Opponent Blogger Q&A: LSU Tigers


Ole Hotty Toddy had an opportunity to discuss the upcoming LSU game with Patrick Schmidt, the Editor of fellow Fansided site: DeathValleyVoice.com

Patrick is an experienced college football writer who has covered the sport for a number of outlets and also hosts a weekly sports show for WISC-Chicago and Sportstownchicago.com. Patrick is also frequent guest on radio shows throughout the country. He currently is the editor of Fansided’s DeathValleyVoice.com. You can follow Patrick on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and @DeathValleyFS.

Ole Miss and Texas A&M went to the final minutes last weekend. Ole Miss also gave LSU a close game last year. What are LSU fans saying about the Ole Miss game? A concern or pushover?

LSU doesn’t think Ole Miss is a pushover because of how well they played A&M the week before and the scare they gave them in Death Valley last year. However, having said that, LSU fans are confident in coming away victorious because this offense is vastly improved from the one they saw last year and the number of injuries the Rebels are dealing with.

Which LSU players (one offense, one defense) are going to be the key factors?

Defensively, the key players are the corners Rashard Robinson, Tre’Davious White and nickel back Jalen Mills. White was a highly regarded corner recruit and he and Robinson are both freshmen so Laquon Treadwell will have a fellow freshman on him the whole game. Whoever is not on Treadwell will have to man up against Donte Moncrief who is a big play waiting to happen. Mills started the season as a starting corner was benched in favor of Robinson for the Florida game and played the nickel. He will be on the field a lot with the number of 3 and 4 wide receiver sets Hugh Freeze runs. He may also be matched up against tight end Evan Engram at times.

What about an injury report? Any key players going to be out for LSU?

Starting SAM LB Tajh Williams is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury, but Jordan Allen is expected to play at defensive end. He’s the 3rd end so he’ll see some time in the rotation.

What is a weakness of LSU the Rebels are going to have to capitalize on to keep this game close?

LSU ranks 52nd in rush defense at 152.6 ypg, but was pretty stout in their last game against Florida, holding them to 111 yards on the ground.

Which Ole Miss player are you most concerned about being a key factor?

This game hinges on which Bo Wallace shows up. I wrote earlier this week that he’s the reason Ole Miss can potentially pull off the upset, but he’s also the reason Ole Miss finds themselves down 21 in the first half. If he isn’t turning the ball over, this is going to be a good game.

What advantages do you see both teams having in the game?

The advantages LSU has are their well-balanced offense that is averaging more than 41 per game and a defense coming off their best game of the year. A confident defense and the 16th ranked scoring offense is a nice combination. For Ole Miss they have the home crowd who still believes in this team despite 3 straight losses and a creative offensive coach in Hugh Freeze. Don’t discount the underdog mentality and a desperate team who will pull out all the stops after coming up just short vs. A&M. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Freeze go for a couple 4th downs as he did against Alabama knowing he’s short=handed against a superior team.

 I think Mettenberger will have a big game. He wasn’t asked to do a lot against Florida against their dominant secondary, but I think he will approach 275 yards and 2-3 td’s. The defense has so many guys banged up at all levels that I don’t think the pass rush will get to him and he’ll have time to stand in the pocket and let his receivers get open.

Where do you see both teams at the end of the regular season?

If LSU wins out they’re going to be in the BCS title game, but they still have A&M and Alabama on the schedule in November, so that’s a tall order, but is the defense plays as it did against Florida and the offense continues doing what it’s done the first 7 weeks, then they have a great shot. Ole Miss will finally be past their gauntlet to start the season and should rattle off a few wins in a row leading up to the Egg Bowl. As it always it, that game will define the season for Ole Miss. I think they’ll get to 7 wins like last year and another bowl berth.

This is a historic rivalry with so many memorable moments. What is your favorite moment in a game?

Odell Beckham’s 89-yard punt return to tie the game in the 4th quarter in last year’s game was a pretty huge moment. But the game at Death Valley in 2010 was a pretty great game if you like offense. LSU won 43-36 after Stevan Ridley ran in for the GW TD with 44 seconds to go as LSU scored 20 in the 4th quarter. That game saw 9 lead changes and two ties as LSU won for their 10th game for the 4th time in the last 6 seasons. LSU won a number of close games that season. In fact, the won 6 games by a touchdown or less that year which was a program record. Also of note, Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden from Ole Miss were the two big stars in that game and now are teammates with the New England Patriots.

 Prediction of the game with a final score?

I think LSU wins 42-28. Too much offense and too many injuries from the Ole Miss side to deal with. I think it will be close through the first 2.5-3 quarters before LSU pulls away because the Rebels just don’t have sufficient depth right now.