LSU had three SEC losses yet was a top-10 team for most of the season since it didn’t have any bad losses in addition to beating Auburn and Georgia. That led to a solid 10-3 campaign with a bowl win over UCF, but Ed Orgeron still wants more.
LSU’s schedule will be difficult, but that’s not stopping the books from listing the Tigers with +2650 spring odds (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) to win the National Championship, eighth best in the country.
Offense Looks to Improve
Offense wasn’t exactly a strong suit for the Tigers last year, but there’s a chance things get better with another year of quarterback Joe Burrow after he managed 23 touchdowns (16 passing) and only five interceptions.
His hopeful improvement is helped by the return of top wide outs Justin Jefferson (875 yards, 6 TDs) and Ja’Marr Chase, as well as tight end Stephen Sullivan (363 yards).
There’s also the chance LSU’s ground game gets going after just 4.1 yards per carry last season. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (658 yards) will likely get most of the early work, but if he can’t find holes, freshman five-star John Emery could easily carve out a bigger role.
The offensive line is a work in progress after numerous injuries in the spring, but with Lloyd Cushenberry at center, there’s no reason the group will take a step back.
Defense Hit With Injuries in the Spring
The biggest thing for the defense is replacing the likes of Devin White and Greedy Williams. It doesn’t help that the defensive side dealt with more injuries in the spring, most of them at linebacker where White played.
That could be an issue early in the season, but it also gave some reps to guys deeper on the depth chart. K’Lavon Chaisson could be the next stud linebacker in this defense, while the same goes for freshman cornerback Derek Stingley.
Their talent is enhanced by one of the best safety duos in the country between Grant Delpit and JaCoby Stevens. The run defense was mediocre last year, but freshman Siaki Ika got tons of hype in the spring and adds another piece to a group that features Rashard Lawrence on the end.
Early Season Game at Texas is Huge
The Tigers should be good on both ends of the ball, but they can’t have a better season unless they win that early game at Texas.
If not, they may have to say goodbye to their CFP hopes because a trip to Alabama later in the season is a likely second loss. While the schedule is difficult, the Tigers get both Florida and Auburn at home, and trips to Vandy, Miss. State and Ole Miss aren’t impossible to win.
Compared to last year, they replace Georgia with Vanderbilt, which helps. If Burrow can take the next step that he showed in the Fiesta Bowl (394 yards), that’d push LSU into the conversation as one of the best teams in the country.
Until that happens, they’ll likely be in the same boat as last year’s group in that they have the talent to beat up Georgia, but also too inconsistent to take down Florida or A&M.
2019 LSU Tigers Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Georgia Southern
Sept. 7 at Texas
Sept. 14 vs. Northwestern State
Sept. 21 at Vanderbilt
Oct. 5 vs. Utah State
Oct. 12 vs. Florida
Oct. 19 at Mississippi State
Oct. 26 vs. Auburn
Nov. 9 at Alabama
Nov. 16 at Ole Miss
Nov. 23 vs. Arkansas
Nov. 30 vs. Texas A&M