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Kentucky Wildcat Football – Know Your Enemy: LSU Tigers



10/1/2011, 12:21 PM

#1 LSU TIGERS (4-0)





10/13/2007:  KENTUCKY  43  LSU  37 (3 OT)

10/14/2006:  LSU  49  KENUCKY 0

Kentucky will square off with newly crowned #1 LSU this Saturday in Baton Rouge, looking to end
a four game road SEC losing streak. UK was able to upset LSU in 2007 when the Tigers were #1
and eventual National Champions However, the last time the Cats played in Baton Rouge, they got
demolished 49-0. Here’s what to look for against LSU:

OffenseThe LSU offense has been very efficient, scoring 38.8 ppg. They focus on wearing you down with
their running game, which ranks 48th nationally, which is features their two-headed monster combo
of Spencer Ware and Michael Ford. Both have 300 yards rushing this year and a combined 9 TD’s.
Ware isn’t the fastest or most elusive back, but will pound out yards after contact as good as any back
in college football. He constantly runs up the middle and carries two or more defenders forward for
medium gains and wears down defenses. When he gets a rest, Ford is the more elusive back and will
look to break his runs to the outside for longer runs, though no LSU RB has a run longer than 26 yards
this year. This teams loves to ground and pound out long drives so that by the fourth quarter, their
offense can have its way, and their defense is rested and can keep their heavy blitz pressure going. QB
Jarrett Lee has been an efficient passer, throwing for 624 yards , 6 TD’s, and only one pick. When
he looks to pass, his primary targets are WR Reuben Randle, WR Odell Beckham, and TE DeAngelo
Peterson. Randle, their 6-4, 208 lb receiver is a huge red zone target. LSU’s offensive line is very
experienced, with 4/5 starters being juniors or seniors, and are ranked 18th nationally in sacks allowed
with only three.

This game should mark the return of formely suspended QB/felon Jordan Jefferson.  To be honest, I think the Tigers are a beter team with Jarrett Lee running the show as Jefferson tends to play out of control and tries to create the big play more, which can result in turnovers.  In my opinion (Paul), Jefferson is one of the most over-hyped athletes in the NCAA.  He is compared to Michael Vick in college, but I think it’s a poor comparison at best.  A rusty Jefferson could give Kentucky a glimmer of hope, but if he struggles, I expect Lee to be brought in.

Defense:“Missed Opportunities” is something you’ll never hear with this defense. If you w\even give them a
hint of an opportunity to make a big play, they will make you pay dearly. UK cannot put the ball on the ground, have deflected passes, or any other mental mistakes when on offense, because LSU will turn the Cat’s mistakes into easy points. They’re scoring at least one defensive/special teams TD a game, so UK cannot give anything. Overall, their ranked 14th nationally in scoring defense, allowing 14.3 ppg.

They’ve allowed only six TD’s in four games thus far, and they were against two of the highest scoring
offense in college football in Oregon and West Virginia. They are ranked 13th in turnovers forced with 11. When UK is on offense or even special teams, they have to take note of where CB Tyrann Mathieu is lined up at. He has been the Tigers biggest playmaker. In four games he’s caused five turnovers and earned the defensive national player of the week award last week after forcing two critical turnovers against West Virginia which led to 14 LSU points. CB Morris Claiborne is no pushover either. After WVU cut LSU’s lead to six last week, Claiborne returned the next kickoff for a backbreaking TD that ended up being the turning point in the game. He’s also snagged two interceptions this year, so Morgan Newton will have to be extremely efficient with his passes or they will end up being six points the other way. DT Michael Brocker is LSU’s next best defender and best defensive lineman, as he leads the team with tackles for loss with 3.5 and has one sack on the year, but consistently pressure opposing QB’s.

Jason:  UK has yet to prove they can stop the run consistently, and that will be the key to who wins the game. Ultimately LSU is too physical for the Cats to handle and Spencer Ware and Michael Ford will control the game and eat up clock, and therefore give UK few opportunities to develop any offensive consistency against the Tiger’s vaunted defense. Any mistake the Cats make on offense(and trust me, they will) LSU will pounce on and turn this game into an easy blowout. Tigers win 37-13.

Paul:  Consider this week and last week the low valley of the Kentucky season.  After this week, everything will get better as on paper it can’t get any worse.  I hate to be negative, but LSU is a buzzsaw right now and Kentucky is dead wood waiting to be carved up.  It’s hard enough to win at Death Valley, but right now, being competitive (within 14 points) would be a moral victory.  I’m going to call for the worst possible outcome and hope that I am wrong, but if I am right, remember what happened in 2006 when Kentucky was on the short end of a 49-0 LSU victory.  So yea.  LSU 49  Kentucky 0 and pray we can turn this season around like in 2006. 

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