Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
September 7, 2012
Washington @ No. 3 LSU, 4:00 p.m., Saturday, September 8
Offense: While the Huskies defense showed marked signs of improvement against San Diego State, this LSU team will be a different animal altogether.
The Tigers are led by inexperienced but talented quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who threw for 192 yards and a touchdown in his first career start last week against North Texas. The Huskies could be able to throw some different looks at Mettenberger that might confuse a quarterback making his first big start.
However, UW will have a much tougher time stopping the Tigers' ground attack, which is led by the two-headed monster of Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue. The power duo each went over 100 yards in the opener, and Hilliard scored twice. One potential big note for the Huskies is that one of the stalwarts on the Tigers offensive line, LT Chris Faulk, will miss the game with an injury.
Still, the Tigers are deep, experienced and talented up front. It's not going to be easy for the Huskies defense to slow down LSU, but if they can put Mettenberger on the ground early and often, he could get rattled. That's the hope, at least.
Washington will be stacking the line with big bodies in the hope of making Mettenberger beat them through the air.
Defense: The Tigers have one of the best defenses in the country once again The line is led by ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery, both of whom were preseason All-SEC picks. They stuff the run and excel as pass rushers, and the Huskies' tackles will have to be on their games. The LSU linebackers are almost as talented as the linemen, with Kevin Minter starting every game last season at MLB.
Luke Muncie saw action in all 14 games last year, and Lamin Barrow missed just one. In the defensive backfield, a strength turned into a potential weakness when Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from the team last month. Now, the Tigers replace two stars at cornerback with Morris Claiborne gone to the NFL. The starters include a true freshman, Jalen Mills and an experienced former backup in Tharold Simon.
Of the five corners listed on the Tigers depth chart, three are freshman, so the Huskies will have a chance to gain some yards through the air. However, safety Eric Reid is another preseason All-SEC player, and he is almost as good of a ballhawk as Mathieu. Reid will be matched up against Austin Seferian-Jenkins in one of the game's more intriguing matchups.
Special Teams: LSU may have the best special teams unit in the country. Punter Brad Wing is as good as they come. He averaged over 44 yards a punt last season and had a ridiculous 13 kicks downed inside the ten. Kicker Drew Alleman was 16-18 last season on field goals, and he is nearly automatic.
Returning kicks will be burners Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, both of whom are explosive and can break one. The Tigers definitely have the special teams edge in this one.
Verdict: This is going to be a tough one for the Dawgs. LSU has an athletic defense, a dominant running game, and spectacular special teams. The saving graces for UW, if there are any, might be an inexperienced quarterback and a young secondary. If the Huskies can pressure Mettenberger and throw on the LSU defense, they will have a chance. It it will take a nearly perfect performance to beat the Tigers.
HUSKY FANS -- LIMITED TIME OFFER ONLY!
If you want access to the best football, basketball and recruiting coverage of your Washington Huskies then TRY OUR 30 FREE TRIAL. Just enter the promo code "Washington30" under 'Gift Certificates or Promotional Codes'.