The Bayou Bengals are fresh off of a crucial SEC victory over Mississippi State where their defense showed up in a big way, but this offense the Lobos run is a tad different. The ability to run the ball better gives this LSU defense a different angle to prepare for.
Here are a few things to monitor ahead of the Tigers’ Saturday night matchup:
Despite the Lobos having a subpar offense, their defense is what keeps them afloat. Defensive coordinator Rocky Long and head coach Danny Gonzales fit like a glove with their schematic approach, ranking them among the best defenses in college football.
Led by safety Jerrick Reed, who leads this squad in total tackles, they have guys who can compete from all three levels. The Tigers will be in for a test in the passing game, given the Lobos’ ability to slow down that aspect of their opponent’s offense.
The Lobos have already seen 11 players record a rush this season, starting with running back Sherod White. White, who leads this team in rushing yards, could be the focal point of this New Mexico offensive attack Saturday night.
It’s a completely different scheme for defensive coordinator Matt House. Coming off of a beautifully executed game plan against the Mississippi State ‘air raid’ offense, House will now look to slow down a run game that also runs a triple option style of offense.
Along with White, Lobos quarterback, Miles Kendrick is also effective in the run game. One of the team’s top rushers, the Kansas transfer will be someone to monitor given his dual-threat ability.
But this also could allow LSU to get a big night from their running back room. With John Emery returning last week, we saw this coaching staff do their best to work him in slowly, but against a New Mexico squad who isn’t as effective in their run defense, Brian Kelly could look to rotate their backs, even more to see what they’re working with.
Miles Kendrick – Quarterback
As mentioned, Kendrick can use his legs exceptionally well when the pocket collapses on him. This Lobos offensive line hasn’t quite given him spare time to create plays in the passing game which explains his 31 rushing attempts through three games.
Sacked ten times already this year; it’s a mixture of poor offensive line play paired with Kendrick holding the ball too long. This LSU defensive line could use Saturday night to explore their depth to see which rotations are more effective.