What you need to know: LSU
Southern Miss’ much-anticipated contest against LSU was a game that was circled at the beginning of the year for most fans. LSU, coming off of a 42-7 win over Missouri, is also coming off a bye week due to a postponed game against Florida.
This week, LSU is looking to continue their “new” season under new head coach Ed Orgeron, after losing coach Les Miles and, unfortunately, Mike the Tiger VI, the school’s mascot. As an added effect, LSU has not lost a game in October in eight straight contests.
Southern Miss on the other hand, goes into Tiger Stadium after losing 55-32 on the road to a Texas-San Antonio team that had won just one game before beating the Golden Eagles.
Leonard Fournette, who is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest, is the obvious focal point of the Tiger offense. But in his absence, the dual running back threat of Darrel Williams and Derrius Guice produced 294 yards on the ground against Missouri in the LSU win.
Also, the passing threat of Danny Etling, who replaces Brandon Harris as the starting quarterback, also has impressed some in his efforts managing the offense.
Earlier in the season, this LSU team was one-dimensional basing their offense off of Fournette and his natural abilities. Now, LSU poses a threat in the passing game as well.
The defense in Tiger Stadium is not just the players on the field, but also the atmosphere that is “Death Valley.” The last loss to a non-SEC opponent that LSU suffered was in 2000 against UAB, beating the Tigers 13-10.
On the field, Southern Miss’ slow starts play well into the Tigers’ hands. LSU has not allowed a first quarter touchdown all season — which is also USM’s lowest scoring output of a quarter.
Also, LSU has allowed only five touchdowns all season and their opponents have only visited the red zone 15 times in five games, allowing three touchdowns.
Player to Watch
The LSU defense, which has been giving up 14.8 points per game, is expected to handle a Southern Miss offense that scores at a 40.2 points per game clip, averaging 213.5 rushing yards and 318.7 passing yards per game.
The LSU defense has always produced quality defensive backs in the NFL Draft and their vaunted defensive backfield will be tested against a senior in Nick Mullens who looks forward to the matchup in Baton Rouge.
Prediction: LSU 38, Southern Miss 20