Note: This is part 3 of a 12-part series. Each day, we will take a look at an opponent for the upcoming 2010 football season.
The Bulldogs first road game of the 2010 campaign is not a pretty one. They will travel to Baton Rouge to face off against the LSU Tigers, at night, in death valley. Can you see the excitement on my face? The Bulldogs have not had much success in Baton Rouge (18 wins in 64 trips to Tiger Stadium), and night games at LSU are notoriously hard on the visiting team. Overall, LSU leads the series 67-33-3 and has won 10 straight over the Bulldogs.
While the Tigers finished the 2009 season 9-4, it was not a great season for LSU fans. Their only victory over a ranked team came against Georgia - a game that was marred with officiating errors - and they lost their Capital One Bowl game to Penn State. This from a team that was only 3 years removed from a National Championship.
Quarterback seems to be the most inconsistent spot on the Tiger offense. Jordan Jefferson was less than spectacular last year, and the Tigers finished 9th in the SEC in passing and 11th in scoring. Jefferson seemed uncomfortable in the pocket last year and did not have a great spring. On the other hand, junior backup Jarrett Lee has more career interceptions than any other active college QB.
The Tigers have a strong group of receivers, even though Jefferson seemed to target 2 receivers more than any others last year. If he can spread it around more, it will make it harder for defenses to stop the passing game. The Tigers finished 11ht in conference rushing last year, even with Charles Scott in the backfield. He is gone to the NFL and there do not apear to be any superstars ready to step into his spot.
The offensive line was the root of the problem for LSU last year, leading to issues in all aspects of the offensive game. Things won't look much better with the departure of two veteran linemen and only two starters returning.
The saving grace for the 2009 LSU season was the defense, finishing 3rd in scoring with 16 points per game, 4th against the run, and 5th in total yards. The bad news for 2010 is that most of that defensive talent has graduating and the defense looks to be in a rebuilding phase.
The only returning starter on the Tiger D-line is senior Lazarius Livingston. The defense looks to be fairly strong against the run and they have plenty of athleticism in the secondary even without a solid pass rush up front.
As An Opponent
LSU has always had our number. Last years meeting in Starkville gave Bulldog fans a glimmer of hope that victory against the Tigers is possible. Catching LSU on a down year defensively and offensively may be just the thing to give us a win in Death Valley, assuming we can overcome the stigma of playing in Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night.