College Football Pick: LSU vs. Tennessee
NCAA Football Betting Favorite: LSU -17
LSU enters as the number one team in the AP Top 25. Tennessee seemed to be on the way up this year, but last week’s injury to Tyler Bray really set this team back. Derek Dooley will have to try to get his team ready to go against the top ranked team in the land. Can Tennessee keep this one close without its leader or will LSU roll in Knoxville?
Jarrett Lee has really done a nice job at quarterback for LSU so far this season. Lee has been asked to take care of the ball and make wise decisions, and that is exactly what he has done. Lee has thrown eight touchdown passes and just one interception in 2011. Jordan Jefferson will see a few snaps here and there, but Les Miles has made it clear that Lee is the starter. LSU is averaging 184 yards per game on the ground this year. Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, and Alfred Blue all share time in the backfield for the Tigers. Very little was expected out of this offense, but they are averaging 38.5 points per game this season.
The LSU defense is clearly one of the best in the country. Tyrone Mathieu is getting some well-deserved attention in the Heisman Trophy discussion because of his amazing ability to disrupt the opposing team’s game plan. LSU is allowing only 69 rushing yards per game, and this unit ranks fifth in total defense in the nation. I fully expect this defense to finish the year as one of the best defenses in the nation.
Tyler Bray had established himself as the SEC’s best quarterback, but he will miss the next four to six weeks with a broken thumb. Matt Simms will be forced to step into the starting quarterback role. It’s hard to imagine a tougher assignment than LSU in your first game as a starter this year. Justin Hunter was the team’s play maker on the outside, but he is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL. Tennessee is averaging just 85 yards per game on the ground this year, but they must try to commit to the running game now that they are short-handed offensively.
The Volunteers defense has picked up their play compared to a year ago. Tennessee is giving up 344 yards per game so far this year. They have struggled against power running teams, but their secondary is pretty solid. LSU will certainly be looking to attack the front seven of this defense on the ground, so this will be a good test for the Volunteers run defense.
LSU has been dominating opponents all year. The Tigers have won every game this year by at least 13 points. Tennessee simply doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with LSU at this point. I think LSU rolls to a big win here.
Free College Football Pick: LSU -17