As LSU opens its season Saturday night in Tiger Stadium against Georgia Southern, read the keys to beating the Eagles and the things LSU needs to show before it plays Texas.
1. Welcome spread
For eight months, LSU has worked on a new offense predicated on spread schemes with run-pass option plays. It will debut the new look Saturday night. Expect LSU to go no-huddle with a single running back and, at times, five wide receivers. The scheme might bring LSU into modern offensive football, and though the Tigers don’t need this updated style to beat Georgia Southern, their performance will provide a taste of what to expect.
The Advocate's LSU beat team predicts the outcome of the Tigers' opener with Georgia Southern on Saturday night.
2. Stay patient
Georgia Southern’s offensive scheme, a shotgun triple-option, exploits over-eager opponents. Though the Tigers want to use an aggressive defensive approach this season, they must play this game with patience, especially along the defensive front. Georgia Southern won its last 10 games when it out-rushed its opponent, and the Eagles had a 100-yard rusher in 13 of their past 16 games. They lost the three games they did not have a 100-yard rusher. Stop the run.
When Chad Lunsford visited his mentor over the summer, the Georgia Southern head football coach didn't talk about his team's juggernaut Week 1…
3. Premium protection
Georgia Southern did not produce negative plays last season. It ranked in the bottom half of the country in sacks (two) and tackles for loss (4.85) per game. But LSU’s offensive line struggled a year ago. It tied for 106th in the country in sacks allowed with 35. The Tigers want to use five-man protections this year, meaning each lineman must win individual matchups. Ed Orgeron said the line improved in preseason camp. That must translate to games.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire enters the season as LSU's feature running back for the first time in his career.
4. Start fast
Georgia Southern is a respectable program with a team talented enough to hang around inside Tiger Stadium. Though LSU said it has not focused on Texas yet, the top-10 matchup still looms in the near distance. For LSU to go to Texas as fresh as possible, it needs to get off to a fast start against Georgia Southern. Fine tune the new offense, build a comfortable lead and pull the starters sometime in the fourth quarter.