A tough bowl season for the Locks (4-6) and you may want to “fade” me in this game. I do have a pretty good feeling on this one. I went back and forth for the past few days trying to figure this one out. It seems like all the so called experts are taking O$U, so I’ll go the other way.
LSU -3.5 v. O$U : This game opened up at LSU -6 and has come down all the way to -3.5 (buy the half point to -3) meaning the money is coming in on THE Ohio State University (I always hated that saying for some reason). Everyone is buying into the “revenge” game factor and how prepared the Buckeyes will be for this game. In fact, HC Jim “McSweater-vest” Tressel put together a 10 minute DVD of all the negative comments made about the Buckeyes over last year’s throttling at the hands of the Gators. That is fine and dandy for the first 5 minutes of a game, but after that your running, hitting and blocking some fast and big boys on the other team. So you better have more than emotion on your side. Both of these teams defenses are very, very salty. LB J. Lauranaitis and DE V. Gholston anchor a Buckeye D that is ranked in the Top 10 in almost every major defensive category. The question is have they been tested this year, as O$U has not faced a team ranked in the top 20 at the time the Buckeyes played them. O$U’s SOS is also a little shaky (played Kent St, Youngstown St and Akron to win the Ohio Governor’s Cup). Likewise, LSU’s D is big and fast with a healthy DT G. Dorsey leading the way. Also, watch LB A. Highsmith and DBs C. Jackson and J. Zenon. LSU’s secondary is so good that they can play man and send LBs on blitzes when they want to. The real difference in this game, IMO, lies on the offensive side of the ball. O$U relies on the power running of RB C. Wells and the steady play of QB T. Boeckman ….. they are steady but not spectacular. I am not sure I want a NC riding on Boeckman. On the other side, LSU has power and speed. RB J. Hester is a bruiser, WRs E. Doucet, D. Byrd and T. Tolliver are all weapons. QBs M. Flynn and R. Perriloux give the Tigers some flexibility as well. Also watch for a big play on ST from T. Holliday who is the fastest player in CFB. The thing that really worries me is the coaching match-up as Tressel seems like the safer bet than Miles, but Miles is 34-6 at LSU in past 3 years for a reason ……. players. LSU has the better overall talent, they are healthy and they are basically playing a home game in the NOLA Dome (that place gets loud, believe me). I see a low scoring, hard fought game with LSU making a couple of big plays in the second half to pull away. LSU 24 O$U 14