(5) LSU vs


at Green Bay, WI
Sat, Sep 3
12:30 PM Pacific
Rotation: 194
Odds: Wisconsin +11, Total: 44.5

Game Analysis

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Louisiana State (-11)  26   Wisconsin  17

LSU has the potential to be the best team in the nation but quarterback Brandon Harris has got to be more consistent throwing the football after completing just 54% of his passes last season. LSU throws a lot of deep passes (they average 14.5 yards per completion) – so Harris is not going to have a high completion percentage – but he needs to get in the 58% completion range to take this offense to another level. Deep play action passes are not a recipe for consistent success when facing teams that are capable of slowing down or stopping star RB Leonard Fournette, which was proven in consecutive late season losses to Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole’ Miss, in which the Tigers averaged just 15.7 points. Fournette had crazy good numbers against teams with a mediocre or sub-par run defense but he averaged a more modest 5.4 ypr in 4 games against really good run defenses (Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, and Miss). If that doesn’t change then Harris will need to be more consistent to beat other elite teams.

Wisconsin had a very good run defense last season (4.0 yards per rushing play allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.1 yprp against an average team), as they have had in most seasons, and I expect the Badgers’ opponents to have a similarly tough time running against them in 2016 with five of last year’s defensive front seven returning. Wisconsin also should have a good pass defense, which is projected to be 1.0 yards per pass play better than average after rating at 1.2 yppp better than average last season. If the Badgers contain Fournette as other good run defenses did last season then Harris will need to step up.

Wisconsin was so good defensively last season that they won 10 games despite having a worse than average offense that averaged only 5.4 yards per play. The normally potent Badgers’ rushing attack was horrible last season (4.5 yards per rushing play against teams that would allow 5.0 yprp) but the return to health of senior RB Corey Clement and better offensive line play (4 of 5 starters return) should result in a significant rise in the rushing numbers. Clement started last season injured and only played in 4 games but he’s averaged 6.6 ypr on his 262 career rushes. I don’t expect him to be that good and I conservatively project the Badgers to be 0.4 yprp better than average this season while senior QB Bart Houston puts up similar mediocre passing numbers as Joel Stave did the last few years.

While Wisconsin should be better offensively the Badgers are still at a major disadvantage going up against what figures to be an elite LSU defense. The Tigers’ defense is actually being run by Dave Aranda, who was the Wisconsin’s DC the last 3 years, and he has a plethora of talent to work with. LSU returns 9 starters from a defensive unit that was 1.0 yards per play better than average last season (5.3 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 6.3 yppl against an average team). LSU has my #3 rated defense heading into this season and this figures to be a long night for the Wisky offense, which Aranda knows very well.

While I do expect solid improvement from Brandon Harris and the LSU pass attack, my ratings still favor LSU by only 9 points in this game, so there is a bit of value on the defensively strong underdog, although I do have some concern that losing DC Aranda to today’s opponent will negatively affect the defense more than my algorithm project it will. I’ll still lean with Wisconsin plus the points but there are better options for your sports related investments this weekend.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • LSU
  • Wisconsin


  • Run Plays 36.0 31.8
  • Run Yards 238.6 109.4
  • YPRP 6.8 4.0


  • Pass Comp 14.6 18.0
  • Pass Att 25.8 32.4
  • Comp % 56.6% 55.6%
  • Pass Yards 161.4 217.8
  • Sacks 1.4 3.0
  • Sack Yards 6.8 18.8
  • Sack % 5.1% 8.5%
  • Pass Plays 27.2 35.4
  • Net Pass Yards 154.6 199.0
  • YPPP 5.7 5.6


  • Total Plays 63.2 67.2
  • Total Yards 400.0 327.2
  • YPPL 6.3 4.9


  • Int 0.6 0.8
  • Int % 2.3% 2.5%
  • Fumbles 0.8 0.6
  • Turnovers 1.4 1.4
  • Points 25.2 14.8
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