Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA: LSU travels to Lexington to take on the 16th ranked Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday evening at 6:30pm. The Tigers lead the all time series 40-16-1. LSU has won the last two games between both schools. However, the last time these two teams played in Lexington was in 2007, with Kentucky pulling off a huge upset, 43-37 in a triple overtime thriller. At the time LSU was ranked #1 and would go on to win the BCS National Championship at season's end.
LSU will have their work cut out for them as the Wildcats have one of the best defenses in the country, ranked 8th nationally, allowing just 15.2 points per game. Kentucky only gives up an average of 104 yards rushing per game and only 180 yards passing.
Kentucky's offense relies on a strong running attack led by running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. who leads the SEC with 124.2 yards per game. However LSU's run defense is one of its strengths, only allowing 119 yards rushing per game, but is last in the SEC in pass defense giving up 248 yards per contest through the air.
Once again, the Tigers defensive front will need to control the line of scrimmage and slow down the Wildcats running game, while putting pressure on quarterback Will Levis. Kentucky isn't real explosive on offense but they are very efficient as they seem to make the big play when needed.
I think LSU's key to the ball game is to finally establish some kind of running attack and that needs to be done with running back Corey Kiner, giving him as many carries as possible. Over the past two weeks Kiner has shown that he is the top playmaker at the position. Only leaving the field when a breather is needed. HELLO! Coach O! Did you hear me!????
If the Tigers can't establish something on the ground, the offensive line will need to do a better job of protecting Max Johnson against a defense that has problems getting to the quarterback. Johnson must also rebound from last week's struggling performance. He not only will need to have an accurate night passing, but make big plays with his feet as well.
Ed Orgeron is sitting on a very hot seat. If LSU is unable to leave Kroger Field with a victory, especially if they don't show any improvement, don't be surprised if Scott Woodward makes a move on Sunday morning. A fresh start with new leadership may be just what this talented team needs to turn things around.
I think Kentucky at home, will simply be too much for the one dimensional Tigers. Like last weekend, look for LSU to be out coached again, struggling in the second half with no running game, allowing the defense to wear down late. Kentucky wins a close one to go 6-0...
PREDICTION: Kentucky 28, LSU 23