But the most important thing for the Tigers is to show improvement from week one to week two. Here's what to look for when LSU faces the Huskies.
1. LSU defending the pass
There were a couple of break downs in the LSU secondary last week against North Texas and the Tigers are facing a better passing team on Saturday night. Washington quarterback Keith Price completed a career-high 25 passes in the win over San Diego State and he completed 67-percent of his passes last season. It will be interesting to see how the Tigers defend six-foot-six tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who caught nine passes last season after a fantastic freshman campaign.
2. Can LSU get pressure on Price?
LSU had zero sacks in the North Texas game and star defensive end Sam Montgomery didn't play in the first two series. The d-line is the strength of the defense and they know the best way to help some of their young cornerbacks and safeties are to put pressure on the quarterback. Price was sacked three times last week and there were complaints by the Seattle media about him holding onto the football too long.
3. Has LSU fixed its pass protection problems?
Zack Mettenberger got knocked around way too much in the season opener and the Tigers go into this game without their starting left tackle. Chris Faulk is out with an undisclosed injury and could be lost for the season. Coach Les Miles will likely shuffle the o-line to make up for Faulk's loss. The Tigers have spent a lot of time this week in practice on blitz pick-ups and should have an idea on what Washington will try to do, because the Huskies defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox, was at Tennessee the past two seasons.
4. How will Washington be able to run the football?
Running against LSU's front four is difficult, but to do it without an established ball carrier is nearly impossible. The Huskies lost their starting tailback, Jesse Callier, with a knee injury in the season opener. That means Washington will rely on sophomore Bishop Sankey, who rushed for 66 yards last week, but needed 22 carries to get that many yards. The Huskies other two running backs on the depth chart are freshman Erich Wilson and former walkon Willis Wilson.
5. Do the Tigers control in the 2nd half?
An important characteristic of the 2011 season was LSU's ability to put teams away in the 2nd half. Washington would be the perfect opponent for the Tigers to demonstrate that ability again. LSU's punishing running game, a highly motivated Tigers defensive line, along with warm temperatures in Death Valley should wear down the Huskies.
I like LSU to win 34-13.
(Photo: Steve Franz, LSU Athletics)