The bayou hospitality has been on full display ever since the decision to relocate this Saturday's matchup with LSU to Baton Rouge was made. And it just keeps on coming thanks to Billy over at And the Valley Shook and his participation in this week's Q&A. Enjoy people.
1. What does the relocation of this weekend's game mean for Tiger fans given they lost out on a home game to begin the year, and now get it replaced with an SEC match up? Also, do you like the Tigers chances even more so this weekend now that they get to play at home?
I couldn't very well say they're at a disadvantage now, could I? Truthfully, I'm a little interested in seeing what the turnout is like, given that it's an irregular ticket situation plus the short notice. Plus at 2:30 local time it is going to be HOT. I know my mom for sure will stay away. It is kind of a funny coincidence, given that LSU did lose out on its opener due to weather and this is also the 10-year anniversary of the season where the program had to play a "home" game in Arizona themselves.
2. Leonard Fournette has stolen the show for the Tigers this year and has covered up much of the team's coverage. Who is the next best play maker on offense after Fournette? Or is it just the offensive line providing the holes for Fournette to run through?
The offensive line has been pretty good, and plus the tight ends and fullbacks. It's weird to say, given that the numbers have not been good, especially last week, but I think I speak for a lot of LSU fans when I say there is some confidence in Brandon Harris. Until the EMU game he'd been very efficient and also an effective runner. If the receiver play can improve, I do think the passing game will grow.
3. While we're on the man, what's your favorite part about watching him run the football? I've got the over/under on rushing yards for him this weekend at 250. What are you taking?
Honestly, the biggest change in this season versus his freshman year is how he's seeing the field and the defense. That was something I noticed about his high school tape -- he was always thinking a move or two ahead of the defense, setting up blocks and defenders. Now he's doing that to college teams. 250 yards is the LSU single-game record, and it feels like an inevitability that he's going to get it at some point.
4. Les Miles is one of my favorite football coaches, and I'm not really sure I could explain why. What do you think has been the biggest factor in him earning consistency year in and year out at LSU? Or, it just more of a matter of brand recognition for recruits?
I think overall he's done a good job of managing the program, keeping good coaches around, particularly recruiting. At this point, brand recognition is certainly a factor, as it is for any major program. But Miles has been a steady hand through his share of adversity here, and he's going to retire as the winningest coach in school history.
5. A brief glance at LSU's schedule makes it seem as one of the more favorable for an SEC West team. What were expectations for this year's team? Do you think they are a legit CFP contender?
I think most saw this schedule differently over the summer, given the expectations of Auburn. But I had a feeling that if LSU could find a way to get past those first two games with State and Auburn back-to-back, they could go on a nice run before the final gauntlet in November. And that's going to ultimately going to decide this team's fate.
6. Is there any chance the Gamecocks catch the Tigers looking ahead to next weekend's match-up against the undefeated Gators?
This team hasn't had the best concentration in the last two weeks, so I think it's definitely possible. I'm wondering if all of the noise surrounding it, and the move, will maybe help insulate things a little.
And finally, just a prediction to the game and a score:
I'm not really one for scoring predictions, but I have a feeling this one will be much closer than the big point spread, if only because LSU has struggled to really put anybody away completely since Auburn. But No. 7 will carry the day again I'm sure.