The Matchup: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU
When: September 3, 2011
Where: Arlington, Texas – JerryWorld
Game Time: 7:00 PM
What You Need To Know About Oregon:
The Oregon Ducks are the preseason Pac-12 favorite, and they are the defending runner-up to the Auburn Tigers in last year’s National Championship game. The Ducks return a ton of skill position players, with quarterback Darron Thomas and running backs LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner all returning. Thomas threw for over 2,800 yards and 30 touchdowns. James finished with 1,730 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.
If you give James or Barner a crease, they will break off a long one real quick.
The Ducks did lose their 1,000-yard receiver in Jeff Maehl.
The Ducks do, however, return only two starters along the offensive line. So it will be interesting to see how this affects their game or ability against another tough defensive line in LSU.
Oregon’s defense will be a physical and athletic bunch, similar to the offense and similar to last year.
What You Need To Know About LSU:
LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson might not even be able to play in this game because of an incident at a local bar. We’ll know more later as we approach the game.
LSU is talented, physical and fast, both on offense and defense.
We’ll get a look at the Tigers’ new offense installed first by Steve Kragthorpe (later resigned from the play-calling duties) and Greg Studrawa (took over for Kragthorpe). That offense may include or may not include Jefferson, but backup Zach Mettenberger certainly looks the part at quarterback. He’s a big kid with a big arm, and he looks really good moving around in the pocket with his footwork.
No matter who the quarterback is, they will need to get the ball to receivers Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard because they are very talented.
Defensively, LSU is going through some changes and questions at linebacker, but the defensive line and secondary will be fine.
Matchup I’m Watching:
For this game, I’m interested in seeing what this LSU defensive line can do to the Oregon offensive line because of the loss of three starters.
You have to think LSU’s defense will be better for the longevity of the season than Auburn’s a year ago, but can they put it together in game one?
If LSU wins this game, it will be close; however, if Oregon wins, it could be two touchdowns or more. I just get that feeling.