LSU rushing offense vs. Miami rushing defense
The Tigers can rush any one of three weapons against the Redhawks and should be able to have some success. Iowa ran for 188 yards against Miami last week with backs not nearly as good as LSU's. Relying on a ground game from week to week won't be advisable once the SEC opponents come up on the schedule, but LSU can get away with it again this week. Look for LaBrandon Toefield to see additional carries and for continued progress from Joseph Addai.
LSU passing offense vs. Miami pass defense
Matt Mauck hasn't been lighting it up statistically, and he won't have to as long as the Tigers are able to run the ball like they did against The Citadel. But this could be the week for him to explore the air since Miami gave up 256 passing yards to Iowa and 353 against North Carolina. Through two weeks, the RedHawks have recorded only one sack.
Advantage: Slight to LSU
Miami rushing offense vs. LSU rushing defense
Cal Murray is not the caliber of back LSU faced against Virginia Tech, but he's just good enough that the Tigers have to mind him on defense. If the Tigers' can sustain their intensity and stamina, they should be able to contain the Redhawks on the ground.
Miami passing offense vs. LSU pass defense
Roethlisberger could be considered one of the nation's most under-rated quarterbacks. He has good size, a good arm and makes smart decisions. The Tigers may indeed have an improved pass defense that won't give up the big play, but we have to side with the visitors until LSU proves it on the field.
LSU special teams vs. Miami special teams
The odds have to be against the Tigers committing a penalty that erases a touchdown on special teams for the third week in a row. It's not entirely out of the realm of possibilities that the dangerous Domanick Davis could take another punt or kick return to the house. Another strength for the Tigers here is that Donnie Jones seems to be back in his groove.
Miami comes to Tiger Stadium with confidence that they can hang with and perhaps beat one of the so-called upper tier teams in college football. They will face an LSU squad whose motivation, intensity and ability have been questioned early this season. If the Tigers don't snap out of their funk and cut down their turnovers, the RedHawks are good enough to take another win back to the Cradle of Coaches.
LSU head coach Nick Saban and his players wore a thin veneer of satisfaction following their win over The Citadel. It was easy to see that the Tigers were not entirely pleased with the way they won over the Bulldogs.
If there is a cauldron of dissatisfaction churning under the Tigers that can be properly stirred by Saban, they should be able to outman a Miami team that has only faced middle-of-the-road Division I talent to this point in the season. Stopping the big play and keeping turnovers to a minimum will be crucial.
Predicted Final Score: LSU 27, Miami-Ohio 20