While many Louisiana residents will spend the weekend attempting to recover from the effects of Hurricane Isaac, the LSU Tigers will return to the football field for the first time since losing the BCS National Championship to Alabama on January 9. Although Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge did suffer some slight damage during the storm, it will be ready at game time when the Tigers host the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday, September 1.
The Tigers' schedule was impacted leading up to the game, with weather conditions halting practices. However, as an LSU fan, I do not expect to see this lead to disappointing results in Saturday's game. The Tigers have much to prove this season and should be ready to bounce back from January's crushing 21-0 title loss. Of course, the road back to a BCS bowl game begins with the North Texas matchup.
The Mean Green should prove to be a good opening week test for the Tigers after finishing 4-4 in the Sun Belt Conference and 5-7 overall in 2011. Among the key players returning for North Texas this year are quarterback Derek Thompson, tight end Andrew Power, linebacker Zachary Orr and several top receivers. The team ranked 1st in the conference and 15th in the nation with a turnover margin of +9.
Still, I am hoping for a big win by LSU on Saturday. With sophomore Zach Mettenberger making his first start at quarterback, the offense will be led by running backs Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard, along with receiver Odell Beckham. I am expecting to see the Tigers' defense dominate Saturday's game after finishing second in the country in 2011 in both yards and points allowed. Many players from last year's defense are returning, including Sam Montgomery, who totaled nine sacks, and Eric Reid, who had 76 tackles.
Fans all over the state will likely be taking a break during the game, tuning in to televisions and radios after cleaning houses, businesses and yards all day long. Hopefully the Tigers can give fans some temporary relief in the form of a big opening night victory over North Texas.
Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints' first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- LSU Tigers
- North Texas Mean Green
- BCS National Championship