Members of The Reveille sports staff share their thoughts and score predictions ahead of No. 6 LSU's primetime matchup with No. 9 Texas.
Quarterback battle | Kennedi Landry
So much talk is surround the top- 10 matchup between LSU and Texas this weekend, both on and off the field, but when 6:30 p.m. Saturday rolls around, only what happens on the gridiron will matter.
The game is pitting two elite quarterbacks and offenses against each other. Both Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow are within the top 15 Heisman odds (Ehlinger at 16/1 and Burrow at 28/1 currently) and both have a plethora of skill players surrounding them to held them succeed. The game will come down to these two and how they perform on the big stage.
While Ehlinger may be the more gifted quarterback, I wouldn't bet on the Longhorns based on that alone. Ehlinger will be facing LSU's much-praised secondary, led by All-American safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Kristian Fulton. Texas' own secondary isn't anything to turn your head at, they're very talented, but Ehlinger faces a much tougher road to success on Saturday.
LSU's new spread offense had a lot of success against Georgia Southern in the season opener, and if Burrow can lead to the Tigers anywhere near that type of production, the Longhorn defense won't stand a chance.
Score prediction: LSU 45, Texas 38
Keep moving forward | Brandon Adam
We have seen LSU beat an under matched Georgia Southern team like a drum. Now it’s time to put it together against the big boys.
LSU’s offense will be interesting to watch and will have to answer a few questions. How will they perform on the road? If the game gets bogged down, can they sustain drives and march down the field?
And lastly what’s the reaction if they fall behind? LSU are the favorites, but keeping momentum when you’re the road team is important.
LSU needs to come out, and if they do that, the Tigers not only win but win big.
Score prediction: LSU 38, Texas 17
Texas is back folks…. But it doesn’t matter | Jacob Beck
It seems like with every new season of college football there’s a renewed interest in the Texas Longhorns football team, even if it’s not warranted, just because Texas is supposed to be good.
They have an incredible pool of talent in their backyard (not literally) and surrounding area, a storied history in college football and Matthew McConaughey went there. But yet the Longhorns have disappointed of late, with their last conference championship coming in the same year that McConaughey starred in “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (that’s 2009 for the uncultured folk).
After that conference championship, the teams from 2010-2017 only won more than eight games once and finished 4th or worse in the Big 12 six of those eight seasons. But, in 2018, the Longhorns showed signs of life. In coach Tom Herman’s second season with the Longhorns they went 10-4 including a win over No. 5 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
What that means is that perhaps Texas actually deserves the hype this season, as they return some very talented players. Starting quarterback Sam Ehlinger, sophomore running back Keaontay Ingram, and senior receiver Collin Johnson all return to what was an explosive offense in 2018.
The problem the Longhorns may face is on defense, where they lost their entire front seven and both starting cornerbacks. While their opener against Louisiana Tech wasn’t close on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs put up 413 total yards, with 340 of those coming through the air.
That doesn’t bode well for the fighting McConaughey’s, as LSU’s new rpo/spread offensive attack just put up 350 passing yards in its season opener against Georgia Southern. Senior quarterback Joe Burrow should have a big game, and the LSU defense will do enough to secure a victory for the Tigers.
Score Prediction: LSU 41 Texas 31
Do not overlook the Longhorns | Myles Kuss
While I do not agree with the recent development of Texas joining the elite club of DBU, this Longhorn team is different than years past. They have a dual threat quarterback in Sam Ehlinger that is tough as nails, and will need to be against K'lavon Chaisson and company.
Under the offensive guru in Tom Herman, this team is capable of putting up points and controlling the clock with a tough backfield and strong offensive line.
This combination should be a recipe for success against most opponents, but LSU is not like most opponents. The fearsome LSU front will simply shut down any resemblance of a running game from the Longhorn backfield, which will cause Ehlinger to put the ball in the air; and LSU wants exactly that.
The LSU secondary did not get much action in the week one matchup against Georgia Southern, so Kristian Fulton and Derek Stingley will finally get to show how much of a lockdown combo they can be against a Herman coordinated offensive attack.
Like my title suggests, the Tigers still have to show up against a top ten opponent in the Austin heat if they want to maintain their playoff chances in the early part of the season.
With that being said, LSU will show up on both sides of the ball as Joe Burrow will try to maintain his record breaking performance from week one, and the tailbacks will take some pressure off the quarterback by controlling the clock.
Texas is a good team, but LSU is simply a superior team in every aspect.
Score prediction: LSU 35, Texas 28