LSU vs. Syracuse game day info: Players to watch, TV info, more _lowres

Auburn wide receiver Marcus Davis (80) reaches for a pass as LSU defensive back Dwayne Thomas (13) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 in Baton Rouge, La. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP) NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT


Game Day blog is a weekly post published a few hours ahead of LSU’s game. Starting two to three hours before kickoff, we’ll have pregame news and notes available on a separate page, which we’ll link to.

The Info

Match: No. 8 LSU (2-0) vs.Syracuse (3-0)

TDP: 11:01 a.m., Saturday, Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY


Series Record: Tied 1-1

News Nuggets

No Gordon or Mills: LSU traveled TE Dillon Gordon and DB Jalen Mills for the game at Syracuse, but the two players will not play in the game, as you might expect. LSU coach Les Miles suggested that earlier this week. Gordon, who injured his Achilles against Auburn, was seen in a walking boot on his left foot earlier in the week. Mills, in Week 5 of recovering from an ankle injury that required surgery, is not ready for action. The Advocate reported a month ago, via a source, that Mills would not return to play until “at least six weeks” since his Aug. 19 injury.

LSU traveled receiver Kevin Spears, according to the below photograph tweeted out by TV reporter Jacques Doucet. Spears did not travel to Mississippi State. Teams are limited to 70 players to road SEC games, but the Tigers could travel an unlimited about to Syracuse.

Two Players To Watch (LSU)

WR Malachi Dupre: Through two games, the former five-star product has just three catches for 30 yards. Coaches have leaned on Leonard Fournette and the running game, easing QB Brandon Harris into his sophomore season. The Orange has allowed 285 yards passing a game for 112th nationally. Is this the time coaches let Harris open it up in preparation for key games down the stretch? Maybe. If he does, the speedy and talented Dupre could break out of his slow start.

TE Colin Jeter: Gordon, as you read above, is not expected to play in the game. It’s unlikely he practiced much this week as he sported a boot on his hurt left foot. That means Jeter is LSU’s No. 1 TE. He’s a Texan who started at the Air Force Academy, returned home to care for a sick mother and then make the trek to Baton Rouge after TE coach Steve Ensminger stumbled upon him. He caught two passes – including a touchdown – last week in the win over Auburn. More important – Jeter is like a second fullback on the field. He clears the lane for Fournette and Co.

Two Players To Watch (Syracuse)

QB Zack Mahoney: A walk-on who arrived on the team in January gets the start against what appears to be one of the nation’s toughest defenses. Oh, how will he fair? Mahoney has thrown four collegiate passes in his career, completing all four for 19 yards last week. He draws the start amid Syracuse’s injury riddled QB position. In fact, the Orange is likely to play more than one quarterback.

CB Corey Winfield: The 6-1, 180-pounder is from SEC country – if you consider Missouri SEC country. The St. Louis native already has two interceptions on the season and was a top 25 players in the state of Missouri coming out of high school.

Key Matchups

LSU OTs vs. Syrause DEs: When you think of Syracuse, you don’t necessarily think of defensive end. But the Orange have two who have wreaked havoc this season – albeit against Rhode Island, Central Michigan and Wake Forest. DEs Luke Arciniega and Ron Thompson have combined for seven sacks and nine tackles for loss. Those two will go up against Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins. The LSU pair of tackles is off to a good start through two games. Brandon Harris has been sacked just once.

LSU RB Leonard Fournette vs. Syracuse LBs: We had to squeeze Fournette in this Game Day blog somehow. The guy has combined for 387 yards the first two games – the most by an LSU player in the first two games of the season in program history. What do we know about the Syracuse linebackers? Well, not much. We’ll find out more Saturday.

Leonard Fournette take a handoff from Brandon Harris. (AP)

Leonard Fournette take a handoff from Brandon Harris. (AP)

The Opponent

Sagarin rating: No. 69

Best win: vs. No. 94 Wake Forest, 30-17

Worst loss: None

Sagarin strength of schedule: No. 180

Record vs. Sagarin Top 30: 0-0

The Series

Last 10

1989: Syracuse 23-10 (Hall of Fame Bowl)

1965: LSU 13-10 (Sugar Bowl)

The Spread

LSU -24