LSU doesn’t want a win Saturday in Lexington. In needs one.
Stress has already been put on the Tiger coaching staff. The offense stalled in a disappointing loss to Auburn. On the flip side, the defense is playing inspired but not at the level it can. Neither group has seen everything clicking in a single game.
That needs to change moving forward with the string of games left on the schedule against teams in the top 25. Fans and pundits alike are already talking about how hot Coach Ed Orgeron’s seat should be.
Here are five reasons why the Tigers could upset the Kentucky Wildcats.
LSU will somehow find a running game
Sep 18, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers running back Corey Kiner (21) is tackled as he leaps over Central Michigan Chippewas defensive back Dishon McNary (25) during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
This might seem obvious, but if LSU can have a balanced offensive attack, they could hang with anyone in the SEC and would probably beat most teams in the conference. But if they perform anything like they did against Auburn, or really any team this season, LSU will likely not win, especially against a solid Kentucky defense. In order to open up the passing game, LSU’s running backs have to get going and the offensive line has to hold up in protection.
The Tigers win the turnover battle
Sep 11, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy (99) recovers a fumble against the McNeese State Cowboys during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
This might be one of the easiest ways the Tigers can leave Lexington with a win. The Wildcats currently have the second worst turnover margin in the nation. They have no fumble recoveries and only three interceptions. On the other sideline, LSU have forced 13 turnovers. That could be one way the Tigers get an advantage.
Kayshon Boutte keeps scoring
Oct 2, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (1) catches a touchdown against Auburn Tigers safety Zion Puckett (10) in the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
When Kayshon Boutte is targeted, good things happen. Max Johnson and his top target are off to an incredibly hot start and if Boutte keeps finding ways to score, LSU’s offense will be in a good position to win.
The defense picks up the offense's slack
LSU linebacker Damone Clark (18) looks for the Mississippi State receiver during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Starkville, Miss. LSU won 28-25. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Don’t look now, but the Tiger defense has been playing really well over the last month. After getting key stops against Auburn and giving the ball back to its offense, the LSU defense was one of the lone bright spots in Baton Rouge. The defense has been covering and tackling well, young players have stepped up for injured ones and if they can limit big plays to Kentucky, LSU has a chance.
The LSU defensive front gets home
LSU defensive lineman Maason Smith (0) and defensive end Andre Anthony (3) celebrate a sack of McNeese State quarterback Cody Orgeron during the first half of aan NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Even though Bo Nix got away more times than LSU would have liked, it seemed like someone was in the backfield on every drop back against Auburn for the LSU front. Although LSU’s front four could be better in run defense, it’s clearly one of the best pass-rush units in the conference and they can wreak havoc in Lexington.