The LSU Tigers are coming off of a 10-3 season that was capped off by a loss to Clemson in the Chick-fil-a bowl. They were stacked to return most of the team intact, but a few players ended up leaving early for the draft, which has only left them with 12 returning starter’s total. But Les Miles always seems to find a way to get the best out of his teams.
LSU has been able to win to win in recent years without stellar play from the quarterback position. This year Zach Mettenberger is a senior this year and is coming off a good year where he threw for 2,609 yards. Along with back up Stephen Rivers, this year looks to be one of the best years of quarterback play the Tigers have had in a while. Add in the fact they are returning running backs Jeremy Hill, Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue. They should be able to take some of the pressure of Mettenberger to keep the Tigers moving down the field.
Also add in the fact the top 4 receivers return this year, led by Kadron Boon and Odell Beckham. The passing game has been weaker because of spotty quarterback play, but with some experience at QB and the experienced receivers, look for them to put up some big numbers this season. It will be tough for Mettenberger to just sit back and survey the field because the offensive line is less experienced this season and will probably have a tougher time preventing someone to slip through and get their hands on the QB. Overall the Tigers have a strong offensive unit and will be able to put points up in bunches.
The defense took the biggest hit with a lot of players leaving for the draft, there is no senior leadership on the defensive line, and it is basically three juniors and a sophomore. This unit will have to grow up fast to be able to make their mark in the grueling SEC. Luckily the linebackers have some experience returning and can hopefully pick up the slack for the d-line. Led by seniors Lamin Barrow and Tahj Jones, they will need to be a big time unit because the offenses in the SEC will take every opportunity to exploit any and all weakness.
The secondary looks to be at least as strong as last year with two returning starters and will be lead by senior safety Craig Loston. I think this unit can be a game changer for the Tigers because LSU has had a history of good athletic corners and safeties. If that tradition holds true, then this unit could be the difference of one or two losses in conference play.
The LSU tigers have a fairly favorable schedule this year with most of their toughest games being at home in always dangerous Tiger stadium. There are only two games on the road the tigers have to really be careful about, that is one trip to Alabama and an early season trip to Georgia. If the Tigers can make it out of those venues with a win, then they may have a shot at the SEC and National Championship. But losses there could relegate them back to the Chick-fil-a bowl.
8/31-TCU – W
9/14-Kent St. – W
9/21-Auburn – W
9/28-At Georgia – W
10/5-At Miss St – W
10/12-Florida – W
10/19-At Mississippi – W
10/26-Furman – W
11/9-At Alabama – L
11/23-Texas A&M – W
11/30-Arkansas – W
2013 Record: 11-1