NCAA Football – Week 2
The Washington Huskies face the tough task of heading to Baton Rouge to take on the LSU Tigers this weekend. Washington has improved a great deal in the last few years, but this game will be a big measuring stick for the program. LSU is ranked third in the country, and many people believe this team could be back in the BCS Championship game at the end of the year. How will the Tigers respond to their first test of the season?
Keith Price is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. When Jake Locker left Washington, many thought they would experience a major dropoff. Keith Price made sure that didn’t happen at all. Price re-wrote the record books at Washington last season. Price threw for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2011. The Huskies lost star running back Chris Polk after the 2011 season, so it will be interesting to see if they can get any kind of running game going in this one. Receiver Kasen Williams is a play maker on the outside, and the team will try to get him involved as much as possible.
Washington’s defense has struggled in a big way the last few years. Baylor ran up 67 points on this defense, and just about everyone ran the ball at will on this front seven. The secondary is a much improved unit, featuring star freshman Shaq Thompson. The front seven will still be a problem, and that will probably be exposed by LSU’s strong offensive line.
LSU won last year largely because of their dominating defense. The team did lose Tyrann Mathieu to suspension this year, but I don’t expect this unit to skip a beat. LSU has two of the best defensive ends in the nation in Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgombery. Expect them to be in the backfield often this year. Eric Reid is one of the best shutdown corners in the country. The Tigers have tons of team speed all across the defense. LSU gave up just 11.3 points per game last season. It’s tough to find a weakness on this defense.
LSU was a little inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball last year, and that will need to be where the team improves in 2012. Zach Mettenberger comes in with extremely high expectations at the quarterback position. Mettenberger is a big strong quarterback with a cannon for an arm. After Jordan Jefferson struggled so badly last year, it’s hard to imagine that Mettenberger wouldn’t be a significant upgrade. He has one of the nation’s best offensive lines in front of him this year. LSU has three talented running backs who should all see significant playing time. The Tigers offense should definitely be better this year than they were last season.
Washington wasn’t impressive at all in their 21-12 win over San Diego State last week. LSU had a snoozer against North Texas in the opener. In this one, I think LSU’s defense gets after Price early and often. The Huskies are too one-dimensional on offense to beat this LSU defense. Washington’s defense won’t be able to handle the LSU offensive line. I think the Tigers cover here.
LSU 41 Washington 13