Jeff: 5 Things to watch for in LSU-TCU season opener
Jeff Palermo Reporting
Two of the winningest programs over the last decade meet in Arlington, Texas, in the Cowboys Classic. Coach Les Miles is set to begin his 9th season in Tiger Town and has won 113 games during his head coaching career. TCU's Gary Patterson is beginning his 13th season as the head man for the Horned Frogs and he's won 116 games during his time on the sidelines. Two good coaches, two good programs, it should be a good game.
Here are 5 things to watch.
1. New numbers on defense
LSU fans may need the media guide by their side when they watch on Saturday night, because there's a lot of new personnel on defense. On the defensive line be looking for #59 Jermauria Rasco, #94 Danielle Hunter, #98 Jordan Allen, #46 Tashawn Bower and #54 Justin Macklin. In the defensive secondary, #29 Rickey Jefferson and #16 TreDavious White will also get some snaps.
2. Will we see Jeremy Hill?
Miles has been coy on whether the Tigers leading rusher from a season ago will play on Saturday night. The mad hatter said he would not be surprised if Hill traveled with the team. If Hill doesn't dress, then obviously he'll watch the game for the sidelines, but if he's in uniform, then I expect the Baton Rouge product will get into the game in the 2nd half.
3. TCU QBs
Patterson has yet to name a starter and we won't know until the Horned Frogs take the field for their first possession. Most likely it will be Casey Pachall, who is very accurate and has great size for a QB, 6-5, 230 pounds. Pachall missed most of last season because of a substance abuse problem. Trevone Boykin took Pachall's place last year and played well. Boykin threw for over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns in nine starts as a redshirt freshman.
4. Cam Cameron's influence on the offense
Even though the Tigers have a new play caller, they will still look to establish the running game. But expect the running backs and tight ends to be more involved in the passing game. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger seems more comfortable in his surrounding this year, we'll see if it leads to better play on the field.
5. Can a young o-line control the line of scrimmage
There are no seniors on LSU's starting offensive line, but that doesn't mean this group lacks experience. Starting left tackle La'el Collins has started 13 games. Vadal Alexander has nine starts under his belt, Trai Turner has started 7 contests and new center Elliot Porter has started one game. Redshirt freshman Jerald Hawkins will make his first collegiate start, when he lines up at right tackle. There's a lot of beef on the left side of the line as Collins and Alexander weigh a combined 657 pounds.