The LSU Tigers enter the 2013 season as a bit more of an underdog than they are used to being. Finishing the 2012 season with a 10-3 record was a bit of a disappointment for Les Miles‘ squad who was projected by many to contend for a national title.
On the other side of the field, the TCU Horned Frogs have one of the top returning squads in the Big 12. They finished a mere 7-6 last season and underachieved ever since starting quarterback Casey Pachall left the team after game four for substance abuse problems. They ended up going 3-6 under freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin‘s lead.
LSU might be one of the nation’s best defenses, but the offense has just not been up to par. With Zach Mettenberger taking the snaps at quarterback, this team ranked just 85th nationally in total offense last season. Top running back Jeremy Hill was arrested in the offseason for punching a man at a bar, so if he can’t go this season, then Alfred Blue will get most of the carries for this unimpressive offense.
TCU’s offense was just a tad bit better than LSU’s last season under Boykin’s lead. While Pachall will be returning to the team as the likely starter in game one, the offense will still likely be a two-quarterback system.
With the eighth-best total defense in the national in 2012, the Tigers had it made on that side of the ball. However, with just three returning starters, including leading tackler and linebacker Lamin Barrow, could be a recipe for disaster. TCU is returning nine defensive starters including defensive end stud, Devonte Fields.
The LSU and TCU matchup will be played at a neutral location in Arlington, Texas, at 9 p.m. EST on Saturday, Aug. 31. The game will be aired on ESPN.
PREDICTION: LSU 21, TCU 17
Related: SEC Week One Prediction