Match-up: LSU (SEC) Vs. Texas Tech (Big-12)
Spread: LSU (-7.5)
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
When: Tuesday, December 29th, 9:00 PM
Where to Watch: ESPN
It was a season full of speculation and story-lines for the LSU Tigers, who were expected to make a run for the title this season. After starting the season 7-0, LSU looked like a legitimate title contender, behind Heisman favorited (at the time) Leonard Fournette. Everything was going according to plan until Nick Saban and the Tide had to ruin everything, beating LSU 30-16. They just weren’t the same after that, as they would finish the season 1-4, getting blown out by Arkansas and Ole Miss. Les Miles was expected to be fired, but those rumors eventually went away, so it appears Miles is safe for now.
Players to Watch
Leonard Fournette (RB) – Would you expect anybody else? Fournette is the most dominant running back we’ve seen since Adrian Peterson. The Sophomore followed up his impressive Freshman season by rushing for 1741 yards and 18 carries on 271 carries. He also caught 18 balls for 209 yards. Did I mention that Texas Tech is the 3rd worst rush defense in the nation? We could honestly see some record numbers here…
Deion Jones (LB) – The Senior linebacker made the most of his first year starting for the Tigers, as he racked up 73 tackles (10 for loss), 3 sacks, 5 qb hits, and 3 pass break ups. He is currently a projected third rounder, but he will look to improve his stock here.
How LSU Can Win
Leonard. Fournette. Give him the ball 50 times. Texas Tech won’t know what to do. Keep their incredibly high powered offense off the field, and LSU will win this game.
Texas Tech Overview
It wasn’t perfect, but it was a very exciting season for the Red Raiders after a disappointing 2014 campaign, where they finished 4-8. Pat Mahomes had this offense scoring 46.6 PPG, which is SECOND in the nation. While everybody wants to talk about Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and TCU, nobody seemed to want to admire how prolific this offense is. They threw for 390 yards per game, which is insane. There was some exciting shootouts for this team, including a devastating 55-52 loss to TCU. Again, it wasn’t perfect, as the defense struggled immensely, but the offense made things exciting for Raiders fans.
Patrick Mahomes (QB) – Mahomes was one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the entire nation. The Sophomore threw for 4283 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. That’s right, he’s only a sophomore. We’ll see what he can do against a tough SEC defense that ranks 47th in pass defense, but he’ll be expected to do a lot.
DeAndre Washington (RB) – We’re doubling up on offense here. As good as the aerial attack has been for Texas Tech, the ground attack has been superb as well. The Senior carried the ball 223 yards for 1455 yards (6.5 YPC) and 14 touchdowns, while also catching 34 balls for 304 yards and 2 touchdowns. If Texas Tech wants to keep LSU off the field, they’ll have to run the ball effectively.
How Texas Tech Can Win
Score. Points. Let’s face it, no amount of game prep will help this run defense stop Fournette… At least, realistically. So score points, keep the game close so that LSU has to turn to the passing attack.
Final Score Prediction: LSU Wins 45-40
Brian Sullivan – @TheMadManSports
Photo Credit: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25308585/watch-lsu-rb-leonard-fournette-breaks-72-yard-run-on-auburn