Game Day Preview: What you need to know about LSU-Eastern Michigan
LSU is back at home this weekend and welcomes Eastern Michigan to Death Valley on Saturday. Eastern Michigan heads to Baton Rouge after losing 58-36 to Army at home.
Here’s everything you need to know heading into Saturday’s game:
Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-3) at LSU Tigers (3-0, 2-0 SEC)
Kickoff: Sat., Oct. 3, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Weather: Sunny, 79 degrees, zero percent chance of rain.
Line: LSU -45.5 (according to Caesar’s Palace)
By the numbers
7 – Eastern Michigan tailback Darius Jackson has seven touchdowns on the ground this season. Only eight players have more rushing scores.
47 – Brandon Harris has thrown the ball 47 times through three games this season. He’s ranked 13th among SEC quarterbacks, but has played one fewer games because of a Week 1 weather cancellation.
373.3 – The Eagles have allowed 373.3 rushing yards per game this season, which ranks dead last among the 128 FBS teams.
556 – Army ran for 556 yards against Eastern Michigan on 71 carries last weekend. Army ran for seven touchdowns in the victory.
Storylines to Watch
Run Leonard, Run
If Army ran for 556 yards against Eastern Michigan, how many yards can Leonard Fournette churn? Fournette could break the LSU single-game rushing record of 250 yards this weekend against Eastern Michigan if he gets enough carries. This game has the makings of a blowout, which means the starters could be pulled early.
The Tigers will likely pound the rock early and often against the Eagles, which means Fournette should be in store for an enormous day.
Will Harris be unleashed?
Quarterback Brandon Harris hasn’t been given much of an opportunity to show what he can do this season. He’s thrown just 47 times in three games and has posted pedestrian numbers. He has 302 yards and two touchdowns in his sophomore season. The Tigers could take a few more risks with their quarterback on Saturday against an inferior opponent. Keep an eye on how LSU uses Harris this weekend.
Grounding the Eagles
Eastern Michigan can score. In fact, the Eagles have averaged 33.8 points per game, which is one half-point more than LSU. The Eagles have used Darius Jackson and Shaq Vann regularly in the backfield, which has kept both fresh and gives Eastern Michigan a somewhat balanced rushing attack. They have combined for 647 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year. Starting quarterback Brogan Roback has thrown for 877 yards and five touchdowns this year. He has shown a propensity to be careless with the football. Roback has four interceptions, three of which have come in the last two games.
Can LSU put it away early?
Les Miles said penalties prevented LSU from pulling away against Syracuse last weekend. LSU cannot look past the Eagles and get stuck in a closer game than expected. The Tigers are favored by 45 points for a reason. They need to find the kill switch early and get the starters rested for two important upcoming SEC games against South Carolina and Florida.
Prediction: LSU 45, Eastern Michigan 13
The Tigers might not cover the point spread, but that won’t matter to Miles and his bunch. LSU will get off to a great start behind Fournette, and the backups will get in the game early. Don’t be surprised if Fournette breaks the LSU the single-game rushing record on Saturday.