Jarvis Landry leads LSU in receptions on the season
If you find it hard to get excited about Saturday’s matchup between No. 8 LSU and Kent State, well, you’re not alone.
UAB at least brought some name recognition with them to Tiger Stadium last week at Nick Saban and the 2000 version of the Tigers’ expense.
Kent State limps into Tiger Stadium with its best player limited at best and hopes to make it out of Tiger Stadium without losing anyone else that would derail its plans to make some noise in the MAC.
LSU will try and do the same with Auburn looming next week and a huge showdown in Athens against Georgia the following weekend.
There aren’t any storylines to this one. And quite frankly, this should be as boring as you think it will be.
But, it’s still a Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. And you only get seven this year, so cherish each one.
This is how this one should go…………
When LSU has the Ball
Kent State’s biggest playmaker on defense is 5-foot-10, 267-pound defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix. He’s undersized, but very active and can be disruptive. Problem is he is going to be matched up against huge bodies inside for LSU in Vadal Alexander, Elliot Porter and Trai Turner.
LSU’s offensive front has played very well the first two games and this is their final tune-up before they have to strap it up against the big boys with Auburn coming to town next week.
Kent State’s rushing numbers are deceiving as they only allow 126 yards a game. However, they haven’t played anyone with the type of rushing attack that LSU has with Jeremy Hill back in the mix.
And Kent State’s pass defense is ranked No. 117 in pass efficiency in the country and allows 273 yards a game. That’s certainly not good news with the way Zach Mettenberger has been throwing the ball to Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry.
LSU has done a good job of letting its best players shoulder the load the first two weeks. This week should be about letting some young guys get in and get their feet wet so they do not get the deer in headlights look when someone goes down and they get thrust into action in a meaningful situation when the games really mean something.
When Kent State has the Ball
Kent State running back Dri Archer is one of the more dynamic players in college football when he has the ball in his hands. Well, at least when he has two good ankles. And right now, he only has one, which has him questionable as to whether he will even play on Saturday.
As a junior, Archer rushed for 1,429 yards and 16 touchdowns, and added 561 yards and four scores receiving. The 5-foot-8, 175-pounder has practiced in a limited role this week and is hopeful to play. His game is based off of speed and being able to make sharp cuts and get into the open field, so I don’t see him being much of a factor.
LSU’s defense has struggled in the back seven at getting off blocks and taking proper angles and wrapping up and they will have a big bruiser to try and tackle this week in 6-foot-1, 248-pound Trayion Durham.
Durham ran for 1,346 yards and 14 touchdowns last year and leads the Golden Flashes with 116 yards on 32 carries and a score this season.
Expect to see some shakeup on the LSU defense this week with several guys getting more extensive looks in Kwon Alexander, Kendell Beckwith and Lamar Louis at linebacker, along with Tre’Davious White, Rashard Robinson and Micah Eugene in the secondary. This is the final opportunity to figure out who the best 11 are and who the best are in certain situations, and Les Miles has hinted that he and his staff will take advantage of that opportunity.
As much as Kent State would like to be able to run the ball and keep the ball away from LSU, it will not be realistic.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Colin Reardon will have to air it out and get the ball to his big-play receivers Chris Humphrey (6-1/194) and Tyshon Goode (6-0/183).
Reardon has completed 36-of-56 passes for 358 yards with four touchdowns and hasn’t thrown an interception. He is a threat to run and has 96 yards on 22 rushes. But he isn’t nearly the threat that LSU faced in TCU’s Trevone Boykin.
LSU wants to play a lot of guys in this one, particularly on defense. But, John Chavis also wants to see his frontline guys, who are healthy, play the type of LSU defense that he needs them to play in two weeks. Key word is healthy because expect some starters to sit this one out or play a very limited role.
LSU’s offense has rolled over its opponents the first two weeks and that will continue on Saturday giving Tiger fans even greater expectations of how good that unit can be.
But, just like it has the first two games, LSU’s defense will have its moments where it seems to fall asleep at the wheel and give up some meaningless scores that make those same fans question what’s going on with that side of the ball.
The defense will come around as the season progresses and right now just enjoy the offensive fireworks.
Sonny’s Pick: LSU wins 49-18
Shea’s Pick: LSU wins 45-10
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