Ten Threats: Tigers to take on tough faces this season - lsureveille.com: Sports

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Ten Threats: Tigers to take on tough faces this season

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Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:37 pm

Any team playing in the Southeastern Conference faces top-level talent throughout the season, and LSU is no different.

Other than the obvious picks, like Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Alabama’s TJ Yeldon, here is a look at the some of the strongest players LSU will face during the 2013-14 season.

Dri Archer (RB), Kent State

Archer is a speedy running back who rushed for 1,429 yards and 16 touchdowns in the 2012-13 season. He led Kent State in both rushing and receiving and averaged nine yards per carry, leading the Golden Flashes to an 11-3 record.

LSU’s best matchup: Lamin Barrow (LB).

Why: Barrow has the sideline-to-sideline speed needed to contain Archer on outside runs.

Dee Ford (DE), Auburn

Ford was Auburn’s sack leader last season with six overall, and was placed on the Bednarik Award watch list this preseason. Ford also led Auburn in quarterback hits, highlighting his ability to put pressure on the quarterback.

LSU’s best matchup: La’el Collins (LT).

Why: Collins will be LSU’s best offensive lineman this season and will be tasked with shutting down the opposing teams’ best lineup.

Todd Gurley (RB) and Keith Marshall (RB), Georgia

Last year, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall dominated the SEC as freshmen. Gurley led the Bulldogs with 17 touchdowns while averaging 6.2 yards per carry. Marshall only got 117 carries last season, but he still rushed for 759 yards, including a long of 75 yards.

LSU’s best matchup: Anthony “Freak” Johnson (DT) and Ego Ferguson (DT).

Why: Gurley and Marshall are a handful once they have a head of steam, so Johnson and Ferguson will be tasked with disrupting running plays in the backfield.

Damien Swann (DB), Georgia

Swann is the top cover corner for the Bulldogs, who picked up four interceptions and five pass breakups during the 2012-13 season. He was placed on both the Bronko Nagurski Award and the Jim Thorpe Award watch lists for the overall best defensive player and the best defensive back in the nation.

LSU’s best matchup: Jarvis Landry (WR).

Why: Landry is LSU’s best route runner and lines up primarily in the slot, giving him more space to operate around Swann.

Jeff Driskel (QB), Florida

While Driskel struggled at times last year, he still threw for as many touchdowns as LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Driskel balances his average arm with good running skills. Driskel was second on the Gators in rushing with 716 yards and four touchdowns.

LSU’s best matchup: Jermauria Rasco (DE).

Why: Rasco is LSU’s most experienced pass rusher going into the season, and getting pressure on Driskel is the key to shutting him down.

Donte Moncrief (WR), Ole Miss

Moncrief is a name many LSU fans should already know, as he torched LSU for 161 yards and two touchdowns last season in Baton Rouge. Moncrief was put on the Biletnikoff Award watch list for the nation’s best receiver after ending his sophomore season with 979 yards and 10 touchdowns.

LSU’s best matchup: Jalen Collins (CB).

Why: Collins will be asked to assume the position of No. 1 corner for LSU this season, and at 6 feet 2 inches and 195 pounds, his size gives him the ability to cover bigger receivers.

Robert Nkemdiche (DE), Ole Miss

Even as a freshman, Nkemdiche should be an immediate impact player for the Black Bear defense. Nkemdiche doesn’t have the sheer athleticism as the heralded Jadeveon Clowney, but he comes in at 265 pounds and should be a better run defender than Clowney was during his freshman year.

LSU’s best matchup: La’el Collins (LT).

Why: Again, Collins will be faced with a litany of tough pass-rushers throughout the season playing at left tackle.

Amari Cooper (WR), Alabama

Cooper will be the leading receiver for the Tide next year after accumulating 53 receptions for 895 yards during the 2012-13 season. He was named to the All-SEC Preseason team, and hauled in 26 receptions of 15 yards or more, while catching at least four passes in eight of the last 10 games.

LSU’s best matchup: Jalen Collins (CB).

Why: LSU fans should look for Collins to be the breakout star of LSU’s defensive backfield.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (DB), Alabama

Clinton-Dix proved last year that he not only has the best name in the SEC, but is also one of the top ball-hawking safeties in the nation. Clinton-Dix led the Tide with five interceptions last season and could test Mettenberger’s patience in Tuscaloosa.

LSU’s best matchup: Alfred Blue (RB).

Why: With fellow running back Jeremy Hill’s status in question, Blue will be tasked with bringing safeties down into the box to open up the play-action passing game.

Mike Evans (WR), Texas A&M

Evans will be Manziel’s No. 1 receiver throughout the season, and based on pure physical talent, Evans might be the best wide receiver in the SEC. Standing at 6 feet 5 inches and with enough speed to take the top off the defense, Evans — combined with Manziel’s ability to extend the play — will be a dangerous option for the Aggies.

LSU’s best matchup: Ronald Martin (S).

Why: With Manziel’s ability to extend the play, a safety will be needed to corral Evans for the entire game, and Martin will be the best coverage safety on LSU’s roster.

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1 comment:

  • Geauxpack81 posted at 12:22 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    Geauxpack81 Posts: 3

    Did the author of this article review this at all before it was submitted? I was excited to finally see a football article previewing the season, but then I read it..... For starters, there is a huge picture of "Armari Cooper (WR)" on the first page of the article, and the picture is clearly not Cooper. Its Eddie Lacy. Secondly, there is no Armari Cooper. Its Amari Cooper, and you misspelled his name twice. Besides that, I just have a few comments on the article as a whole. Barrow is a great LB, but he won't be able to cover Archer at all. Tahj Jones and Kwon Alexander are much better "match-ups". Also, Damien Swan will never be put on a WR operating from the slot this year. Jalen Collins is not LSU's No. 1 corner, thats Jalen Mills. Finally, Mike Evans is not even close to being able to "take the top off of a defense".

     
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