LSU's BJ Ojulari, Trey Palmer Named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week, Special Teams Player of the Week

Freshman quarterback TJ Finley misses out after stellar first start for purple and gold.
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LSU freshman defensive lineman BJ Ojulari and receiver Trey Palmer earned the first two SEC weekly awards for the Tigers this season. Ojulari was named Defensive Lineman of the Week while Palmer was named Special Teams Player of the Week. 

Ojulari recorded three sacks in the Tigers 52-24 win over South Carolina on Saturday while Palmer returned a 93-yard kick in the third quarter. It was the first kickoff return inside Tiger Stadium since 1981.

Palmer's return was extremely timely as it put LSU up three scores after an opening drive touchdown from the Gamecock offense. The sophomore has shown a knack for getting in the endzone on special teams, returning LSU's only punt in 2019 against Northwestern State. 

The true freshman Ojulari now leads the SEC in sacks this season following his three sack performance against the Gamecocks. It'll be hard for Ed Orgeron to keep him off the field as he's proven in very little time to be a consistent disrupter of the quarterback four games into the 2020 season. 

LSU quarterback TJ Finley missed out on Freshman of the Week, losing to Auburn running back Tank Bigsby.

Finley was absolutely phenomenal Saturday night against the Gamecocks, completing 81% of his passes and throwing for 265 yards and three total touchdowns. While the stats were impressive, it was Finley’s confident demeanor and flick of the wrist throwing motion that impressed everyone who watched. 

“Strong arm, very confident, he never blinked," coach Ed Orgeron said. "TJ showed us a lot of confidence throughout camp. I thought he did a tremendous job of leading the team today, he has a tremendous arm and made some good decisions. I thought he did a phenomenal job.”

For Finley, the moment wasn’t too big for him as he felt really prepared all week, leaving hardly any pregame jitters ahead of the matchup. 

"I've just focused every week like I was gonna be the starter," Finley said. "I feel like we have our swagger back, I feel like last year the guys played together, the offense and defense fueled each other. Like coach O says, big plays fuel emotion. The last three games, I feel like the team was separated but I felt like we came together tonight. As long as we stay together, we'll have success."

There’s still no update on starter Myles Brennan, who missed last week’s matchup with a lower body injury that could take any number of weeks to fully heal. Orgeron said on Thursday, Brennan is in the training room every day getting treatment. 

“He could be healed by next week or he couldn't be," Orgeron said. "This could be a lingering deal. It all depends on his body, how he heals properly. Just talking to Jack, each person's different. We're just gonna have to go along with it. When he's ready, we'll put him back in."

Until Brennan is ready to start practicing, expect Finley to handle the first team reps and potentially be asked to start his first game on the road this weekend against Auburn.