Sources: Perrilloux to start at QB in SEC championship game

Updated: November 30, 2007, 11:32 PM ET
By Chris Low | ESPN.com

ATLANTA -- With Matt Flynn's right throwing shoulder still ailing, LSU (No. 7 BCS, No. 5 AP) plans to start backup Ryan Perrilloux at quarterback Saturday against No. 14 Tennessee in the SEC championship game, sources said.

During the SEC championship game news conferences Friday, LSU coach Les Miles refused to rule Flynn out and said the quarterback would be a game-time decision. The fifth-year senior sprained his shoulder last Friday in the Tigers' 50-48 triple-overtime loss to Arkansas, and Perrilloux has taken the bulk of the first-team snaps this week in practice.

"We'll take [Flynn] to the field, warm him up and see how it feels," Miles said. "If in fact he's ready to play, we'll play him. If he's not, he'll watch."

Flynn has battled through injuries most of the season and was slowed by an ankle injury that plagued him during the first few weeks. But sources told ESPN.com that LSU coaches decided to build their game plan more around Perrilloux earlier this week after seeing how limited Flynn was in the throws that he could make.

During the Tigers' walk-through practice Friday at the Georgia Dome, Flynn threw only lightly.

Perrilloux, one of the most highly recruited players in the country when he came out of high school in 2004, has played only sparingly the last month. He didn't play at all last week against Arkansas and was suspended for the Nov. 3 Alabama game. He played briefly in the Mississippi game two weeks ago, but didn't have a pass attempt or rushing attempt. All four of his pass attempts since the Alabama suspension came in the Louisiana Tech game on Nov. 10.

"I can only tell you that if he takes snaps for us, he'll be doing the things that he can do, both run and pass," Miles said. "So I'm certainly not going to be doing anything but anticipating him doing the things he's capable of doing. As long as he doesn't try to do too much, I suspect that he'll do fine for us ... if Matt's not playing."

The multidimensional Perrilloux is extremely dangerous when he takes off and runs, and Tennessee has struggled against mobile quarterbacks the last few seasons.

"Perrilloux is a little bit faster, but both of them have the same kind of qualities," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said. "[Flynn's] a starter for a reason, and I'm sure Flynn's going to play if he can. But that's not my concern. My concern is our preparation and our focus and worrying about the things we need to do to win this football game."

Chris Low is a college football writer for ESPN.com.

Chris Low | email

College Football