LSU WILL WIN IF …
Don’t read the press clipping: LSU managed to block out the noise and perhaps even rally around their underdog status going into the season opener against Miami. It’ll be a different test this week as LSU will have to ignore everyone suddenly singing their praises — that rat poison, as Nick Saban likes to say — and keep their attention on improving before the home opener. Oh yeah, and it’s a textbook trap game with a trip to Auburn looming. This game has sluggish start written all over it.
Air it out: Joe Burrow played pretty solid football in his LSU debut, whether that meant leading the offense, using his mobility to keep plays alive or making the correct audibles at the line of scrimmage. However, you’d like to see some more productivity from the aerial attack as a whole before LSU hits the road for that showdown with Auburn. That means better protection up front, less drops out wide and maybe a bit more aggressiveness pushing the ball down the field.
SOUTHEASTERN WILL WIN IF …
Start fast: Look, nobody expects the FCS Lions to make the drive in from Hammond and knock off an LSU team that’s flying high off its rout of Miami, but history says they have a chance to at least put a mini scare into the Tigers if they come out playing well. Whether it was UT-Chattanooga last season or Jacksonville State the year before that, LSU tends to start off a bit sluggish in these home openers sandwiched between a marquee non-conference game and an SEC road trip.
Shoot your shot: Southeastern began its season with a 34-31 loss at UL-Monroe last Thursday night, but in the process the Lions demonstrated it has a quarterback-to-receiver combination that can make big plays down the field. Quarterback Chason Virgil completed 28-of-39 for 358 yards with four touchdowns and one interception, and wideout Juwan Petit-Frere accounted for 148 yards and two of those scores on just five receptions. Miami’s only real offensive success came on deep heaves down the field, so Southeastern must try to get its diminutive speedster in behind the defense.
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