Predictions for 2012 LSU Football; The Loss of Mathieu Will Hurt But Should Not Destroy the Tigers Chances
You have to like that the tigers open up the season with some games that will give them a chance to come together and build confidence early. The loss of Mathieu is a huge blow and LSU needs a few players to step into key roles and lessen the blow.
September 1 North Texas– The Tigers will start the 2012 season at 7:00 in Death Valley. I find this game a bit less exciting than last years opener when I couldn’t hold my excitement for Oregon in Dallas. But still its LSU football and is the start to what I hope will be another memorable season. Mettenberger gets his feet wet, the tiger DB’s force the mean green into a short passing game and to run the ball into the very talented defensive line of LSU while the tigers cruise in the 2nd half on their way to a 41-7 victory.
September 8 Washington– The Huskies and Keith Price will try to burn LSU with a heavy Pac-12 passing offense. The secondary could be tested again in the tigers second contest of the season. This will be closer and higher scoring than many will predict. 34-24 tigers.
September 15 Idaho-The Vandals will need all the help they can get. LSU will look at this as a early indication of where they stand going into SEC play when they travel to Auburn the following week. Tigers 52-Vandals 10.
September 22 @ Auburn-Playing on the Plains is never easy and strange happenings are not rare. The LSU tigers will get all they want from the Auburn tigers. This game will be a struggle but a good early test for both teams. Remember Auburn will want revenge for the beating they took in Death Valley last season. LSU 24-Auburn 22
September 29 Towson– Home sweet home. The tigers will face a team that won the Colonial Athletic Association in 2011. The Towson tigers will be no match for LSU’s quality depth. LSU 44-Towson 13
October 6 @ Florida– The Florida gators can not be held down for long. I am one of the few that like the gators to challenge for the SEC East title. Muschamp has a great deal of talent to work with that Florida recruited before he arrived in Gainsville. Unfortunately I think the gators play the spoiler role well in a hostile Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida 17- LSU 16
October 13 South Carolina– The tigers will rebound in an explosive way and the Death Valley crowd will demand just that. Steve Spurrier will not be treated with much respect and the gamecocks are not ready to compete with the elite teams from the west. LSU 34 South Carolina 13
October 20 @ Texas A&M– The tigers and the aggies renew their rivalry in the first meeting as SEC rivals. The hostile crowd in college station will do all they can to help the aggies but the tigers will be too much. I expect this game to be tight for 3 quarters but the LSU running back depth against a worn out defense decides this one. LSU 28 Texas A&M 17
November 3 Alabama-With a bye week following the Texas A&M trip the tigers will have a chance to rest up and be in prime position for this bitter rivalry which the tigers will not take lightly. We all remember the 2 contests last year and both teams will be prepared. Alabama is a championship caliber team under Nick Saban because they are the best at playing hard nose defense and very conservative offense. The interesting thing about this game that was different from both contests last year is that the tigers offense should be less one dimensional than this past season making the tide defend more of the field and take less chances. Alabama has an older wiser A.J. McCarron but they do not have Trent Richardson. LSU 19 Alabama 13
Nov. 10 Mississippi State– It works out well that the tigers get the bulldogs in Baton Rouge just one week after Alabama. This might be a tricky contest if the tigers had to travel one week after facing the tide. Death Valley will be rocking as the tigers look to have the drivers seat in the SEC West. Mississippi State will give LSU all they want for a half. The upset bid will give way to far too much talent for the tigers as they cruise in the second half. LSU 28 Mississippi State 13
Nov 17 Ole Miss– The game is another example of one that the tigers are fortunate enough to be playing in Death Valley. The rebels will try to play spoiler especially since LSU will be highly ranked. The problem with Ole Miss is that they always bring out the worst in LSU. The talent will again be to much for the rebels to deal with once their upset minded adrenaline wears out. LSU 37 Ole Miss 17
November 23 @ Arkansas– The Razorbacks have given more talented LSU teams fits since the two teams became rivals. The hog fans will be rowdy for this one with their chance to take down what could very well be the #1 team in the country. Tyler Wilson will make Arkansas capable of a big play at any moment. With the loss of Tyrann Mathieu the LSU defensive back positions could be thin. However with this game coming so late in the season the tiger defensive back corp should be a well experienced unit at this point. This one will keep fans on the edge of their seat once again. LSU 27 Arkansas 24
The loss of Tyrann ” Honey Badger” Mathieu may have hurt the tigers national championship and SEC championship chances this season. I have the tigers finishing 11-1. My hope is that the team and coaches can establish a suitable defensive back unit and a play maker to ease the loss of Mathieu over the first 4 games and can establish consistency even with the loss of a key component of last year’s team.
Get an up close view of the 2012 LSU football team. Activities start at 3 with players signing autographs from 4-6. Check the link to find out more about Saturday’s events.
The USA Coaches Poll was released today and the tigers find themselves in the top spot. Alabama is #2 and USC #3.
The LSU football team will begin preparations for the 2012 season on Thursday. The practices will be separated into 2 squads. The first will consist of mostly incoming freshman among some selected veteran or returning players. The second squad will be mostly returning players.
Their will be two practices a day until Sunday when the squads come together. After then the entire team will meet for practice together.
The tigers kick off the season in Tiger Stadium vs North Texas in just 31 days!
The 2012 LSU tigers have already been chosen as favorite to win the SEC at SEC Media Day. The preseason magazines have indicated that the reigning SEC champion tigers are expected to be one of the favorites not only to repeat as SEC champs but to return to the National Championship game which will be played in Miami on January 7th 2013.
The offense looks to be much improved this year with the threat of quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Zach will probably not have to do much aside from giving the tigers a solid passing threat because this years offensive line will aid a deep stable of running backs with names like Kenny Hilliard, Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, and Alfred Blue among others.
When Zach does have to go to the air he has some experience and talent in recievers Odell Beckham Jr., Russell Shepard, James Wright, and a newcomer who played only special teams last year that will surprise this season in Jarvis Landry.
The defense under coach John Chavis will again be among the nations’s best. The defensive line will rival many that have come before it. Anthony Johnson, Chris Faulk, Josh Dworczyk, PJ Lonergan, Bennie Logan and Alex Hurst are the big names while LSU has some very strong back ups as well. The defensive ends which are the best I have ever seen at LSU are Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo.
The linebacker corp will miss Ryan Baker this year but are solid with young depth LSU has not seen in a while. Tahj Jones, Kevin Minter, Luke Muncie, and Lamin Barrow all have experience and should be very solid.
Eric Reid will lead a loaded secondary. The loss of Morris Claiborne will certainly hurt but the tigers will be loaded with some other very talented and experienced players like Tharold Simon, Craig Loston, and of course 2011 Heisman candidate Tyrann Mathieu.
The special teams will be sure to play a huge part this season as it did last. Brad Wing and Drew Alleman return as top punters and kickers while Tyrann Mathieu and Odell Beckham Jr. will serve as dangerous return men as we saw last season.