Syracuse football opponent preview: What to know about No. 25 LSU

first_img Published on September 22, 2017 at 8:20 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Syracuse (2-1) kicks off at No. 25 Louisiana State (2-1) at 7 p.m. from Tiger Stadium or “Death Valley,” where 97,289 fans watched LSU in its home opener nearly two weeks ago.LSU has won 48 consecutive games over nonconference opponents at home in Tiger Stadium. The Tigers are coming off a blowout loss at No. 17 Mississippi State, while SU secured a 41-17 win over Central Michigan in Week 3. Saturday night’s SU-LSU game will air on ESPN2. Here’s what you need to know about the Tigers. All-time series: LSU leads, 2-1Last time they played: At a nearly sold-out Carrier Dome two Septembers ago, walk-on Zack Mahoney played QB against the No. 8 Tigers. Fournette, a First Team All-SEC member and the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, scored two touchdowns and ran for 244 yards in LSU’s 34-24 win. Former SU punter Riley Dixon leaped a man, earning a spot on ESPN’s Top 10 plays, and while Syracuse stayed within striking distance throughout the game, SU could not upset LSU. The Orange lost its next seven games of the season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe LSU report: The Tigers are led by former Syracuse defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, who replaces Les Miles after he led the team to a 2-2 start — poor by LSU’s standards. This year’s LSU team runs on its rushing game. LSU boasts one of the nation’s top rushing attacks — each of its three running backs with double-digit rushes averages at least 5.3 yards per carry. LSU has also only allowed four sacks in three games, one of the NCAA’s best rates, despite returning one starting offensive lineman from last year’s unit.On defense, Arden Key, LSU’s All-American junior edge rusher, set the school single-season sack record last season. He is projected to be a first-round selection in the NFL draft next year. The Tigers start two true freshmen in the secondary and had some coverage busts last week. LSU is thin on the defensive line, missing a few rotational players because of injury and suspension.Last week, No. 17 Mississippi State exposed LSU’s defensive and offensive lines. LSU defenders couldn’t stop the outside run and its secondary, late in the game, committed several coverage busts.LSU averages only 184 passing yards per game (ranks 105th in the country) but has a top-20 defense.How Syracuse beats LSU: To upset a Top-25 team for the second consecutive season, Syracuse must limit Guice. LSU’s run game picked apart the SU defense two years ago. Secondly, Syracuse must secure the football on offense. That means smart throws from junior QB Eric Dungey, no special teams blunders and at least a mediocre run game to keep the LSU defense on its toes. While Syracuse won handily last week, SU made several mistakes in the first quarters. Take those away and SU may be able to hang around with the Tigers.Player to watch: Derrius Guice, running back, No. 5LSU’s best player, junior running back Derrius Guice, was ruled out Wednesday but it has since been announced that he will play. A college football coach coach told Sports Illustrated “might be a better back than Leonard Fournette,” because he’s “harder to tackle because he runs with so much juice guys can’t corral him.” Guice sat out practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, recovering from what Orgeron said Monday is a “minor injury,” according to Guice, who has four touchdowns thus far, missed the last quarter and a half of LSU’s loss against Mississippi State. He is explosive and a big-time player to watch. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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