Two huge names in the lore of college football square off on Saturday. But, it’s a tale of two teams headed in decidedly different directions. Tennessee, still coping with Lane Kiffins quick dart to USC after only a season, are clearly still finding their feet under new coach Derek Dooley. Dooley, who arrived from Louisiana Tech, will be concerned with how it took overtime—and some spotty place kicking from their opponents— to get past a below-par Alabama-Birmingham team. LSU, on the other hand, looked good throughout as they beat a good West Virginia team. The No. 12 Tigers are looking to open 5-0 for the second consecutive season as they meet a Tennessee team that will enter this matchup unranked for the first time since 1988 on Saturday afternoon.
Last week LSU only picked up 230 yards on offense but were spared their blushes with some fine extra team’s play. This week, they can expect to move the ball with a bit more fluidity against a Tennessee team that has leaked 27 points per game on average.
For an SEC team that prides itself on running the ball and playing good defense, the Vols rank 81st in the country in points allowed. It’s not a good omen as they travel to Death Valley.The Volunteers will need to get better in the running game. That may be one of the grander understatements of the college football season but the vols have rushed for a measly 71 yards in their last two outings. If there is a bright spot for the Volunteers, it is the play of quarterback Matt Simms. He has thrown five touchdown passes in the last two games and looks as if he is gaining some confidence in Derek Dooley’s offense.
Tennessee vs LSU Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
@ LSU -16.5
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Tennessee vs LSU Prediction for Week 5:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – LSU is still finding its way as they continue to use tactics of how they can get more out of talented, yet turnover-prone quarterback Jordan Jefferson. Tennessee has been lambasted by the two ranked teams they have played and it may continue to be the dawning of a new day where Tennessee finds themselves regularly in the bottom half of the SEC East division. The Tigers will need to find a good rhythm but the Volunteers porous defense and inability to run the ball should make for a rough night. Throw in the fact this is a night game down on the Bayou where Tigers fans will have had a day of beverages and banter and it should be a loud and raucous crowd on hand to cheer Les Miles’ men onto an easy victory. The Tigers have covered this spread in four of their last seven outings with two pushes. Look for an easy Tiger victory.
Game Total Prediction– LSU has a good defense. I don’t think there is any question about that. Tennessee, on the other hand, has a most porous defense. That is what makes this game a bit tricky in terms of the over/under. But, a few stats could help guide you to make a play here. Consider: Under is 7-2 in TENN last 9 games in October. Under is 9-1 in LSU last 10 home games. Under is 8-1 in LSU last 9 games as a home favorite. We’ll go with the trends and stick with the under again.
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