Posted by Frazier
Ohio St. +3.5 vs. LSU
The short reason: it's the year of the upset.
The slightly longer reason: LSU is nothing if not overrated. The Tigers have a pair of losses to 8-5 teams, one of whom got DEMOLISHED against Mizzou. The other struggled to put away a FSU team that was playing with it's 8th string. Their defense gave up a ton of yardage late in the year. They haven't exactly been winning big. Here's how it's gone since October:
1: Last second win vs. Florida
2: Loss to Kentucky
3: Last second win vs. Auburn
4: Last minute win vs. Alabama
5: Blow out of La. Tech
6: Close game to the 4th quarter vs. Ole Miss
7: Loss to Arkansas
8: 4th quarter come from behind win vs. Tennessee
One blowout, two losses, two games close to the 4th and three wins that came down to the final seconds. That record, against good, bad, and terrible competition, would seem to indicate a close game tonight.
The real reason: Because LSU doesn't have the balls to play the type of game that would result in them blowing out the Buckeyes.
Defensively, LSU is good but incredibly overrated. Luckily for them, Ohio St. is uninspiring offensively. Beanie Wells is a good player, but he'll have to be a great one to get much done against a team keying on him. Only McFadden was able to run into the teeth of this defense and make them pay. No one else is McFadden. Boeckman's job will be to avoid mistakes, and take the plays given to him. He'll have his chances, and the utterly overrated Steltz will gamble, giving the Buckeyes a shot to beat him for big plays. Turnovers will doom the Buckeyes, but I bet they play a plodding, gross game that results in a couple of successful drives, and not much else.
Offensively, LSU pounds the ball with Hester, and let's Matt Flynn toss it around semi-accurately. Frankly, it's a Big Ten offense with incredible speed on the outside. However, I'll be that Miles will play his typical game, and that Ohio St. will be able to keep things close. They are a fast Big Ten team, and have a ton of defensive pride. Flynn is not a great passer. Frankly, I envision a 7-3 LSU lead when Ryan Perrilloux is given a drive. I'll bet that he leads LSU down for a score, and the 14-3 lead proves insurmountable.
However, if LSU really wants to win, they need to play like an SEC team. The Buckeyes suck against the SEC. They got mauled by Florida, and never beat the conference, as in, ever. Why? Because speed kills. Because those SEC athletes kill. LSU is an SEC team that in many ways plays like a Big Ten team. Miles should have gone to Michigan, he would have fit right in!
LSU will win big if Keiland Williams, Trindon Holliday and Perrilloux play a major role in the offense. Reverses, spread formations, and speed on the perimeter will kill Ohio St. However, running a slow fullback or quarterback into the pile will not get the job done. Laurinaitis will eat Matt Flynn for lunch. But he won't be able to catch Holliday.
The bet is LSU will throw deep and use Doucet and company, but Malcolm Jenkins can run, and Flynn just isn't a great passer. If they hit those plays, they could win big, but I'm betting they won't. I'm betting they play close to the vest, have a conservative offense, and try to grind. I'm also betting that when they switch things up offensively, they'll build a lead that they won't relinquish. The prediction, a 24-21 grinder for LSU.
But if they play the way they SHOULD, it'll be more likely 42-24.
So a snoozer, or a blowout, those seem to be our options. I can't wait for this season to end.