How many people will show up? This will be the debut of the newly expanded Tiger Stadium. The spectacular arena has come a long way under LSU athletic director Joe Alleva. Give Alleva credit for the stadium's incredible transformation. He made the facelift a priority and delivered. But home opener or not, the name Sam Houston St just doesn't stimulate much excitement. That, combined with the Tigers playing such a big and draining season opener last week in Houston vs Wisconsin, may keep some fans at home. It will certainly be interesting to see how many people are in the sits Saturday night. And how quickly they may leave.
LSU's secondary vs Sam Houston passing attack. Through all the Tigers' ups and downs against the Badgers last week, the LSU secondary was pretty solid all night long. Wisconsin passing for a measly 50 yards all night long, while safeties Jalen Mills and Ronald Martin both made interceptions in the fourth quarter. Cornerback Jalen Collins was given glowing preseason grades by those who watched him at practice and lived up to that reputation vs Wisconsin. Collins tackling was very sharp and he flew to the football. But Sam Houston St will present a much different challenge through the air. Quarterback Jared Johnson is averaging over 350 yards per game passing through two games and will be flinging the rock with nothing to lose Saturday night. The Tiger secondary needs to gain more confidence and strengthen itself, before big tests against Mississippi State, Auburn and Florida in the next month or so.
Getting Fournette and Harris going. There's nothing negative to say about LSU true freshman running back Leonard Fournette. He was trying his very best from the opening kickoff, sprinting all the way across the field to catch a ball that would've landed square in Terrence Magee's hands. The jaw dropping play never came for Fournette, with his longest carry being just five yards. The former St Augustine star and nation's top recruit should break a few nice runs Saturday night. I'm predicting he'll also score his first touchdown as a Tiger. True freshman quarterback Brandon Harris also needs some reps and success vs the Bearcats. The series Harris quarterbacked against Wisconsin last week was dripping with indecision, uncertainty and lack of confidence. That's not a slam on Harris, as the entire offense lacked any continuity on those three plays. After that, there really was no good time to get Harris back in the game and starting quarterback Anthony Jennings clearly progressed as the contest wore on. Saturday night should be a good chance to let Harris play some football and work up a nice sweat. He'll likely be needed to win a game before the season is over and needs to face some live bullets. Harris has talent, no question. But he also has much to learn and this should be a great opportunity to teach.