No. 9 LSU will host UAB on Saturday in Baton Rouge after a strong victory against TCU in Week 1.
Les Miles' Tigers defeated the Horned Frogs in Week 1, 37-27. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger passed for 251 yards and a touchdown, while junior running back Terrence Magee scampered for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, UAB lost its season opener in an overtime thriller against Troy, 34-31. The Blazers posted 447 yards of total offense, but they also gave up 497 yards of total offense in the loss. Sophomore quarterback Austin Brown's fine performance (301 yards, three touchdowns) went for naught.
Here's a breakdown of the clash on Saturday, complete with my prediction.
When: Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.
Betting Line (via Bovada): LSU -35
UAB Injuries (via USA Today)
Tamar Mickens, RB, Questionable (Knee)
Tristan Henderson, TE, Questionable (Eligibility)
Bashr Coles, RB, Doubtful (Knee)
Hayden Naumann, OL, Doubtful (Knee)
LSU Injuries (via USA Today)
Tahj Jones, LB, Probable, (Undisclosed)
Travis Dickson, TE, Probable (Undisclosed)
Jeremy Hill, RB, Probable (Suspension)
Corey Thompson, S, Questionable (Shoulder)
Armand Williams, WR, Out for Season (Knee)
Avery Peterson, WR, Out for Season (Ankle)
Josh Willifod, G, Out Indefinitely (Concussion)
Top Storyline: Will LSU Running Back Jeremy Hill Return from Suspension?
Sophomore running back Jeremy Hill was held out of LSU's Week 1 victory over TCU after he was arrested under suspicion of battery and breaching probation in the offseason and consequently suspended by the team.
LSU coach Les Miles hasn't said yet whether Hill will appear in LSU's game against UAB.
He said on Tuesday, per Jim Kleinpeter of the Times-Picayune: "We'll put him on the field, I guess I should say, when we're ready. I think he's coming. I think his time is in front of us."
Well, while fans hope that Miles says something soon, it is worth noting that the Tigers didn't exactly feel Hill's absence in Week 1. Junior Terrence Magee and senior Alfred Blue combined for 184 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Still, Hill is the most talented of the three backs, posting 755 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 5.3 yards per carry in 2012-13. That included exploding for 124 yards and two touchdowns against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Prediction: LSU 45, UAB 13
Will LSU cover the 34.5-point spread on Saturday?
With or without Jeremy Hill, LSU should roll in Baton Rouge on Saturday.
Magee and Blue showed that they are more than capable of carrying the load for the time being, and Zach Mettenberger wasn't bad either.
Against TCU—who came into the season ranked 20th—the Tigers put on an all-around display that screams "underrated."
The fact that UAB lost to Troy—ranked 100th in the nation by the Orlando Sentinel in the offseason—says a lot. Giving up 34 points to Troy doesn't speak well to UAB's chances against LSU's offense, especially with Saturday's clash being played in Baton Rouge.