Honey Badger Don’t Play.
Saying that the Huskies need to play better football to beat LSU than the game they put up against San Diego State is surely an exercise in displaying the obvious. For the second straight year the Huskies have put up an underwhelming performance against a lesser opponent in the season opener against a no-name quarterback that came out of the game against the Huskies looking much better than he deserved to. Last year it was Bo Levi Mitchell, and this year Ryan Katz.
And what is lost in the 21-12 score is the failed two point conversion, and a poor choice not to kick a field goal late by Aztecs coach Rocky Long.
While a 12 point defensive effort is certainly promising, the Aztecs moved the ball well against the Huskies, especially on the ground. The LSU Tigers, well, they run the ball. Then they run the ball more. Then they run the ball more.
Even while the Tigers are without the Honey Badger Tyrann Matheiu, the team’s depth at skill positions from an opponents perspective is like fucking Hussein family members. Kill one and chances are the next one is even tougher to deal with.
Without getting too deep into the Willie Lyles scandal, it’s worth noting that LSU is a good enough to team to likely be facing some sort of NCAA sanctions in the near future. Nothing is official, but they’re in that “they can’t be that good” territory.
But that only applies to above-board recruiting. The 2012 LSU Tigers are that good. They define that good. They’ve got two running backs that combined for nearly 300 yards last week, a sophomore and junior respectively, and neither was among the team’s two leading rushers. It’s not even like those guys graduated. Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard will combine with last year’s two leading rushers Michael Ford and Spencer Ware, to face the Huskies this week. Ware is healthy but didn’t receive a single carry last week, as the Tigers romped North Texas 41-14.
Even their quarterback Zach Mettenberger is a four-star JC transfer that is likely an upgrade over famous face-kicker Jordan Jefferson.
But these are new Huskies I guess. Shaq Thompson looked good, and the team seemed able to put up a fight in the red-zone. They’ve got a good secondary, and if the Huskies can get out to an early lead and force Les Miles to put the ball in the air, they may have an ice cube’s chance in hell.
They’ll have to do it without Jesse Callier, and while Callier isn’t exactly a blue chip prospect, he offered a physical running dimension that Bishop Sankey will have a hard time fulfilling. Sankey offers a much different skill set, but a skill set that can be dominant if he’s deployed correctly. If Sankey ends the year with 30 or 40 receptions there’s a good chance he’ll be among the team’s leaders in yards from scrimmage, and considering the stoutness of the LSU defense and their history of having punishing defensive backfields, some screens and swings to Sankey could work to keep the LSU secondary honest.
Perhaps the most important player on the Huskies roster this week though—with apologies to Keith Price and Kasen Williams—is Austin Seferian-Jenkins. LSU is one of the few teams that may really have an answer for Williams, with five corners listed at six feet or taller. ASJ is really the only true, universal, athletic mismatch on the team, as his combination of size and speed is even more rare than the talent and size-speed-athleticism Williams offers.
There’s a good chance that Keith Price will be running for his life, and it will be important for him to not turn the ball over. Even though LSU didn’t record a sack in their first game against North Texas, they did record six tackles for a loss, and North Texas only passed the ball 21 times.
The Huskies are a more-than-three-touchdown underdog, and while I’m not a fan of moral victories, there’s a good chance that we’ll be looking for week-to-week development for some of the younger Huskies this week, as the team could get out of contention quickly if they make many, or perhaps any mistakes.