LSU Tigers vs Missouri: Bold Predictions For Saturday’s Matchup

Sep 17, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Danny Etling (16) looks to throw against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the first quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Danny Etling (16) looks to throw against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the first quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

With all of the drama surrounding the LSU Tigers after head coach Les Miles was let go, it’s nice to have another gameday upon us. We get to put the reporting and speculating aside for the weekend and enjoy some real football.

But, what’s a good football Saturday without reckless guessing and bold predictions? We enjoy it. You enjoy it. So let’s get to the guessing.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

Danny Etling Throws For Over 300 Yards

After Ed Orgeron was named the interim head coach of the LSU Tigers after Les Miles was fired, some speculated that the team may consider giving Brandon Harris another look. Well, those rumors have been debunked, as Coach O himself came out this week and said that Danny Etling will remain the team’s starting quarterback.

Etling has been better than Harris this season, but that doesn’t say much. Harris has shown the potential to be a productive quarterback for the Tigers, but repeated failures have the fans viewing him as a huge disappointment.

So far in 2016, Danny Etling has passed for just 433 yards and three touchdowns in three games. Those numbers aren’t terrific, but the offense has moved the ball much better than it did before he took over. Again, not saying much, but still the case.

If you aren’t questioning this prediction yet, maybe this statement will have that effect. Like I said, Danny Etling has only thrown for 433 yards in three games, and I’m telling you that he’s going to AT LEAST hit the 300 mark this Saturday against SEC foe Missouri.

It isn’t as crazy as it sounds. For his part, Etling has done a great job since earning the starting spot. The problem has largely been the coaching staff, and the guys responsible for calling plays and crafting the offensive scheme are gone. Ed Orgeron has come out and said that the Tigers are going to spread the field and throw it around, and I think that sets Etling up perfectly for a big night.

Missouri has no idea what to prepare for, and that is a huge advantage for LSU. Plus, if the aggressive passing attack goes to plan, the offense as a whole will be much more balanced. That will keep Missouri on its heels and give the staff more freedom calling plays. Danny Etling is going to get his opportunity here, and I think he takes advantage of it.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Malachi Dupre Posts Double-Digit Receptions

This prediction goes along the same line as the first one. The (somewhat) new coaching staff is making wholesale changes, with the primary one being to keep the defense from loading the box against the team’s running game. That starts with having an effective passing attack, and LSU will likely do everything they can to achieve that in this game.

So far, quarterback Danny Etling has not been asked to take control of a game. That could very well be the case against Missouri, and if he is to be successful, he will need help from his wide receivers.

Etling is going to be counting on his wideouts to make plays, and you can bet Malachi Dupre will be one of the guys asked to step up in the new-look Tiger offense. Dupre is far-and-away the most talented player at the position on this team, and I expect his number to be called quite frequently against Missouri.

On the year, Dupre has 11 catches for 99 yards. He has been severely underutilized so far in 2016, but this is the week the coaches make a point to get him involved. Expect him to put up big numbers, hitting double-digit catches on the night.

The LSU Tigers Win By 21 Or More Points

When a midseason coaching change is made, you typically get one of two outcomes. Either the team rallies around the new coach and the changes and play out of their mind the rest of the year or they give up, lose games down the stretch, and the interim coach is gone without a second thought.

With this LSU Tiger team, I believe the chances are extremely high that we get the first outcome rather than the second. This year’s team is just too talented to collapse and have a season waste away.

If you think about it, most of the issues through four games are the fault of former head coach Les Miles and former OC Cam Cameron. The gameplans, playcalling, and all-around decision making have been atrocious, and it has resulted in the offense being borderline useless. Under Orgeron, the Tigers are going to come out motivated and swinging for the fences. With a new emphasis on throwing the ball, LSU’s offense comes out against Missouri and lights up the scoreboard early in the first half.

The talented, deep defense feeds off of the same energy and motivation, stifling Missouri. We see an LSU team playing as motivated as they have in some time, and behind actual competent coaching, we see the Tigers beat Missouri by over 21 points at home in front of a rocking Tiger Stadium.