LSU is set to take on Louisville in the Citrus Bowl, so here are some storylines and predictions for the Tigers ahead of the game.
It was a strange season for LSU: preseason expectations down the drain after Week 1, longtime head coach Les Miles fired at the end of September, and Ed Orgeron getting the full-time job after a 7-4 record. The Tigers will try and close out the year with a win against Louisville and Heisman Trophy-winner Lamar Jackson.
Here are five storylines and predictions as the Tigers take on the Cardinals on December 31.
No Fournette, No Problem
All the talk the past week or so has been about players sitting out bowl games in order to prepare for the NFL Draft. One of those is LSU running back Leonard Fournette, who has missed five games already this season. That won’t be a problem for the Tigers, as backup Derrius Guice is able to handle the load. Guice rushed for 1,249 yards and 14 touchdowns this season and will be a major headache for SEC defenses next season.
While new offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system and philosophy won’t be in place yet, quarterback Danny Etling could show him what he could do with a good performance. Etling will be battling to keep his job as two talented freshman come in next season in Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse.
Orgeron in Control
Weirdly, will be Coach O’s first game as LSU’s full-time coach. The players wanted it, so you know they will be playing for him.
Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson, once out of the pocket, can hurt any defense. LSU will be able to pressure him – the Cardinals’ offensive line is atrocious – but containing him and tackling him is another story. Once the Tigers reach him, they will need to wrap him up.
Use of Dupre?
Here’s a scenario for you: LSU will open up the offense and throw the ball downfield just to make a wide receiver like Malachi Dupre happy so he will see what he will be able to contribute next season under Canada. This will help lure him back to Baton Rouge instead of entering the NFL Draft. Call me crazy, but I see this happening.