Jeff: 5 things to look for when LSU faces Kent State
Jeff Palermo Reporting
LSU and Kent State meet for the first time on the football field when the two teams face off in Tiger Stadium at 6:02 PM on Saturday. The last time the Tigers played a team from the Mid-American Conference, Ben Rothelisberger and the Miami Red Hawks visited Tiger Stadium in 2002. LSU won 33-7 and afterwards Rothelsiberger wrote a letter to then-head coach Nick Saban, thanking him and LSU for the experience he had playing in Baton Rouge.
Kent State’s quarterback is redshirt freshman Colin Reardon. He’s not thrown an interception this season, but that could change on Saturday.
Here are five other things to look for in this non-conference match-up.
1. Can LSU’s passing game keep clicking?
There’s no reason why LSU will not continue to have success throwing the football. Kent State is allowing 273 passing yards a game. It’s been great to watch Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, but who will be that third-headed monster in this passing game? Travin Dural and Conner Neighbors are third on the team in receptions with two catches each.
2. Young guys pushing for more playing time
If this game goes as planned, it should be over at halftime, and that means more playing time for the younger players. Fourteen true freshmen have already played this season. Defensive backs Tre’Davious White and Rashard Robinson are two guys that could play more, if Jalen Mills and Jalen Collins struggle. Coach Les Miles said he would also like to give true freshman quarterback Anthony Jennings 15 snaps against Kent State.
3. Who becomes LSU’s main ball carrier?
Jeremy Hill saw his first action of the season last week and this game might be the one where he reestablishes himself as the Tigers top tailback. LSU is averaging 175 rushing yards a game, which is 12th in the league. The Tigers need Hill to get back up to speed for the running game to get going.
4. Better tackling
Miles was not happy with the number of missed tackles in the win over UAB. The Tigers defense will have to tackle a big running back on Saturday. Trayion Durham is six-foot, 248 pounds, but he’s averaging less than four yards a carry. Senior Tyshon Goode is their leading pass catcher. He caught eight balls in the season opener. Junior Chris Humphrey is averaging 17 yards a catch.
5. Late-arriving crowd
There could be many empty seats when this game kicks-off, because tailgaters will be watching the end of the Alabama-Texas A&M game, which kicks off at 2:30.
Jeff’s prediction: I like the Crimson Tide to win again, and I like LSU to win 42-10.