This Saturday night (7:00pm ET) features a primetime match up of traditional college football powers with the Washington Huskies (1-0) of the PAC 12 traveling down to the Bayou in Baton Rouge, LA to take on the 3rd ranked Tigers of LSU (1-0). Washington opened the season with a 21-12 victory at home over San Diego State, failing to cover the 15 point line. LSU, who lost last year’s BCS National Championship Game in their re-match with Alabama, opened their season with a 41-14 laugher at home over North Texas, failing to cover a massive 44 point spread.
The Huskies feature junior quarterback Keith Price (3,063 yards passing and 33 TDs in 2011) along with sophomore running back Bishop Sankey (66 yards and 1 TD last week) on a young offensive unit that lost their top runner, Jesse Callier for the season to an ACL injury last week. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who had 9 catches for 82 yards, last week, is a big target (6-foot-6, 266 lbs.) that could cause matchup problems for LSU.
LSU has a new face under center this season in junior Zach Mettenberger, who threw for 192 yards with one TD and one INT is his first career start last week. The Tigers will rely on a powerful running game by committee with RBs Kenny Hilliard, Allred Blue, Michael Ford and Spencer Ware (141 yards and 2 TDs last week); that ran for 316 yards last week against a Huskie defense that allowed 199 yards rushing to San Diego St. last week.
Washington vs. LSU Spread and Betting Odds:
Washington Huskies +24
@ LSU Tigers -24
Over 53 (-110)
Under 53 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv <- $250 FREE BET
Washington vs. LSU Pick:
Washington is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games against teams with winning records, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on grass. LSU is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on grass. The over is 8-3 in the Huskies’ last 11 non-conference games, and 8-3 in their last 11 games following an ATS loss. The Over is 4-0 in the Tigers’ last 4 games against the PAC-12, and 5-1 in their last 6 non-conference games. The two teams last met in 2009 at Washington, when the Tigers won 31-23 and failed to cover a 10 point spread. LSU has won 18 straight games at Tigers Stadium.
LSU opened up with a strong performance, allowing only 219 yards to a lesser opponent, but there is room for improvement as the Tigers allowed 80 and 50-yard pass plays and failed to register a sack despite the presence of two defensive ends in Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo who are among the top D-lineman in the country. The group should perform better against a Washington offensive unit that features three sophomores on the offensive line, and lost running back Callier and tackle Ben Riva to injuries in last week’s victory. The Tigers are 28-0 in non-conference games under Head Coach Les Miles, and that first defeat does not figure to come in this contest in Death Valley, which is one of the toughest road environments in the country. The spread is simply too high to play though with LSU playing a lackluster game last week against an opponent far below the caliber of Washington. The Tigers will win this game, they are 21-4 against current PAC-12 teams and have not lost at home in almost three years, and they will likely score some points early and pound the ball at the Huskies, control the time of possession and keep their offense off of the field. With a depleted running game, Washington will be vulnerable to a fierce LSU pass rush and this game should be a one-sided affair. LSU will win handily, but they may not pour it on enough to cover, the under is the safer play here with Washington unlikely to score many points against one of the toughest defenses in the country.
PICK = Under 53