Middle Tennessee made a splash on the national scene with last week's offensive barrage versus Louisville. Now, can the Blue Raider offense solve LSU's stingy defense.
LSU rushing offense
vs. Middle Tennessee rushing defense
There were lots of question marks
surrounding LSU's offense heading into the Virginia Tech game. However, putting
up 598 yards on the nation's best defense has a way of fixing things in a hurry.
There was a lot of unrest concerning LSU's rushing attack after the season
opener, but the Tigers piled up 297 rushing yards against the Hokies last
Saturday as Keiland Williams topped the century mark with 127 yards on just
seven carries. LSU's offensive line, while thin on depth, dominated Va. Tech's
defensive line and opened up lots of holes for the Tigers'
running-back-by-committee to rumble through. Middle Tennessee is
112th in the nation against the run, giving up 272 yards per
LSU passing offense
vs. Middle Tennessee passing defense
Matt Flynn is the starting
quarterback, no doubt about it. Making his first career start in Tiger Stadium
against Virginia Tech, Flynn completed 17 of 27 passes for 217 yards. However,
Ryan Perrilloux looked awfully impressive in his time under center completing
all five pass attempts for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Both quarterbacks (maybe
more) will play in this one as the Blue Raiders rank 108th against
the pass (166 yards per game). Look for that number to go up this
Middle Tennessee rushing offense
vs. LSU rushing defense
Phillip Tanner showed some great
moves against Louisville, running for 144 yards and three
scores against the Cardinals defense. He might be the best running back LSU has
faced up to this point. But the Louisville defense isn't quite in the same
league as LSU's. Tanner will struggle to find daylight this weekend as the
Tigers improve on their No. 11 national ranking (40 ypg) against the run.
Middle Tennessee passing offense
vs. LSU passing defense
Here again it's the same situation
as Tanner. Craddock had a good game against Louisville, but that is a Cardinal defense that
allowed 500-plus yards to a team from the Sun Belt Conference. Again like
Tanner, Craddock may be the best quarterback LSU has seen so far this season,
but that isn't going to get the job done either.
LSU special teams
vs. Middle Tennessee special teams
Middle Tennessee had to replace
both its place-kicker and punter from last season's team. LSU seems extremely
solid in all phases of special teams as Patrick Fisher looks like the best
punter in the nation through two games. Colt David is as accurate as ever, and
Josh Jasper and Andrew Crutchfield have done a good job rotating on kickoffs.
LSU could do a better job of finding Early Doucet and Trindon Holliday a little
more running room on kick returns. Also, the Tigers need to shore up some issues
on covering kickoffs as Va. Tech bit off a few chunks of yardage. All in all,
this one's not close either.
Like Miss. State a few weeks back and very much the situation
when Middle Tennessee went to Louisville, the
Blue Raiders have nothing to lose when they come to Baton Rouge. But the
Tigers now are focused on the biggest prize in college football – a national
championship – and you can bet they'll cross the T's and dot the I's against
MTSU. No hiccups here.