LSU will put their season-opening loss to Florida State behind them this week as they begin game preparation for the Southern Jaguars in their home opener. Tiger Stadium will be buzzing in the battle of Baton Rouge.
Just a few miles down the road from LSU, Southern will surely have their fair share of support come Saturday night in Death Valley. The hype surrounding this weekend is real with a passionate fan base that has been buzzing on social media.
The Jaguars are fresh off of an 86-0 win over Florida Memorial in their season opener, dominating every facet of the game.
Here are a few things to monitor come Saturday:
BeSean McCray – Quarterback
McCray can do it all with the ball in his hands. Despite the competition level being relatively weak in their season opener against Florida Memorial, the dual-threat signal-caller showcased his game in a big way.
The Jaguars’ go-to guy can extend plays with his legs, even turning it upfield when needed. In Saturday’s opener, McCray finished with three carries for 78 yards and a touchdown, giving the defense different looks when he decided to tuck it and run.
LSU will have to maximize their chances when they have McCray in the backfield. We saw this Tigers defense struggle to get down Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis Sunday night, and this week will be another challenge with a signal-caller who can improvise well.
Versatility in the Backfield
The Jaguars have several weapons to choose from for their rushing attack. Aside from McCray, who is also a threat on the ground, they’re headlined by a trio of backs including Braelen Morgan, Jerodd Sims, and Kendric Rhymes.
The three-headed monster had everything going their way in their first game of the season but will certainly be put to the test against an LSU defensive line who looks to rebound in a big way this weekend.
Southern has the depth to go three deep Saturday, but the Tigers will have to dominate the trenches to slow things down. With sophomore defensive lineman Maason Smith being ruled out for the season with a torn ACL, it’s a next man-up mentality for this line and it starts against the Jaguars.
Jordan Lewis – Defensive End
The senior pass rusher will undoubtedly have his work cut out for him as the Jaguars go from facing an NAIA school to an SEC roster, but Lewis isn’t shy of competition. He’s racked up the accolades during his time with Southern as he looks to put his talent on display in Tiger Stadium.
We saw the LSU offensive line struggle against Florida State in their season opener, and this group will look to get things right against the Jaguars. Despite Southern being an inferior opponent, this is a tremendous opportunity for the Tigers to begin trending in the right direction.
Look for Lewis to be used in a variety of fronts. Lewis will undoubtedly look to be a pivotal piece to this Southern defense on Saturday as a threat in both the pass and run game.