If our Ducks make it to the BCS Championship Game, who will they face? How will it go? As an early BCS Championship prediction, how would LSU fare against Oregon? Would this matchup be anything like the 2011 season opener? Probably not.
Last season, LSU’s greatest strength was its defense. Between holding teams to an average of just 2.63 yards per carry, 4.7 yards per pass attempt, or 17.27 yards per kickoff return, the Tigers kept opponents to a minimum. Not to mention, LSU intercepted 10 passes and registered 20 sacks on the season. Though coming into the 2013 season the Tigers lose seven defensive starters, the talent in Baton Rouge seems sufficient to fill the missing spaces.
In 2012 LSU lacked what made them such an elite team in past years, but Les Miles’ team still won 10 games. Last year the Tigers had a solid running game, but without running back Jeremy Hill, LSU may struggle on the ground. Further, while LSU has solid replacements on defense, depth is an issue. Being forced to pass into the teeth of the Oregon secondary and struggling to their own defense fresh for the entire game is not a recipe for succes against the Ducks.
If the final game of the 2013 season is a rematch of the 2011 opener, it’s bad news for the Tigers. Though the Duck offense is nothing less than explosive, it will need to stay on its game 100% of the time against the Tiger’s strong – but subject to wear and tear – defense. Then there’s the X factor – the Black Mamba is no longer a rookie. If this matchup occurs, look for Oregon’s D to shut down LSU while the Ducks take it to them on offense, particularly as the game wears on. Final score: Oregon 35, LSU 17.