The 9th ranked LSU football team returns to Death Valley on Saturday night for the 90th season of Tiger Stadium. LSU is 17-and-1 in home openers dating back to 1995. The Bayou Bengals are 50-and-7 at home under Coach Les Miles.
This is only the second ever meeting between LSU and UAB. Tiger fans unfortunately remember the first meeting, as the Blazers upset Nick Saban and the Tigers 13-10 in 2000.
An upset is not expected this Saturday, but here are five things to look for when the Tigers take the field for the home opener.
1. Who will be the third option in the passing game?
Zach Mettenberger completed 16 passes in the win over TCU, 13 of those completions went to Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham. It was a great night for the passing game, but eventually more targets will need to develop. Look to see if LSU can complete more passes to the tight ends or redshirt freshman Travin Dural. Coach Les Miles also mentioned receivers Kadron Boone and John Diarse as guys who could step up.
2. Will LSU's linebackers have more of an impact?
Senior Lamin Barrow had 104 total tackles last season, but in the season opener he had just two tackles. Starting middle linebacker DJ Welter also did not have much of an impact as he had two stops as well. Miles expects his linebackers will play better this week, because senior Tahj Jones will return to the field, after missing last week with an injury.
3. UAB's Jamarcus Nelson
For UAB to have a chance against LSU, they'll need to make some plays through the air. Wide receiver Jamarcus Nelson appears to be the guy to watch from the Blazers. He had a career game last week as he caught 10 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 160 pounder, also had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
4. Will Jeremy Hill play?
Miles remains noncommittal with the media on whether the Tigers leading rusher from last season will play this week. I'm going to guess he doesn't. But I was wrong last week, so we'll see.
5. What will Terrence Magee do for an encore?
The junior from Franklinton put on a show last week in his first extensive action in an LSU uniform, as he rushed for a game-high 95 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns. TCU didn't have the ability to game plan for Magee, but UAB will be ready and we'll see if he'll be just as effective.