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CFN Prediction - NW State at LSU
Posted Sep 8, 2011

Week 2 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Northwestern State at LSU

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 2 - NW State at LSU

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Northwestern State (1-0) at LSU (1-0) Sept. 10, 8:00 ESPN3

Here’s The Deal … LSU will play its home opener against in-state foe Northwestern State in a matchup that’s nothing more than an exhale, coming home off a huge 40-27 opening week victory against Oregon that was far more one-sided than the final score may have appeared.

The Demons enter Baton Rouge for the first time since 1942, and they were lucky to escape with a 24-23 win over Division II Delta State in Week One. In a shortened home schedule for the Tigers this season, expect the locals to be rocking more than usual for a game against an FCS program especially getting a shot against a team with LSU’s talent. It’s a paycheck game, but the effort will be there to possibly make this interesting for a few drives.

Why Northwestern State Might Win: The only chance the Demons have of keeping this close is if the Tigers are still hungover from their celebration in Dallas. NW State went with a backup quarterback after the first couple of series last week, and Brad Henderson took advantage of the opportunity calmly completing 13-of-14 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown, while leading the Demons to a comeback victory after being down 17-0 at halftime. The junior QB will need to be just as efficient to have any chance of keeping his team in the game against the stout Tigers defense. If NW State can keep the turnovers to a minimum and control the ball, they may be able to make the home fans antsy through the first quarter, but it would be a huge shock if the Demons were within two scores at any point in the second half.

Why LSU Might Win: The counterparts from Natchitoches aren’t in the same stratosphere talent and athleticism-wise. The Demons gave up 421 total yards to Delta State, and LSU, if it cares, should be able to rack up that many yards in the first half. The Tigers did a great job on fundamentals against Oregon by keeping the mistakes to a minimum and not turning the ball over, and the errors shouldn’t be there this week to give NW State and hope.

On the flip side, NW State on the other hand was caught for 17 infractions totaling 154 yards in Week One. LSU QB Jarrett Lee should get all day to find open receivers downfield and get more in-sync with the young receiving corps that struggled to hold onto the ball against the Ducks. The Tiger defense should also have no trouble dominating the line of scrimmage against the smaller Demons front five, and defensive coordinator John Chavis should be able to dial up a heavy package of blitzes that will force mistakes to make this a blowout early on.

What To Watch Out For: Zach Mettenberger. The Tigers superstar quarterback recruit should finally get his first chance to make an appearance for an SEC team after originally signing with Georgia two years ago. Now that he has found a home at LSU, many Tigers fans expect him to make as big of an impact as Cam Newton did at Auburn. While that might be wishful thinking, Mettenberger has all the raw tools and abilities necessary to become a phenom on the bayou. With the starters likely settling in on the bench after the first half, he should get a chance to play considerable minutes and show Les Miles that he is ready for the big stage. 

What Will Happen: LSU may come out with a vanilla game plan at first, but the coaches know that they need to work on the aerial attack, so expect Jarrett Lee to wing it around a bit and put up considerable numbers through the air. Along with a running back tandem of Spencer Ware and Michael Ford leading the charge, the Tigers should be able to put this one out of reach by the half. Both running backs will reach the 100 yard mark, and the Lee/Mettenberger quarterback combo will throw for over 300 yards in the rout.

CFN Prediction: LSU 59 … Northwestern State 3
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