The only SEC team to lose in Week 1 did so in Sunday prime time as a missed extra point saw the Tigers fail in a dramatic comeback attempt against Florida State.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys to an LSU win over Southern:
Play This Game Last Week
Okay, so I get that this can’t happen, but with a first-year head coach (for the Tigers) in Brian Kelly, it seems like the games against Southern and Florida State needed to be in reverse order.
There were just so many mistakes that a tune-up like this would have fixed. There weren’t nearly enough plays downfield, the special teams were a disaster even before the final play, and the passing game is a work in progress. Kelly isn’t going to be an instant fix – he never was – but the fans need to see his team come out angry here against a Southern team that is very overmatched.
Know That Southern Can Score
Southern put up a ridiculous 86 points last weekend. They had over 600 yards of offense and even put up an insane 42 points in the first quarter alone. Their opponent was Florida Memorial University – not exactly an SEC powerhouse – but you can only beat what is put in front of you.
The Jags quarterback is Besean McCray, a dual-threat who will make plays. They also have a running attack that can churn out yards and play at a tempo that can cause problems. It shouldn’t matter – the difference in talent is vast – but don’t be shocked if Southern scores if LSU isn’t mentally right.
Get the Starters Out
This is a balancing act for Kelly. The starters need minutes, but they also need to get out of the game early and rest up. A long SEC season is ahead, beginning next week with Mississippi State. This offense cannot go into that game in its current state, but it also doesn’t need to play for a full 60 minutes here.
LSU needs to come out rolling. A 21-point first quarter should be the goal. This would give Kelly the flexibility to make changes early in the second half.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 PM ET). You can watch this SEC football game on the SECN Network.