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WE PREDICT LSU'S 2021 SEASON: GAME BY GAME

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

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by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


I will be releasing a game by game explanation of each pick in even greater detail today, too, JOIN US WITH QUESTIONS AT THE READY HERE!


9/4 @ UCLA


Traveling to the Rose Bowl, with the purple, gold and white shimmering in the California sunset, this will be LSU's first trip to California in nearly 80 years and first game ever inside the iconic Rose Bowl.

Chip Kelly's UCLA squad will be an intriguing and potentially pesky test for LSU straight out of the gates...after 2020, I'm not giving the Tigers a single easy win until we prove ourselves capable of finishing off easier opponents.

That means not giving up 623 passing yards in Week 1...or surrendering 40+ points at home to a team who won 2 games all year...that means beating UCLA out of the gates by making a statement to the college football world:

2019 was not a fluke...2020 is.

-OUR PREDICTION VIDEO

-OUR HURRICANE IDA FUNDRAISER & LSU VS UCLA PREVIEW SHOW W/ TONY SIRACUSA & MARK ROGERS

KEY THREAT: QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson & RB Zach Charbonnet

SECRET WEAPON(S): UCLA's OL, returning their top 5 performers from 2020.

PREDICTION: 38-28, LSU WIN


QB MARKS:

MAX JOHNSON: 311 yards, 3 TDs

LEADING RUSHER:

TDP: 116 yards, 22 carries and 1 TD

LEADING RECEIVER:

KAYSHON BOUTTE: 161 yards, 1 TD

BRIAN THOMAS JR: 54 yards, 1 TD

JACK BECH: 58 Yards, 1 TD

LEADING SACKER:

ANDRE ANTHONY: 2.5 SACKS

LEADING TACKLER:

MICAH BASKERVILLE (11 TACKLES)

SPECIAL PREDICTION:

ELI RICKS: INT RET FOR TD

NAVONTEQUE STRONG: STRIP / SACK ON UCLA QB DTR


9/11 MCNEESE


Taking on his son Cody Orgeron, the starting quarterback for McNeese State, Week 2 will be one of the most intriguing games on the schedule due to this bizarre, once in a lifetime opportunity where father faces son in a high profile Division I faceoff.


Any other year an LSU v McNeese game looks like just another gimme warmup for the Tigers....however this season, it'll be a very different discussion heading into game week at Death Valley as Coach Ed Orgeron prepares to scheme a way to defeat his own son.



Coach Orgeron will have to gameplan against his own son's weaknesses, orchestrating a vicious enough pass rush from his D-Line to conquer his namesake....

Coach O will be hoping to ground his son's dual threat capabilities, taking the car keys back for one more Saturday night.

It'll be a very moving game in Baton Rouge that Saturday between opposing father and son & an LSU classic never to be forgotten.


Don't forget the tissues.


KEY THREAT: Cody Orgeron at QB is a dynamic dual threat QB who could give LSU's defense some serious issues. Remember, this is a defensive unit who were exposed by some solid running QBs, namely John Rhys Plumlee from Ole Miss in 2019, or Auburn's Bo Nix & even Arkansas' Feleipe Franks during 2020.


SECRET WEAPON(S): Cody himself is a great player & will have a hell of a game against his father's team, I really do believe that he'll pull out all the stops, but one man can't win a football game.


PREDICTION: 45-17 LSU WIN


QB MARKS:

MAX JOHNSON: 304 Yards, 3 TDs; 1 rushing TD 56 Yards Rushing

LEADING RUSHER:

TDP: 92 Yards, 2 TDs

LEADING RECEIVER:

KAYSHON BOUTTE: 113 Yards, 2 TDs

LEADING SACKER:

SAIVION JONES (1.5)

LEADING TACKLER:

MIKE JONES JR (13)

SPECIAL PREDICTION:

CODY ORGERON (150 RUSHING & 140 PASSING)


9/18 CENTRAL MICHIGAN


Jim McElwain's program grabbed transfer QB Jacob Sirmon, who has some interesting potential: Could this be a Costello 2020 sequel coming this fall?


A transfer QB gutting LSU through the air with an offensive journeyman coach?


Beware of McElwain's offensive nous, but still...this is Daronte Jones' bloodhound 2021 unit taking on Central Michigan...expect extreme velocity from LSU's defense in this game as they get geared up for a nice 2021 rebound.


KEY THREAT: Offensive Tackle Bernhard Raimann is an absolute beast (he'll play in the NFL, too) that could really limit LSU's pass rushing off his edge....although the Tigers should have success from the other flank.


SECRET WEAPON(S): If he can overcome an appendix surgery in time to make the game, McElwain's gritty, detail-driven play-calling could run the show and keep Daronte Jones' defense on their toes...and there's no better weapon to suit his play-calling than their #1 WR, Kalil Pimpleton (transfer from Virginia Tech), one of the best overall offensive threats in the MAC.


PREDICTION: 52-13 LSU WIN


QB MARKS:

MAX JOHNSON: 471 Yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT

LEADING RUSHER:

TDP 119 Yards, 1 TD

LEADING RECEIVER:

JARAY JENKINS: 144 Yards, 2 TDs

LEADING SACKER:

B.J OJULARI (2.5)

LEADING TACKLER:

JAY WARD (9)

SPECIAL PREDICTION:

MCELWAIN HAS A SHARK TOSSED AT HIM ALONGSIDE OTHER DECEASED CRUSTACEANS.


9/25 @ MISS ST

Will Mike Leach's mutinous squad pull off another upset of the Tigers after 2020's humiliating 44-34 defeat behind K.J Costello's record-breaking 623 yards?


Will Leach's Air Raid offense be able to surgically destroy Daronte Jones' pass defense?


Well, let's put it this way...if Jones falls for the same shtick Pelini did last year (refusing to switch to some sort of zone coverage, failing to show multiple fronts, blatant non-rotation, then it'll be a shocking catastrophe for Coach O's Tigers to succumb to yet another defeat against Mississippi State.


KEY THREAT: Though he didn't earn a statistic vs LSU, WR Jaden Walley racked up 718 yards receiving last year, looking to be a premium SEC receiving threat....although he was short on the finishing part (only 3 touchdowns).

SECRET WEAPON(S): QB Will Rogers is going to make mistakes....he's going to throw picks....he's going to be out of his depth on occasion...but overall, I think this young man is a dynamic quarterbacking talent, one who has the perfect abilities to play well under Coach Mike Leach.

PREDICTION: 34-18 LSU WIN


QB MARKS:

MAX JOHNSON: 291 Yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

LEADING RUSHER:

TDP: 186 Yards, 3 TDs

LEADING RECEIVER:

MALIK NABERS 91 Yards, 1 TD

LEADING SACKER:

ALI GAYE (1.5)

LEADING TACKLER:

MAJOR BURNS (9.5)

SPECIAL PREDICTION:

-On Max's 2nd interception, WR Kayshon Boutte forces the Miss St CB to fumble the ball, LSU reclaiming possession. TDP would score on the next few plays, a big change in the game.

-Ali Gaye grabs his 2nd LSU interception during this battle, hauling in a batted pass from Will Rogers outside of his own 15 yard line.


10/2 AUBURN


In Brian Harson's first season at Auburn, he will have little to work with in what should be a rebuilding season on offense, especially after a mass exodus from 2021 decommits and 2020 transfers in the wake of former impresario Gus Malzahn's firing.


Though Auburn picked up former LSU quarterback TJ Finley in the transfer portal, they will still stick with Bo Nix....remember, Bo torched us for 300 yards in the air and 78 on the ground last year (he also ran over Jacoby Stevens on his way into the end zone.....)

Regardless, I expect things to be massively different this time around.

2021 is a great chance for depraved revenge on Auburn's 48-11 beatdown against us last Halloween.


KEY THREAT: RB Tank Bigsby went for 834 Yards (5th in the SEC) while scoring 5 TDs while ranking 2nd in the SEC for kickoff return yards

SECRET WEAPON(S): Is this the year senior running back Shaun Shivers Jr can form a formidable partnership alongside Bigsby?


PREDICTION: 31-15 LSU WIN


QB MARKS:

MAX JOHNSON: 277 4 TDs

LEADING RUSHER:

TDP: 119 Yards, 1 receiving touchdown

LEADING RECEIVER:

KAYSHON BOUTTE: 90 Yards, 1 TD

LEADING SACKER:

MAASON SMITH & NEIL FARRELL JR (2)

LEADING TACKLER:

JAY WARD (11)

SPECIAL PREDICTION:

Daronte Jones' defense holds Auburn to five field goals and 0 touchdowns


10/9 @ KENTUCKY


Kentucky could be a trap game here....

This is an opponent that worries me....

With Brad White's highly rated, opportunistic, turnover-causing defense, quarterback Will Levis & above average Head Coach Mark Stoops, this Kentucky trip comes at a time where LSU could be injured & beaten-up following Auburn the week before or distracted by Florida the week after...


KEY THREAT: RB Christopher Rodriguez Jr is about to embark upon his 4th season at Kentucky, sporting 17 touchdowns (11 in 9 games last year), 7.1 yards per carry over his career and 1,361 yards.

SECRET WEAPON(S): Behind OL Darian Kinnard & former LSU tackle Dare Rosenthal, Kentucky may be able to control the line of scrimmage for extended periods in this game.


PREDICTION: 27-21 OT LSU LOSE


QB MARKS:

MAX JOHNSON: 343 Yards, 3 TDs

LEADING RUSHER:

COREY KINER: 66 Yards

LEADING RECEIVER:

BRIAN THOMAS JR: 149, 2 TDs

LEADING SACKER:

JAQUELIN ROY, ALI GAYE & ANDRE ANTHONY (1)

LEADING TACKLER:

DAMONE CLARK (16)

SPECIAL PREDICTION:

This game will be a bloodbath: chippy, physical, a few injuries....can't run the ball.... everything you don't want to see if you're LSU....


10/16 FLORIDA


Let's stop pretending Florida's defense is a top unit...they've been awful for the last few seasons and their nadir came last year, when we also witnessed Kyle Trask pretend to be Joe Burrow and fail miserably.

There's a reason Max Johnson ripped the Gators' guts out like a Gregor Clegane Thanksgiving:


Florida's 2020 defense ranked 96th in defensive pass efficiency and 88th in yards allowed per pass attempt. So... it was no surprise two firings came in the secondary and mid-level of the field: Florida hired away Auburn's former DBs Coach Wesley McGriff and brought in Jules Montinar, who got his coaching career started as a linebackers coach at Eastern Kentucky (2008-2009) and studied the game as a GA (graduate assistant) under Nick Saban at Alabama for a couple seasons (2012-2013).

Florida will be slightly improved on defense as a scheme, barely refreshed in personnel with a few elite guys here or there, but will it be enough to stop LSU's quarterbacks throwing to Kayshon Boutte, Koy Moore, Jaray Jenkins, Brian Thomas Jr, Jack Bech, Trey Palmer, Chris Hilton, Deion Smith, Jontre Kirklin or Malik Nabers???