LSU Football: 5 Keys to the Game vs. Idaho
On paper, everything points to this one being a blowout.
But when No. 3 LSU hosts Idaho on Saturday night under the lights at Tiger Stadium, make no doubt about it that Les Miles will have his team ready to play.
After two blowout wins to kick off the 2012 season, this LSU team would love to make it three straight big wins as it prepares for SEC play.
Idaho, on the other hand, is 0-2 entering this game. The Vandals have struggled on both sides of the ball, but they do have a young, promising quarterback that should get some much-needed experience against a high-powered LSU team in this one.
With that said, let's go ahead and break down five keys to LSU's Saturday night matchup against Idaho.
Bleacher Report Style!
1. Don't Turn the Ball over
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LSU is obviously heavily favored in this game, but there is one thing that could stop this from being an old-fashioned butt kickin'—turnovers.
If LSU turns the ball over multiple times, then Idaho could stay in this game.
Zach Mettenberger needs to control this football game from start to finish by making smart passes, handing the ball off to his talented backs and not forcing any unnecessary throws.
If LSU can take care of the ball, this one should be a blowout by halftime.
2. Establish the Run
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LSU has outscored its opponents 82-17 through the first two games of the 2012 season.
How and why?
It's simple, really—a dominant rushing game.
The Tigers have combined to rush for 558 yards and seven touchdowns in those two games. That is an incredible statistic in its own right, and one that the Tigers should continue to try and build on in Week 3 against Idaho.
If Les Miles' team can establish the run early on and stick with it, then LSU should be well on its way to a 3-0 start heading into SEC play next week.
3. Pressure the Quarterback
Dominique Blackman isn't Matt Barkley by any means, but this kid is a talented quarterback who showed a lot of promise in Idaho's 21-13 loss to Bowling Green last week.
Blackman completed 30-of-37 passes for 352 yards and a touchdown in the game. He has good size, speed and throwing ability.
If Blackman gets on a roll, LSU could have trouble stopping this guy.
Chances are that with a dominant defensive line and Eric Reid patrolling the secondary, this LSU defense should be just fine.
But Blackman can make any defense look silly if it doesn't pay attention to him.
4. Don't Think Ahead
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Last week's game against Washington was considered by many to be a potential "trap game" for the Tigers.
LSU put an end to that quickly, blowing out Washington by a final score of 41-3.
Les Miles' team has to bring that same type of mindset into this game against Idaho on Saturday night.
With LSU's SEC opener on the road against Auburn just a week away, it;s tough not to look ahead to that game featuring the past two SEC champions. But at the same time, this LSU team must focus on the task at hand and make sure it leaves Baton Rouge with a victory over Idaho before even thinking about that Auburn matchup.
I imagine that Les Miles will have his team ready to go for this game, regardless of the opponent's record.
5. Get Everyone Involved
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This is a game where every LSU player should get some game action.
Of course, this isn't a key to winning the game, but it is a key to make everyone happy. And believe me, everyone is in a good mood after a blowout win where everyone gets to see the field.
Zach Mettenberger has been solid in his first two starts this season, but it would be nice to get redshirt freshman Stephen Rivers some action in this game as well.
We know that Tharold Simon is an elite cornerback, but what about getting some of those young freshman defensive backs some playing experience?
If LSU can jump out to an early, commanding lead, it sure would be nice to see everyone get some playing time in this upcoming game.