1. Is there anything that WKU can do to slow down LSU running back Leonard Fournette? If the Hilltoppers have success slowing down the Tigers sophomore running back then they'll have a great chance for success. Think about this, Fournette is responsible for 40 percent of the Tigers offensive plays this season. He leads the nation in rushing yards with 1,202 and his 200 yards per game is also the highest total in the country. He's averaging eight yards per carry, allowing the LSU offense to dictate the flow of the game. Fournette is going to get his carries, but the WKU defense must limit his big plays.
2. The Hilltoppers offense is rated among the nation's best, but how will they do against a top-level SEC defense? Surrendering just 297 yards per game, the LSU defense ranks 15th in the nation and without question will provide the stiffest challenge of the season for the WKU offense. The Tops faced a similar tough defense in the season-opener against Vanderbilt, which ranks 31st nationally, and needed a late rally to to pull out a 14-12 victory, by far the team's lowest offensive output of the season. However, Jeff Brohm's offense has found its rhythm since then and will continue to enjoy success against the Tigers. It's certainly key that the Hilltoppers offense limits its mistakes and suffer no turnovers.
3. In addition to Fournette, who else does the WKU defense have to worry about? While the Tigers have only thrown the ball on 28 percent of their plays this season, quarterback Brandon Harris is very effective in the role. The sophomore is completing 60 percent of his passes, but more importantly, has yet to thrown an interception. He's also a threat to leave the pocket and run. He has 36 rush attempts for 160 yards and three touchdowns.
4. Can the WKU offensive line hold up against the LSU defensive rush? The Hilltoppers front line should manage fine against LSU, unless the Tigers defense seriously hampers the quick passing attack. While the Tops offense may be slowed, it won't be stopped. Brohm, along with offensive coordinator Tyson Helton, have proven the ability to adjust quickly and find weaknesses to exploit. Pace of play will be important and I'd anticipate the Hilltoppers to be aggressive early and often. Brandon Doughty will need to make quick decisions against the rush to keep the frequency of LSU blitzes to a minimum.
5. Obviously a win is the best outcome, but outside of that, what would be a good scenario for the Tops this weekend? WKU enters the game as a 17 point underdog against the No.5 Tigers, so a victory in Baton Rouge would be a significant moment for the football program and would lift the Hilltoppers into the Top 25. WKU has become accustomed to blowing out their opponents, enjoying a 34 point margin of victory during its current four game winning streak, but the team will need to show that it can trade blows and enter the fourth quarter with the possibility of victory still existing.