After months of waiting and a week of analysis and speculation, here's our official prediction of Saturday's clash between the Tigers and Hokies.
Not since the days of Billy Cannon
and the Chinese Bandits have two higher ranked teams met in Baton Rouge. LSU was ranked
No. 1 when Cannon made his historic run against No. 3 Ole Miss. The Tigers were
ranked No. 6 when they beat the second-ranked Rebels in 1961. In both of those
games, LSU came out on the winning side. In 1987, No. 4 LSU tied No. 7 Ohio State 13-13.
Some contend that Virginia Tech was
distracted by the emotions of last spring's tragedy and that was the reason for
such a sub-par showing in a 17-7 win over East Carolina. That may be the case, but not totally. Virginia Tech
ranked 99th nationally in total offense a year ago, and Saturday's
performance did nothing to prove the Hokies' offense is any better. Virginia
Tech managed one offensive touchdown against a Conference USA defense. Had it
not been for a pick six just before the half, the outcome of that game could
have been much different.
The defense played poorly in the
first half, allowing East Carolina to run the ball between the tackles. But Tech
got it together in the second half and held the Pirates in check the rest of the
way. Virginia Tech does have excellent special teams and their defense will
challenge LSU, but the Hokies can't win if they don't score points. The Tigers
may surrender a touchdown, but not more than one.
LSU 23, Virginia