You will be tired, eyes burning, belly full from a day of nachos and beer, but as your first Saturday of the 2017 college football season winds down, you better hope you've saved some energy for one more premiere matchup when BYU faces LSU.
This game was originally set to be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston and despite Hurricane Harvey's best efforts, we're still on with a relocation to a new "neutral" site in New Orleans. Here's everything you need to know about the last big game of Saturday.
BYU: The good news for BYU is that this isn't its first game. It got a warmup Week 0 game against FCS opponent Portland State. The bad news for BYU is that an underwhelming 20-6 win doesn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence heading into a clash with an SEC West juggernaut ranked in the AP Top 15. Quarterback Tanner Mangum mustered only 194 yards passing on 16-of-27 attempts last weekend. Though that showing was underwhelming, Mangum is not to be underestimated. He threw for more than 3,300 yards when forced into action as a freshman and has the kind of grip on the offense to have a huge season as a junior.
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Defensively, BYU should present some challenges to LSU due to an active front seven led by 6-foot-9 defensive end Corbin Kaufusi on one side and an athletic edge rusher in Sione Takitaki on the opposite side. The unit held Portland State to only 220 yards of total offense a week ago even while resting star inside linebacker Butch Pau'u, who is expected to return to play LSU.
LSU: There are storylines everywhere for LSU but none are bigger than the unveiling of new coordinator Matt Canada's offensive scheme. Even Ed Orgeron's debut as LSU coach is secondary to Canada's introduction because that lack of offense is the only reason Les Miles is gone. Canada will try to work the same miracle on quarterback Danny Etling as he worked on Nathan Peterman last year at Pitt when Peterman matured into an NFL starter from a one-time Tennessee reject.
From a personnel standpoint, LSU will be without Arden Key, one of college football's best pass rushers due to injury. Some attrition has also left LSU thin at offensive line where it is expected to open the season with a true freshman offensive line starter for the first time since World War II. But running back Derrius Guice looks good to go after dealing with some minor bumps and bruises in the preseason and in Guice, LSU has one of college football's most dynamic playmakers.
Don't be fooled by BYU's struggles against Portland State. Matt Canada should know that as well as anybody. Pitt putzed around with Villanova in Week 1 last year before beating Penn State in a shootout one week later. BYU is a scrappy, experienced team that will present plenty of challenges for an LSU team still getting comfortable in a new system. It's offensively where BYU will run up against some problems. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda commands one of college football's most talented units even without Key and there will be precious little space created by BYU's wideouts in that talented LSU secondary. Expect an LSU win but as long as they take care of the football, the Cougars will keep this one interesting. Pick: BYU +14.5 (LSU 24, BYU 13)