Missouri Tigers (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. LSU Tigers (2-2 SU, 0-4 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday, October 1st, 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MIZZ +13/LSU -13
Over/Under Total: TBA
For the first time in 12 years, the LSU Tigers will take the field without former Coach Les Miles at the helm when they host the Missouri Tigers in Baton Rouge on Saturday. Miles was fired on Sunday after a 2-2 start that included two losses to unranked opponents. For a team that started the year ranked 5th in the country with so much high hopes, the LSU has had a tumultuous start with a pair of upset losses and now the canning of the person that has been the face of their program for more than a decade. How will LSU respond? Well that question will be answered this Saturday night when they host Missouri inside Tiger Stadium.
So what led to Miles firing? Well honestly it has been a long process in the making. LSU nearly let Miles go at the end of 2015 after a similar collapse that was contributed by major issues on the offensive side of the ball. I have said several times that LSU has the talent to contend with anyone in the SEC but they have never had a quarterback or offense to make it happen. Well last weeks loss to Auburn hit the boiling point. It was another prime example of an offense without any answers as the Tigers managed just 13 points against Auburn. Despite LSUs defense keeping Auburn out of the end zone, they still lost thanks to 6 Daniel Carlson field goals in a 18-13 final.
If you look at LSUs offensive trends this season, I think you can justify the firing of Miles pretty well. In the two losses, LSU was held to 14 points to Wisconsin and then 13 points last week at Auburn. Just two weeks ago, the Tigers nearly blew a 23-3 halftime lead to Mississippi State as the offense got shut out in the 2nd half. Luckily in that game, LSU held on for a 23-20 win but that was just another example of how bad this LSU team has been on the offensive side of the ball which is very surprising considering they one of the best running back in college football in Leonard Fournette. Fournette has rushed for 100 yards plus in every game this season despite the fact that defenses continuously load the box to stop him because the Tigers cannot throw the football. If LSU can articulate some type of passing attack, it could be scary what Fournette could potentially accomplish in the running game.
So far this season, Missouri has been pretty solid against the run yielding just 132 yards per game. The Missouri defense bottled Nick Chubb just two weeks ago holding him to just 3.3 yards per carry on 19 attempts which at the time was Chubbs lowest rushing total of the season. Therefore if Missouri can contain Fournette, it will be interesting to see if interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron can draw up in the passing game. Despite changing quarterbacks from Brandon Harris to Danny Etling, LSU embarrassingly ranks 119th in the FBS in passing averaging just 180 yards per game.
The sad part to LSUs offensive troubles is the fact that they have a really good defense. The defense has not given up more than 20 points in a game this season. It is just the offense has not been able to produce. To add bad news on top of that is the fact that Missouri is a team that can score points. The Tigers from Mizzu took Georgia to the wire in a 28-27 loss and they hung up 79 points in a blowout win over Delaware State last week.
Missouris offense may not be a quick striking team but they do run the ball really well. Both tailbacks Damarea Crockett and Ish Witter have contributed well to the rushing efforts. Quarterback Drew Lock has been effective in the passing game with 14 touchdowns and just 3 picks. Missouri also has a big time wide receiver in JMon Moore who is starting to become a household name. Moore had 104 yards in the opener against West Virginia and mounted another huge game with 196 reception yards in the loss to Georgia. The junior wide out already has 6 touchdown receptions on the season and he could be a guy they lean on against this stingy LSU defense. If Lock and Moore can connect on a few big passes, it would not surprise me to see Missouri contend for the victory.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Missouri +13
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