After a week of fairly lukewarm college football matchups, the heat is getting cranked up for Week 2, with several cross conference games that immediately jump off the page. The first one we are looking at features SEC powerhouse LSU against a Texas squad that is starting to find its stride again after a few years of subpar play. Perhaps the biggest storyline coming into the game is the battle of veteran Quarterbacks, which we dive into a bit deeper for this game that could factor into the college football playoffs later this season.
Both Team’s First Test of the Year
LSU and Texas both had layups last week leading up to this huge matchup. LSU cruised to a 55-3 victory over Georgia Southern, while Texas dominated Louisiana Tech 45-14. Obviously, we will get a much better idea of what these two teams are all about when they face off on Saturday. LSU will have one of the tougher road tests in the country when they travel to Austin, TX. Sam Ehlinger is 7-3 at home as a starter at Texas, and the crowd will obviously be getting up for this one. Speaking of Ehlinger’s play.
LSU Neutralizing Ehlinger’s ground game
LSU coaches will have an advantage of sorts since they have recent game footage of Ehlinger and these Longhorns vs. a SEC opponents. Texas defeated Georgia 28-21 at the Sugar Bowl on January 1st, and in that game, Ehlinger beat the Bulldogs with his legs, not his arm.
He threw for zero touchdowns, but he did managed 64 yards on 21 carries, and most importantly, logged three running touchdowns. LSU will have to turn Ehlinger into a one dimensional QB. If not, Texas could move the ball early and often.
Joe Burrow Continues to Emerge on Offense
Switching over to the Tigers, Senior Quarterback Joe Burrow is really starting to mature under center. He had a near perfect game last week, going 23-27 for 272 yards, and five touchdowns. This is Burrow’s second year as the starter in Baton Rouge, and he really looks to be coming into his own here. Obviously, he has a much taller task on his hands this week, but Burrow looks like he will be up for the challenge.
Shutting Down Justin Jefferson
There is little doubt who Joe Burrow’s favorite target is in the passing attack: it’s Justin Jefferson. Last season, he logged 54 catches, more than double that of the next closest pass catcher, Stephen Sullivan. Last week was no different, as he logged 87 yards on five catches, and also found paydirt for the first time.
The Texas coaching staff will undoubtedly be planning their passing defense around the Junior Wide Receiver, but on the same token, Jefferson will be looking to boost his draft stock by having a big impact in what many consider to be the biggest game of the weekend.
Take the Longhorns at Home
Getting nearly a full touchdown at home is too tempting for a Texas squad that is looking to continue the success from last season. Texas hasn’t been a home underdog under Head Coach Tom Herman very often, but when they have been, they’ve been successful, going 2-0-1 against the spread. We expect the trend to continue for the experienced Longhorns team, so take the points for the home team here.