BATON ROUGE - Suddenly, a non-conference, early season game against a minor college football program is actually interesting.
Here are five reasons you will not be bored all the way through No. 12 LSU's game against Chattanooga at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Tiger Stadium on the SEC Network.
1. THAT REALLY NEW LSU OFFENSE - Call new offensive coordinator Matt Canada's attack, the "Canadian Mix." LSU had not even snapped the ball yet before its first play from scrimmage in the opener last week against Brigham Young, and the Superdome crowd was already oohing and aahing over an eight-man shift. Never mind that the play was a simple give to the tailback - we've seen that a million times. Derrius Guice had a nice gain of seven yards, but it was nothing to evoke cries of "Bring On Bama." And Five plays later, LSU was guilty of holding, then an illegal shift, and the Tigers punted two plays after that. But it didn't matter, dammit. There was movement. There was change. Worry if it works later. And soon there were touchdowns and a 27-0 win. And it will only get better, particularly this Saturday. BYU was not a great team, but hey, the Tigers have already improved on last season. LSU is No. 5 in the Southeastern Conference and 47th in the nation in total offense with 479 yards a game after finishing No. 9 and No. 59 last year with 423 yards a game. Progress, baby.
2. MORE PLAYBOOK CHAPTERS: Canada barely cracked his offensive playbook last week. Look for him to burn through a few chapters Saturday. Head coach Ed Orgeron can't wait.
"We'll get in a game soon where he'll use that whole play sheet, I promise you," Orgeron said.
3. CLYDE "THE GLIDE" EDWARDS-HELAIRE - The true freshman tailback carried six times for 28 yards on LSU's last series last week with three runs over eight yards. Get ready to see a lot more of him.
4. EVEN MORE TRUE FRESHMEN: Seventeen down and five more to go in the Tigers' 22-man surviving signing class. Wide receiver Jacoby Stevens, who was the No. 1 safety in the country coming out of Oakland High in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, before switching to wide receiver, is expected to get some action, Orgeron promised. And so far, he has been telling mostly truths. After Stevens, the only other true frosh who have not played are wide receiver Mannie Netherly of Crosby, Texas, fullback Tory Carter of Leesburg, Georgia, tight end Aaron Moffitt of Baton Rouge and quarterback Lowell Narcisse of St. James. Orgeron just may play them all.
5. SOME SUSPENSIONS TO BE LIFTED: There were suspensions in the double figures last week for the opener, but several are expected back for this game, including senior starting middle linebacker Donnie Alexander. Hopefully, they all will learn their lesson.
PREDICTION: Canada really does open up the playbook a little bit more as quarterback Danny Etling completes 22 of 34 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yard connection with wide receiver D.J. Chark.
LSU 47, Chattanooga 7.
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