College Football fans!
The wait is almost over.
We are under 24 hours from kickoff and it's time to get this game underway.
For those of you who do or don't follow college football closely, here is what you need to know about the Oregon Ducks and the LSU Tigers.
Here are the seven big names from each team that you need to know.
Many have joked that this game will be the “Lyles” Bowl.
Both the Oregon Ducks and LSU Tigers have their own issues with questionable transgressions with Lyles.
Oregon is being investigated by the NCAA for their recruitment of running backs Lache Seastrunk and LaMichael James, and Lyles’ potential involvement in the recruiting process.
LSU’s situation is similar, but far less severe.
There’s no doubt that coverage of this game will mention Lyles’ name multiple times.
LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson has had problems with consistency and decision-making in his career with the Tigers, but it’s all out the window, as he will miss the game.
Rumors surrounding Jefferson’s involvement in a bar fight that sent two men to the hospital with severe injuries have been thrown around, and a video with what could be Jefferson kicking a man in the head has been released.
If you can make out which pixel is Jefferson, your eyesight is better than mine.
Oregon’s Cliff Harris earlier this offseason was caught by Oregon law enforcement going 118 MPH on a suspended license.
Harris (32 tackles 6 interceptions) has had numerous off-the-field issues and has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Chip Kelly.
With the Ducks, Harris was an all-American cornerback and the nation’s best punt returner.
In Harris’ absence, redshirt freshman Terrence Mitchell will start at corner.
Since taking over the LSU Tigers head coaching position in 2005, Les Miles has a 62-17 record in the Bayou.
Head coach Les Miles in 2007 won a championship for the Tigers.
With his great accomplishments, Miles is most often talked about for his questionable decisions late in ball games and horrible clock management.
Miles’ eccentric personality, including eating grass from the field, is sure to be brought up by during the game.
Oregon’s head coach, Chip Kelly, is widely regarded as one of the bright minds in all of college football.
Since joining the Oregon coaching staff in 2007 as the offensive coordinator, Oregon has been in or around the top-10 in total offense nearly every year.
Kelly has a record of 22-4 as a head coach for the Ducks.
With the return of running backs LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner, as well as quarterback Darron Thomas, the Ducks should again be near or at the top in college football.
With quarterback Jordan Jefferson suspended, senior Jarrett Lee will get the nod.
Jefferson’s scrambling ability gives him a slight edge, but Lee is a better pocket passer.
Watch how Lee performs against a strong Oregon secondary that is missing their best cornerback.
Lee is ahead of JUCO transfer Zach Mettenburg on the depth chart, but if Lee struggles early don’t be surprised to see Mettenburg in the game.
Oregon’s Darron Thomas (3,367 total yards 35 total touchdowns) is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in college football.
With all of the focus on Oregon’s talented stable of running backs, Thomas quietly led the Ducks to the national championship game in his first year as a starter.
The focus is again on Oregon’s star running back, and rightfully so, so expect Thomas to silently make his way into Heisman contention.
As mentioned in the earlier slide, Sheppard will be suspended indefinitely for reasons separate from Jordan Jefferson’s suspension.
Shepard will be suspended for comments he made regarding his involvement with Texas-based scout Willie Lyles.
Shepard was supposed to be one of LSU’s starting receivers, but sophomores Chris Toliver and James White attempt to replace him.
Many like to use the nickname “Nike U” in context with the university of Oregon.
While it is true that Nike is the official provider of all Oregon gear, that nickname isn’t really fitting.
Major Oregon Ducks’ booster Phil Knight (founder and former Nike CEO) has given the university and its football program hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few decades.
Fans have even nicknamed Knight, “Uncle Phil”.
When mentioning Oregon’s many combinations of uniforms, look for Knight to be discussed.
LSU’s starting running back from 2010, Stevan Ridley, is gone now to the NFL.
Losing Ridley should not go overlooked, but the Tigers do have a guy by the name of Spencer Ware (175 yards 1 TD) who is more than capable of taking over as the starter.
Ware will share carries with tailback Michael Ford.
As mentioned in previous slides, LaMichael James (1,939 total yards 24 total touchdowns) is one of the premiere players in the country.
His quick burst and ability to make big plays out of a busted play make him the most explosive player in the country.
James finished 2010 as a Heisman
Analysts like Kirk Herbstreit have gone out and predicted James to win the Heisman, which is not a stretch by any means.
It should be interesting to see how James does against one of the top D-lines in the country.
Randle (33 receptions, 544 yards, 3 TDs) is the Tigers top receiver and one of LSU’s most dynamic playmakers.
With Russell Sheppard suspended for the Tigers, expect the Tigers to go to Randle for most of their deep passing situations.
Also, even though Jarvis Landry is playing for the Tigers, he has been battling a leg injury and may not be at 100 percent for LSU.
Oregon has the best stable of running backs in the country.
Starter LaMichael James has already been featured in this slideshow; now is second string back, Kenjon Barner.
Barner (672 total offense 8 TDs on offense) is the most talented 2nd string tailback in the country, and he could start on 90 percent of college football teams.
Barner is the starting kickoff and punt returner for the Ducks.
LSU’s Kendrick Adams (27 tackles) is one of the top defensive linemen in the country. Adams started 11 games for the Tigers in 2010, and he is one of the many hard-nosed players in LSU’s front-7.
Expect Adams to have a big game against Oregon’s inexperienced O-line.
Oregon’s secondary is one of the tops in the conference (even with Harris being suspended).
Boyett (78 tackles 5 INTs), in the wake of Harris’ absence, is Oregon’s best defensive player at the free safety position.
With Harris out, Boyett will be the face of Oregon’s defense and will need a big game against LSU.