LSU vs. Miami fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Sunday, September 2
Game Time: 7:30 pm ET
Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
LSU (0-0) vs. Miami (0-0) Game Preview
It’s a battle of heavyweight names in what should amount to a College Football Playoff elimination game for one team, and a possible launching pad for the other.
LSU is a power program coming off a solid nine-win season, but it’s not enough considering national championships are supposed to be a part of the equation each and every season – no matter what.
The talent level has been great, and winning nine games last season is nice, but with road games at Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M to deal with, and home games against Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama, a loss to Miami to kick things off would be devastating.
And it would put head man Ed Orgeron on the top of every coaching hot seat article until he comes up with a huge win somewhere.
The Canes have a much, much easier slate to deal with, but they still have to face Florida State at home, and they have back-to-back dates with Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.
Mark Richt isn’t on any hot seat whatsoever, but with the way last season ended with three straight losses, starting out with a loss in a big game would be a major setback after all the positives of last season.
These two last met in the 2005 Peach Bowl – a 40-3 LSU win. Before that, the Canes pounded the Tigers 44-3 in 1988. Before that? 20-0 LSU in 1969 and 30-0 LSU in 1968.
This one will be closer.
One Reason Why LSU Will Win
You probably can’t name any of the top LSU offensive skill players, but …
You’re soon going to have the names of a slew of the defensive stars down cold.
Miami’s D might have the Turnover Chain bunch, but LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has a terrific group that should keep the team in game after game against all of the big boys.
Devin White is going to be on everyone’s All-America linebacker list, and K’Lavon Chaisson is a rising superstar with next-level pass rushing skills. These two, along with possible-best-corner-in-the-country Greedy Williams are the main men to build around, but this will be a rock-solid D in all areas going against a questionable Hurricane attack.
There’s experience returning on the Hurricane O, but the line needs to come together in a hurry against this Tiger defensive front, and the okay skill guys have to be fantastic.
Yeah, it’s a new year with new teams, but Miami is coming off a season when it was 125th in the nation in third down conversions – converting just 29% of its chances. The LSU defense that allowed teams to convert just 35% of the time should finish in the top 20 in third down D.
One Reason Why Miami Will Win
Miami can play a little D, too.
It could be run on last season, and it wasn’t quite a finished product, but the pass rush was unstoppable. The Canes finished with 44 sacks, and it’s still loaded despite some key parts missing. The LSU O line is going to be outstanding, but the Miami D line should be better.
And then there’s the linebacking corps.
If it’s not the best in the country, it’s in the team photo, going against an LSU ground game that needs to find some new key parts and has to prove itself. Throw in the loaded Miami secondary that returns just about everyone, and the questionable Tiger attack is going to have problems.
What’s Going To Happen
This is when LSU shows the world that it’s still good at this whole football thing.
There’s going to be a chip on the shoulder of Tiger QB Joe Burrow, an Ohio State transfer looking to prove he really is that good.
There’s going to be a chip on the shoulder of Orgeron, who’s assumed by many to be in the running to become the first big-name head coach fired.
And for an LSU team that barely snuck into the preseason top 25 polls, this is when it shows up with a big performance in a low-scoring, defense-dominated game.
Fearless Prediction & Line
LSU 26, Miami 23
Line: Miami -3, o/u: 48
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 5
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