Washington Huskies (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. No. 3 LSU Tigers (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday September 8th, 2012. 7:00PM Eastern
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Washington Huskies +23.5/LSU Tigers -23.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
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Last week the LSU Tigers cruised for an easy victory over North Texas 41-14. The Tigers racked up 316 yards on the ground along with more than 500 total yards on offense. LSU’s defense also lived up to their expectations by holding the Mean Green to just 216 yards. Overall it was a solid effort for the nation’s 3rd ranked team in one of those cupcake style season openers. This week the Tigers look to receive a little better test when the Washington Huskies roll into Baton Rouge for an entertaining SEC vs. Pac-12 showdown.
Washington seemed a bit shakier in their season opener last week outlasting San Diego State 21-12. The Huskies saw some good things happen on the defensive side of the football where concerns lingered over the offseason. Washington’s defense held the Aztecs to 327 total yards and helped their cause by forcing 3 turnovers in the game as well. The downside is that the defense allowed 199 yards rushing and missed several tackles in run defense. Not a good problem to have when you will turn around and battle one of the better power rushing teams in America. The Huskies will have to a better job of bringing down rushers at the point of initial contact this Saturday night or LSU has the talent at tailback to run wild.
Offensively, Washington was a bit rusty in their opener totaling just 328 yards on the afternoon against San Diego State. One impediment occurred early in the first quarter when starting running back Jesse Callier went down with a knee injury. Callier did not even get to make his first carry prior to the injury which was a big blow for the offense. Callier’s status is still uncertain heading up to this Saturday. Sophomore tailback Bishop Sankey replaced Callier in the backfield but produced just 66 yards on 22 carries. Obviously Washington hopes their starting tailback will be good to go this weekend and improvements will be seen on the ground.
Despite the offense showing mediocrity, QB Keith Price did play extremely well as expected. Price completed 24 of 34 passing for 213 yards and 1 touchdown. Not only did Price appear very accurate, but his decision making was also on point as well. Sophomore tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins led the team with 8 catches against the Aztecs resulting in 75 receiving yards. Seferian-Jenkins was used greatly as a freshman last season in the passing game and I expect he will have an even bigger impact for the offense in 2012.
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Surely Washington’s offense will face their biggest challenge of the season this week against the LSU defense. As everyone knows, the Tigers defense carried the team to a perfect regular season in 2011 as the 2nd best group in America. Despite some losses over the offseason, this Tigers’ defense is as talented as ever. Led by All Americans DE Sam Montgomery and S Eric Reid, the Tigers likely have the most talented defensive unit in America. This defense knows how to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stuff the run up front. Therefore, Washington QB Keith Price will have to spread this defense out and hit some passes to keep the Tigers’ defense honest.
On offense, we know that coach Les Miles is going to run the ball often this season. Defense and ball control has been the key to success for Miles’ Bayou Bengals. Last week even against North Texas, we saw LSU’s commitment to the ground and pound. Tailbacks Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue combined for 29 carries resulting in 264 yards and 2 scores. The Tigers had little trouble running between the tackles and that will be their mission this season on offense. However, the x factor lies on the arm of quarterback Zach Mettenberger. The Tigers’ have had documented quarterback issues over the last few years. Last week Mettenberger completed 19 of 26 passing for 192 yards with 1 score and 1 pick. Not a bad effort, but then again those numbers came against a much inferior North Texas defense. Still if Mettenberger plays well, he can really add another dimension to the Tigers’ offense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Tigers find their momentum this week and exploit Washington’s offensive mediocrity. Take LSU -23.5
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