It’s a new season, but we’re back with Pick 6, our blog series where we ask opposing beat writers the burning questions you want answered.

Alex Hickey, who covers McNeese State for the Lake Charles American Press, graciously joined us for this week’s installment.

You can follow Alex on Twitter @AmPressAlexH and read his work here.

1. Daniel Sams seems like he fits the mold of a spread quarterback. As a former Kansas State transfer, are his skills on par with the average Power Five spread quarterback, and how much of a threat does he pose to the Tigers’ defense?

McNeese QB Daniel Sams transferred to the school last year after a two-season stay at Kansas State. (

McNeese QB Daniel Sams transferred to the school last year after a two-season stay at Kansas State. (

I would say Daniel actually better fits the mold of a classic option quarterback like Tommie Frazier. If he were born 30 years earlier, he would be off at a major power program running the wishbone and maybe getting some Heisman hype.

He is a very good athlete who is more elusive than he is fast, if that makes sense. Able to shake-and-bake tacklers rather than simply out-run them. He rushed for 199 yards against Baylor in 2013, so he can play. But to pose a threat to LSU, he must show an ability to complete passes better than his 47 percent mark last season.

Offseason thumb surgery has improved his ability to grip the ball, so it’s possible he could have the best game by any QB on the field this Saturday. (Possible, not probable).

2. The Cowboys return four of five starters on the offensive line, while depth along LSU’s defensive line remains a concern. Can McNeese turn that experience into an advantage and exploit the opposing front seven?

The offensive line is possibly the biggest strength on this team, and I know LSU has a bunch of new faces up front. They’ll undoubtedly be able to open some holes, but the Tigers have big, fast dudes. I don’t know that they’ll be exploited.

3. Most folks remember McNeese nearly knocking off Nebraska on the road in last season’s opener. What did the Cowboys do well in that game, and can they recreate that formula in Tiger Stadium?

They kept their cool early. Nebraska was on the doorstep of taking a 21-7 lead, but threw a pick-6 that came back 98 yards and from there everything changed.

It will take a similar big play that gets LSU second-guessing for there to be a chance. McNeese also had comparable or better speed to Nebraska outside of Ameer Abdullah. I don’t know if that’ll be the case Saturday.

4. Defensive tackle Isaiah Golden is another transfer, a guy who started six games for Texas A&M as a true freshman in 2013. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, how disruptive can he be to LSU’s interior line?

The last game he played was in the SEC, so I suspect he will be the first, second and third priority for LSU’s offensive line.

I suspect Cam Cameron will spend more time attacking the outside given that the Cowboys are less experienced there. Although I was a student at Indiana when Cam was the head coach, so I can say it is also possible he hasn’t thought of that.

5. Les Miles finally announced his intentions to give sophomore Brandon Harris the first snaps at quarterback Saturday. With such little film on Harris and reports of his growth and maturation this offseason, how are the Cowboys planning to defend against him?

Same way they defend everybody: blitzing.

6. What’s the one thing McNeese State has to do to keep this game close?

Force turnovers. Don’t create any easy scoring opportunities for LSU via turnover or special teams miscue. Get Harris so flustered that Jennings comes in, then fluster him. Eat a hearty breakfast. Pray.