by Steve Geller, firstname.lastname@example.org,posted Sep 7 2012 9:40PM
LSU puts the nation's longest home field winning streak (18) on the line when they welcome the Washington Huskies to Tiger Stadium Saturday night.
What you need to know about Washington:
Even though the Huskies are coming off a 21-12 victory over San Diego State, they left a lot to be desired on the field.
Washington's leaders are QB Keith Price and WR's Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Price threw for 213 yards and one touchdown last week, while Williamsand Seferian-Jenkins combined for 14 catches for 148 yards and one touchdown. Price wasn't too happy with his performance, though, and said it was the worst game he has played in a while.
The Dawgs have a below average running game featuring Bishop Sankey, who rushed for just 66 yards last week with a touchdown - averaging 3.0 yards per carry. Their rushing attack should struggle mightily against LSU's front seven.
The Huskies have a new defensive coordinator this year in former Tennessee Coordinator Justin Wilcox. They forced three turnovers and had four sacks vs. San Diego State and looked much improved from a wretched 2011.
Last year, the Huskies allowed an average of 453 yards per game on defense; they gave up 327 last week.
What you need to know about LSU:
LSU sleepwalked past North Texas last week. But it was still a good contest for the Tigers for a couple of reasons… It got Zach Mettenberger some experience and got the team back into game mode.
Mettenberger finished 19 of 26 for 192 yards with one TD and one interception. He was hit early on a blitz that the Tiger O-line failed to pick up, and he even had to leave for one series before returning. He played okay, but the Tigers will need to get more production from the QB moving forward, especially against teams that will stop the run. Wide receivers Kadron Boone and Jarvis Landry played well, and we should see both get even more involved in the passing game.
The running backs are in midseason form already. Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue ran for a combined 264 yards and two touchdowns. Spencer Ware and Michael Ford should get involved more this week, if Ware is healthy.
I really expect this defense to get after the Huskies' quarterback, after playing very vanilla against North Texas.
What you need to watch:
Last week the Huskies gave up 199 yards rushing to San Diego State, and I fully expect Les Miles to pound the rock heavily in this one.
LSU's offensive line should maul Washington's defensive line and create an edge all night.
All eyes will be on LSU QB Zach Mettenberger, but once again it will be the running backs that will be the difference.
Washington quarterback Keith Price can sling it around the field, and the best way to minimize his impact is to keep him on the sidelines with a power rushing attack. Washington will game plan against that and try to force Mettenberger to beat them with his arm, which he can and will do.
I agree with your analysis. I would like to see Miles get some game experience for the backups Rivers and Bolden. An injury could happen any time and if it happens to Zach Mettenberger, LSU will no continuity. Based upon last week's insertion of Rivers into the game when Mettenberger went down, the offense fizzled.
Miles has publicly admitted that in LSU's previous championship season's that the starting QB went down and the second team QB had to take his place for during that drive for the championship. If that trend continues, LSU needs to have Rivers et al gain confidence and the coaching staff gain confidence in them.
I expect a 42-14 game. The great Husky fans are in for a treat to come to LSU for a night game. Get past the "Tiger Bait" comments and smile and be cordial and trade sweatshirts and memorabilia and eat some great Cajun food and have a great time!