The alarm bells are ringing loudly in Baton Rouge as we prepare for the 2018 college football season. LSU has rarely looked this vulnerable entering a campaign, with many analysts suggesting scraping to six wins and bowl eligibility is more likely than a high finish in the SEC West this fall. The defense should be good, but there is no college experience at QB or RB, not good when the Tigers are about to face potentially the toughest schedule in the entire country. Buckle up, this one could get rough in a hurry.
By Steve Wright
9/1/18 Miami (Arlington, Texas) – This one is pretty simple. Miami has the best turnover defense in America – and all the swagger that comes with that title – while LSU will start a brand new quarterback. LSU 17, Miami 27.
9/8/18 Southeastern Louisiana – The biggest gimme on the schedule. The Lions were a 6-5 team in the Southland a year ago. If LSU struggles at all in this one to move the ball, then the road ahead gets scary. LSU 49, Southeastern Louisiana 10.
9/15/18 @ Auburn – This is a big early season test for whoever starts at quarterback for the Bayou Bengals. The Auburn offense is just too talented to contain for an entire game, especially if LSU cannot move the ball and win the field position battle. LSU 10, Auburn 35.
9/22/18 Louisiana Tech – This game is more dangerous than some realize. The Bulldogs destroyed SMU 51-10 in the 2017 Frisco Bowl, while quarterback J’Mar Smith figures to be better in his second season as a starter. LSU will win is they can score, but this is no gimme. LSU 31, La Tech 28.
9/29/18 Ole Miss – LSU has had a running back go over 250 yards in this game in each of the last two seasons. Replacing the top three rushers from a season for the first time since 1969 makes hitting that 250 mark again seem unlikely, but a win should happen regardless. LSU 28, Ole Miss 20.
10/6/18 @ Florida –Dan Mullen will be expected to get the Gators firing again quickly. This is another team with real quarterback issues heading into the season, but the Gators at least have a little experience at the position. LSU 17, Florida 24.
10/13/18 Georgia – The Bulldogs lose a lot on offense – especially in the running game – but if D’Andre Swift is half the player he is expected to be then Georgia will be back in the SEC Championship game. LSU 17, Georgia 31.
10/20/18 Mississippi State – The Bulldogs are going to be the surprise package in the SEC West this season. Nick Fitzgerald will play like the Nick Fitzgerald of two seasons ago and Joe Moorhead will be in the running for coach of the year honors. LSU can’t hang with the Bulldogs offense here. LSU 21, Mississippi State 38.
11/3/18 Alabama – The LSU team will be as good at is possibly can be by this point in the season. The Tigers will always be up for the game against Alabama – and this comes right after a bye – but a brutal October schedule and the play of Tua Tagovialoa will be too much for LSU. LSU 10, Alabama 28.
11/10/18 @ Arkansas – This is a rough spot for a potentially winnable game as it comes right after LSU faces Alabama. Arkansas has the talent to make a big jump in 2018 and it has the benefit of coming into this after a bye. That rest will be the difference in Fayetteville. Arkansas 31, LSU 20.
11/17/18 Rice – A reprieve from the brutal schedule might well be a must win if LSU wants to go bowling this winter. LSU 31, Rice 13.
11/24/18 @ Texas A&M – These are both teams that will be expected to start the season slowly and build through the year. Aggies running back Trayveon Williams will have a big final game in College Station as Jimbo Fisher starts his Texas A&M career with a big season. LSU 24, Texas A&M 31