College football pick West Virginia at L-S-U 9-25-10

September 25, 2010


West Virginia Mountaineers at LSU

Saturday September 25, 2010 9 PM EST

Line: LSU -10

Two undefeated teams square off on Saturday. One of them is likely to fall out of the top 25 entirely, while the other could be catapulted into the top ten. A loss won’t break either team’s season, as both teams are likely to go to a significant bowl. A victory, however, will show up as a key victory on the resume of the winning team.

Keys to the Game

  • West Virginia needs to put the ball in Noel Devine’s hands. Whether that means special teams, running the ball, or catching the ball, the Mountaineers need to get Devine out in space with the ball in his hands. If you haven’t seen his high school high light reel, you need to look it up. West Virginia won’t call upon their offensive line to play smash mouth football, as that would be a losing battle. Devine will benefit from swing passes and screens that allow him to make defenders miss in the open field.
  • West Virginia needs to change their identity to adhere to the strengths of their team. For years the West Virginia offense has been the poster of the spread offense. Now, their personnel at the quarterback position is stronger in a pro style offense. Allowing Geno Smith to be more comfortable is more important than sticking with tradition. Noel Devine can still be a factor without running the option.
  • LSU’s defensive line needs to stay home. Sure, pressuring Geno Smith will limit his time in the pocket and force the ball out of his hand quickly. The defensive line can get pressure all by themselves, and that torments offenses. The Tigers will benefit from restraining their line. West Virginia is a big play offense. Marching down the field is highly unlikely, but a big gainer on a half back slip screen is highly likely. Keeping the defensive line conservative will limit the amount of big plays seen in the game.
  • West Virginia can’t try to make something out of nothing. Throwing into coverage at the talent on LSU means an interception is in your immediate future. Checking the ball down and gaining YAC yards will be the best and safest way to get in the end zone. Playing it safe may be unpopular, but forcing the ball to try to be the hero will likely put the Mountaineers down early. I like the Mountaineers and as much as I would like to think they are going to keep it close, I don’t think it will be. The Tigers at home have the potential to rout West Virginia. No dice for the Mountaineers.

Free College Football Pick: LSU -10

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