | Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Come back in time with me to the November 2002
Saturday could be a monumental day for Max Johnson, myself and about 10 percent of planet earth’s population: LSU may be forced to start a left-handed quarterback.
Per Coach Orgeron’s weekly presser with reporters, Myles Brennan would not have played last weekend had last week’s Florida game happened and is “questionable” to play this Saturday against South Carolina.
If Brennan can’t play, the starting job will be between TJ Finley, a righty, and Johnson, a lefty. Now do I want Brennan to miss action because of injury? Of course not. But! If this opens the door for a left-handed LSU quarterback (my life’s dream) well…
Left-handed quarterbacks are a delightful rarity, something I was curious if LSU’s ever experienced. So I reached out to Todd Politz, the king of obscure LSU stats, and this is what his research found:
Prior to Clausen (1 start v. Ole Miss), lefty QB Mike Hillman started in 1969 (10x) and 1968 (2x). https://t.co/MPt4VqaWCj
— Todd Politz (@tpolitz) October 19, 2020
I’ll remind you that while Clausen is the last left-handed starting quarterback for LSU, he’s not the last lefty to throw a pass in a Tiger uniform. That distinction goes to Justin McMillan, who completed his one and only pass attempt in 2016 for 19 yards; McMillan transferred from LSU when Joe Burrow was named the starter prior to the start of the 2018 season and enrolled at Tulane. Lowell Narcisse, another lefty QB, was in LSU’s 2017 signing class but he recorded no stats as a Tiger. Like McMillan, Narcisse also transferred after Burrow won the starting job, first to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College before ultimately landing at UT-San Antonio.
Anyway, I did some digging on Rick Clausen and this is what I found. In that November 22, 2002 start against Ole Miss, Clausen only played the first quarter—throwing six passes and completing two of them. I can’t find any photos of Clausen in an LSU uniform. This hurts my feelings.
But it gets worse!
In his LSU career, Clausen was 5-12 for 35 yards and an interception before ultimately transferring to Tennessee after the 2003 spring practices. That means our lefty boi didn’t even get a national championship ring.
BUT IT GETS WORSE!
See that picture in the headline? That’s Clausen playing for Tennessee, leading the Vols comeback against LSU on the Monday night game in Tiger Stadium after Hurricane Rita in 2005.
BUT! IT! GETS! WORSE!
Do you folks remember who was the defensive coordinator for LSU in that game? Bo Pelini! I hate it here!
Anyway, here are some things that were going on the last time LSU had a left-handed quarterback taking snaps.
- The No. 1 song in America was Eminem’s Lose Yourself
- While the No. 1 song in the U.K. was Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty featuring Redman. The music video for Dirrty is described on Wikipedia as “a post apocalyptic orgy”
- The No. 1 movie was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- When you do a google image search for “November 2002” this is the first result
- Gas was $1.35 a gallon, while a loaf of bread was $1.01
- Some of tv’s biggest shows was Friends, 24 (though it was the much maligned second season of 24), American Idol (Kelly Clarkson’s season) and Gilmore Girls
What I’m saying is, tune into and the valley shook dot com 18 years from now when a new left-handed quarterback plays for LSU and we can revisit all the terrible things that plagued 2020.