#6 LSU at #9 Texas
When: Saturday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, TX
This is an early contender for game of the year. The LSU Tigers travel to Austin to meet the Texas Longhorns. These two programs are on the outside looking in, trying to return to dominance.
A loss likely knocks them out of the playoff conversation. A win gives them a quality win over a top-10 opponent. The talent on the field will be outstanding and there is nothing to dislike about this game.
The LSU Tigers have a couple of offensive studs that do not play running back. Quarterback Joe Burrow looked unstoppable last week against Georgia Southern. He completed 23 of 27 passes for 278 yards and five touchdowns.
Junior wide receiver Justin Jefferson caught five passes for 87 yards and a score in that game. Jefferson projects to be the next LSU wide receiver to make it to the NFL. But the offense will not be the focal point Saturday night.
This game features three of the best safeties in college football. LSU provides Grant Delpit, a junior safety who will most likely be a first-round pick in April.
Delpit does it all for the Tigers and he may break the trend of safeties not being drafted in the top five. Last season, Delpit recorded five interceptions, five sacks, and 9.5 tackles for loss.
He is joined in the secondary by senior cornerback Kristian Fulton. Fulton is considered by many to be the top cornerback in the 2020 draft class. True freshman Derek Stingley Jr. is a five-star recruit who starts for one of the best defenses in the country. He is a name to watch for 2022. But wait, there’s more.
Three LSU linebackers have a chance to be first-round selections in 2020. K’Lavon Chaisson returns from a torn ACL and he is one of the best pass-rushing linebackers in the nation.
Jacob Phillips is an absolute freak at middle linebacker. He is 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds, but he runs like a running back. Michael Divinity is another talented middle linebacker. The front seven for LSU is absurd.
Up front, the Tigers have Rashard Lawrence. Lawrence is a big end or a speedy tackle that eats up blocks and gets into the backfield. The Tigers will be scary for opposing offenses all season long.
The first step in limiting the LSU defense is to stop them up front. Texas has a strong offensive line, led by center Zach Shackelford.
Junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger is the face of the Longhorns. He is tough as nails and has a nice blend of arm and leg talent. Ehlinger will do his part to keep Texas in the game.
His top receiving target, Collin Johnson, will be a big factor. Johnson is 6-foot-6 with great leaping ability down the sideline. His size will be called upon to bring the passing game to life against the LSU secondary.
As I mentioned, three of the best safeties in the nation will be on the field in this game. Texas has two phenomenal prospects on the back end of their defense in Caden Sterns and Brandon Jones. Sterns is still only a sophomore, so he is ineligible for the NFL Draft until 2021.
However, Jones is a senior and he has a chance to be drafted in the top 50 in 2020. Jones is a heat-seeking missile at safety who plays downhill. He can blow up just about any play and he has the size to move down into the box when necessary.
This is going to be one of the best defensive battles that the NCAA has to offer.