Syracuse puts its perfect 3-0 record on the line when it hosts No. 8 LSU on Saturday. Here’s a quick look at the game:
EARLY HEISMAN FAVORITE: LSU running back Leonard Fournette convincingly stated his case for college football’s top prize on Saturday. In a 45-21 win over No. 18 Auburn, Fournette gashed the Tigers for a career-high 228 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. The scariest part? “He had not a carry in the fourth quarter,” LSU head coach Les Miles said during his weekly press luncheon. Through two SEC games this season, Fournette has compiled 387 yards and six TDs, making him the early favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Polls from ESPN, CBSSports.com and USA Today all have Fournette atop the Heisman watch. “I’m for national awards to our players, and I think Leonard is a good person and somebody who could easily be considered for a number of national awards,” Miles said. “I think our team recognizes that if we have success and continue to do the things we’re capable of doing, there will be a lot of national awards sprinkled throughout the team.”
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Lost in the Fournette hoopla on Saturday was a stingy defense that held Auburn to just 260 yards of total defense and collected five sacks. Through two games, the Tigers have eight sacks (DT Davon Godchaux has three of them), which is already nearly half of the total of the entire 2014 season, when LSU had 19. “We pressured the quarterback from the start,” Miles said. “Felt like we had a great game plan.” The Tigers are also holding opponents to just 101.5 rushing yards per game, which ranks No. 10 in the country. Credit should go to new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. Even the 21 points allowed against Auburn seems like a bit of a mirage because the points came after the Tigers had already gone up 24-0. The defense may even get better against Syracuse, with Preseason First Team All-SEC defensive back Jalen Mills practicing this week after he fractured his fibula during the preseason.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: The two teams have met twice, both in bowl games. The Tigers defeated Syracuse in the 1965 Sugar Bowl at old Tulane Stadium 13-10. In the 1989 Hall of Fame Bowl (now called the Outback Bowl), the Orange defeated LSU 23-10. Robert Drummond won MVP honors, carrying the ball 23 times for 122 yards and a pair of TDs.
GAME INFORMATION: Saturday, Sept. 26 at noon at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. TV: ESPN.