Texas +6.5 3.3% play @+100
This line is puzzling and it's kept me from releasing it earlier in the week in hopes of waiting for a 7. There are some 7's out there, but neither of my books have it, and I'm comfortable with 6.5. First of all I don't understand this line other than the fact that LSU just has better depth right now, and Texas has running back issues, but Sam Ehlinger can carry the load in big games and has proven that in the past. Also, it's not like LSU can run the ball like they used to. They averaged just 3.63 yards per carry on the road last year, and had only 122 yards in game one against Georgia Southern.
Sam Ehlinger > Joe Burrow. I'm sorry he just is, and I feel more confident in Texas ability to get him into 3rd and long and release their different defensive packages to cause confusion and force turnovers which is the biggest keys to this game. LSU +12 in wins in TO Margin, -2 in losses, while Texas was +9 and -4 in losses, but Texas only turned the ball over 5 times at home all last season.
Tom Herman > Ed Orgeron. I like Ed O, but Tom is a better coach especially in big games. I am not even going to throw out the stat of Tom Herman as a dog. Tom Herman also has experience going up against a Dave Aranda defense, and Texas runs the same defense in practice so I expect Ehlinger to be just fine in this game. The two previous match ups between a Herman offense and an Aranda defense resulted in 7 passing TD's 0 INT (BIG KEY), and over 500 yards rushing as Ohio State out scored Wisconsin 110-24 in 2013-14.
Recruiting - Texas has out recruited LSU the last two years, and was right there in 2017. Despite Texas having to replace 8 defensive starters, the guys replacing last years starters are probably better. I think Texas really matches up well in this game, and if they can tackle and force Burrow into a mistake with confusion they should win this game outright.
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