Jacksonville State Gamecocks (1-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 5 LSU Tigers (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 10th 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: JVSU +28/LSU -28
Over/Under Total: TBA
The 5th ranked LSU Tigers were among the teams that fell in the opening week of college football. The Tigers were pitted against a tough Wisconsin team last week at Lambeau Field and a late Rafael Gaglianone 47 yard field goal gave the Badgers the hard fought victory. For LSU, the loss was definitely a setback for a team that had potential National Championship types of hopes and they will definitely drop in the rankings later this week. However, the season can still be salvaged for Les Miles group if they can respond positively to last weeks defeat. The road towards recovery starts this Saturday as LSU meets the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in the first ever meeting between both schools at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge.
The path towards recovery should be a bit easy at least this week against a Jacksonville State team out of the FCS. The Gamecocks will enter this Saturdays game against LSU as pretty sizeable 28 point underdogs. Last week, the Gamecocks did get off to a good start in a home opening 31-12 victory over North Alabama. However, the talent and competition level will be a bit different when they go into Tiger Stadium this Saturday night which is one of the most difficult atmospheres in all of college football. In their opener, Jacksonville State leaned on their rushing attack to drive the offense down the field. In fact, the Gamecocks ran over 50 plays on the ground while amassing 272 yards of rushing throughout the game.
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The offense was led by quarterback Eli Jenkins who was able to throw for 230 yards and also lead the team in rushing with 101 yards with a touchdown on the ground. Jenkins is a pretty solid athlete and he has some complimentary rushing threats in Tyus Flakes and Roc Thomas that should help this team in the FCS this year. The problem this week is that Jacksonville State will be attempting to run at the strength of the LSU defense in the trenches. The Tigers were able to hold a very talented Wisconsin rushing attack to just 134 yards on the ground last week despite the loss. Defensive end Arden Key and the rest of the LSU front should be able to hold their ground so it will be interesting to see if Jacksonville State can produce any similar results running the football.
On offense, LSU could not get anything going last week against Wisconsin. In fact, out of the 14 points that were scored against the Badgers, the defense scored 1 of the two touchdowns with a pick 6. The other touchdown was setup by another defensive turnover on the short side of the field. Outside of those consecutive drives by the defense, the offense could not get much going as they were held to just 257 total yards.
The offensive woes mirrored a lot of the issues that nearly sent Coach Les Miles packing last year. Quarterback Brandon Harris was ineffective as he completed just 12 of 21 passing for 131 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 picks. Problems at the quarterback position are nothing new for LSU as these problems have lingered for years under Miles. The bad thing is that just solid quarterback play could put this team in the thick of a National Championship hunt. Until then, LSU will continue to do what it can by feeding running back Leonard Fournette the football. I picked Fournette to win the Heisman Trophy this year so I am obviously pulling for him. Last week, Fournette carried the ball 23 times for 138 yards. It was not a Heisman worth performance but he is still one of the best running backs in the nation. LSU could really help Fournette with some balance in the passing game but either way he will continue to be the focal point for the offense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think this line is pretty low considering the matchup. I know LSUs struggles on offense limits their scoring ability but that should not be the case against a team like Jacksonville State. I mean this is a Saturday night game in Baton Rouge! Take LSU -28!
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