Miami-FL Hurricanes (0-0) at LSU Tigers (0-0)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 2, 2018, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: LSU Tigers +3 -- Over/Under: 48
We have some opening week college football action on Sunday from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas as the Miami Hurricanes take on the LSU Tigers.
The Miami Hurricanes come into the 2018 season looking to build on a successful 2017 campaign that saw the ‘Canes finish 10-3, including a 7-1 record in ACC play to win the ACC Coastal division title for the first time and book a spot in the ACC title game where Miami fell to Clemson in a 38-3 rout. The Hurricanes then lost to Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl by a final score of 34-24. Malik Rosier is expected to start the season under center for Miami, but will be on a tight leash after completing just under 45% of his passes in Miami’s three game losing streak to end the year. Ahmmon Richards will head the ‘Canes receiving corps, with the likes of Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley alongside. Travis Homer will be expected to build on last season where he rushed for 6 yards per carry with 966 yards and 8 touchdowns while DeeJay Dallas and Brevin Jordan will be waiting in the wings should their name be called. Defensively, the Hurricanes will be looking to carry over last season’s turnover chain, finishing tops in the ACC and 3rd in the nation with 31 forced turnovers. The Hurricanes will be hard pressed to replicate last season’s 44 sacks with the likes of Trent Harris and Chad Thomas missing but still has one of the country’s best defensive ends in Joe Jackson. Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinkney and Zach McCloud will anchor the Hurricanes linebacking group while all four starters from the secondary last season are back, including leading tackler Jaquan Johnson.
The LSU Tigers will be looking to build on a good 2017 campaign of their own, finishing with a 9-4 mark overall, including a 6-2 record in SEC play which was good enough to finish 3rd in the SEC West. The Tigers received a berth in the Citrus Bowl, falling 21-17 to Notre Dame. The big issue for LSU is that the Tigers lost a huge part of their offense, including starting QB Danny Etling, starting running back Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams and receivers such as DJ Chark and Russell Gage. Myles Brennan, Justin McMillan and Lowell Narcisse will be battling for playing time under center with Brennan holding a slight edge with some game experience from last season. Whoever does get the nod at the starting pivot spot will have targets to throw to, including Justin Jefferson and Texas Tech transfer Jonathan Giles. Clyde Edwards and Nick Brossette will be tasked to be the 2018 version of Guice and Williams but there’s still a possibility that freshmen Tae Provens and Chris Curry could force their way into some touches as well. Defensively, LSU lost some pieces there as well, with Greg Gilmore and Christian LaCouture no longer on the LSU front line and Donte Jackson and Kevin Tolliver from the LSU secondary. LSU’s leading tackler Devin White returns along with Greedy Williams in the secondary to help LSU boast another potential top-tier defensive unit.
Miami is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 games against the SEC. LSU is 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the ACC while the under is 20-8-2 in their last 30 games overall.
LSU has the potential to be one of the more surprising teams in the country this season, but I need to see that the Tigers have addressed their issues on offense before instilling any faith in LSU going forward. Miami has the deeper and more experienced squad on offense and have an advantage in the trenches. Plus, I’m expecting big things from Rosier, with competition breathing down his neck and a chip on his shoulder in an effort to prove he’s a better QB than what everyone saw in Miami’s late season collapse last year. I’ll lay the field goal with the Hurricanes to start the year on a high note.