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Idaho vs. LSU: Complete Game Preview

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2016

Idaho vs. LSU: Complete Game Preview

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    Les Miles will have his LSU football team focused and ready for Saturday's home game against WAC opponent, Idaho.

    But from an outsider's perspective looking in, this game is about as far from even as one can get.

    The Tigers have started the season in dominant fashion thus far, posting a 2-0 record and outscoring their opening opponents by a combined score of 82-17. LSU has been exceptional in all aspects of the game, specifically in the run game on offense and on the defensive line.

    Idaho, on the other hand, has been everything but dominant.

    The Vandals are 0-2 and have been outscored by the likes of East Washington and Bowling Green by a combined score of 41-16. In fact, Idaho has yet to score a rushing touchdown this season, which certainly dosen't bode well for the team's chances in this one.

    With that said, let's go ahead and provide a complete game preview for Idaho vs. LSU.

    Bleacher Report Style!

Gameday Information

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    Who: Idaho at LSU 

    When: Saturday, 8 p.m. (EDT)

    Where: Baton Rouge, La.

    Stadium: Tiger Stadium

    TV: ESPN3

Depth Chart for LSU

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    Offense

    QB  8 Zach Mettenberger

           17 Steven Rivers

    RB   4 Alfred Blue

           27 Kenny Hilliard

    FB   44 J.C. Copeland

           43 Connor Neighbors

    X     82 James Wright

           86 Kadron Boone

    Z     3 Odell Beckham Jr.

           10 Russell Shepard

    3-Wide 80 Jarvis Landry

    LT   68 Josh Dworaczyk

    RT   72 Alex Hurst

    LG  70 La'el Collins

    RG  74 Josh Williford

    C    P.J. Lonergan

    Defense

    LE  49 Barkevious Mingo

    LT  77 Josh Downs

    RT  18 Bennie Logan

          90 Anthony Johnson

    RE  99 Sam Montgomery

    LB  52 Luke Muncie

    LB  46 Kevin Minter

    LB  57 Lamin Barrow

    CB  32 Jalen Collins

          28 Jalen Mills

    CB  24 Tharold Simon

    FS  1 Eric Reid

    SS  6 Craig Loston

Depth Chart for Idaho

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    Offense

    QB 3 Dominique Blackman, Jr.
    12 Taylor Davis, Jr.

    RB 5 Ryan Bass, Sr.
    7 James Baker, Jr.

    WR 10 Marsel Posey, Sr.
    87 Daniel Micheletti, Jr.

    WR 18 Mike Scott, Sr.
    15 Marquan Major, RFr.

    WR 1 Justin Veltung, Sr.
    15 Marquan Major, RFr.

    TE 80 Michael LaGrone, Jr.
    81 Taylor Elmo Jr.

    LT 79 Spencer Beale, Soph.
    70 Niklaus Von Rotz, Jr.

    LG 52 A.J. Jones, Sr.
    55 Dallas Sandberg, RFr.

    C 74 Mike Marboe, Soph.
    68 Guy Reynolds, Jr.

    RG 77 Jordan Johnson, Jr.
    69 Larry Dugan, Jr.

    RT 63 Brady Lisoski, Sr.
    - Semisi Tupou, Jr.

    Defense

    DE 92 Maxx Forde, Soph.
    98 Quinton Bradley, RFr.

    DT 88 Dontae Scott, Sr.
    90 Karel Kearney, Soph.

    NT 57 Quayshawne Buckley, Jr.
    42 Aaron Lazaro, Jr.

    DE 10 Benson Mayowa, Sr.
    99 Kesse Davis, Soph.

    SLB 33 Conrad Scheidt, Sr.
    39 Matthew Willis, Jr.

    MLB 19 Homer Mauga, Sr.
    35 Su’a Tuala, Sr.

    WLB 1 Robert Siavii, Sr.
    - Elijah Sala, Jr.

    CB 14 Tracy Carter, Jr.
    2 Kenneth Patten, Sr.

    FS 3 Gary Walker, Sr.
    11 Bradley Njoku, Soph.

    SS 24 Thaad Thompson, Sr.
    7 Trey Williams. Jr.

    CB 6 Aaron Grymes, Sr.
    8 Dion Bass, Soph.

What Happend to the Tigers Last Week

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    LSU had one of the most dominant performances of the early 2012 season.

    The Tigers rushed for a combined 242 yards in a commanding 41-3 blowout win over Washington.

    The Huskies were expected to give the Tigers a run for their money, but Les Miles' team used a dominant rushing attack and a relentless pass rush to steamroll Washington and start the season out with a 2-0 record.

What Happend to Idaho Last Week

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    Idaho quarterback Dominique Blackman did all he could to get the Vandals their first victory of the season, passing for a game-high 352 yards and completing 30-of-37 passes. But in the end, Idaho fell short to Bowling Green by a final score of 21-13.

    Despite keeping the score close throughout, Idaho never led in this game and couldn't find an answer for Bowling Green's passing game.

    With the loss, the Vandals dropped to 2-0 and now have the challenge of going on the road and facing the No. 3 ranked LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge.

    Certainly, not an easy task for this Idaho team.

What It Means to Both Teams

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    To LSU, this game should be looked at as a tune-up game for the Tigers' SEC opener at Auburn the following week.

    Of course, LSU will not take this game against Idaho lightly, but chances are that the backups will be playing by the third quarter. It is a chance to see some of the depth the Tigers have and get some of the younger, less experienced guys some playing time.

    For Idaho, this game means essentially nothing.

    It is a chance to shock the world, but the chances of Idaho leaving Baton Rouge with a victory are the same chances that Jordan Jefferson makes it as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

    It's just not happening.

Key Player for LSU

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    The key player for LSU in this game will be junior running back Alfred Blue.

    The speedy tailback has established himself as the lead back in this LSU offense early on this season, and this will be another test to see if he can maintain that position.

    In two games, Blue has rushed for a combined 224 yards and has led the Tigers in carries in both games.

    If LSU is going to be a National Title Contender this season, they will need that type of consistent production from their backfield, and that starts with Alfred Blue.

Key Player for Idaho

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    Idaho's offense goes as quarterback Dominique Blackman goes.

    Blackman is a southpaw with good speed and a solid arm. He has been one of the lone bright spots in this Idaho offense up to this point, passing for 352 yards and a touchdown in the Vandals' 21-13 loss to Bowling Green last weekend.

    Blackman won the starting quarterback job, but did not play in the first game. He cemented himself as the Vandals' starter in Week 2 and should receive all the first-team reps from here on out.

    If LSU's defense can shut down Blackman, this Idaho offense will have trouble getting much of anything going on the offensive side of the ball.

LSU Will Win If ....

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    LSU Will Win If.... They show up for the game.

    In all reality, this one has all the makings of an old fashioned college football butt kickin'.

    LSU has been outstanding throughout the first two games of the 2012 season, and Idaho has been anything but that.

    LSU will rely on a dominant rushing attack to expose this Idaho defense. Look for the Tigers to control both the line of scrimmage and time of possession throughout this game and to ride that backfield to a convincing victory.

    If LSU dosen't turn the ball over, this should be a rout.

Idaho Will Win If

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    Idaho will win if...

    Everything goes absolutely flawless for them and nothing goes right for LSU.

    Even then, it's hard to believe that an 0-2 Idaho team stands a chance against the No. 3 ranked LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge.

    Idaho has to catch some luck in a bottle if they are going to hang with the Tigers in this one.

    But hey, it could happen, right?

Prediction

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    LSU will run the football all over this Idaho defense to a tune of 250-plus yards and at least four rushing touchdowns in this game.

    As if this game wasn't enough of a mismatch to begin with, take into account the fact that this is a prime-time night game in Baton Rouge.

    Don't be surprised to see LSU's backups get a lot of work in the second half.

    Another Stephen Rivers sighting seems inevitable on Saturday night.

    If LSU can put up 41 points against the third best team in the Pac-12, how many points might they put up against the 0-2 Vandals?

    Make it: LSU 49, Idaho 0

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