NCAA Football Odds and Predictions: Idaho Vandals at LSU Tigers
Friday, September 14, 2012
by Frank Martin
That's unlikely to change Saturday when LSU seeks to set an FBS record with its 40th straight non-conference win, while also extending the nation's longest home winning streak to 20 games against overmatched Idaho Vandals.
Boasting a punishing running game and a dominating defense what else is new? LSU has outscored its first two opponents 82-17. The Tigers, who haven't lost to a non-conference foe since 2002, are 29-0 in such games under Les Miles.
This will be their final tune-up before facing Auburn in their SEC opener.In the only other meeting, LSU rolled to a 53-20 win over Idaho in 1998.
Idaho Vandals (2-0): The Vandals have lost their first two games, including an inexcusable defeat to Eastern Washington of the FCS. However, the performance of QB Dominique Blackman, who was suspended for the opener, is reason for optimism. The 6-foot-5 Old Dominion transfer was 30-of-37 for 352 yards with one touchdown and one interception in last week's 21-13 loss to Bowling Green.
Stanford Cardinal (2-0): The Tigers ran for 242 yards in a 41-3 win over Washington last week, giving them 558 rushing yards over the first two games. Junior Alfred Blue led the way with 101 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown. Last year's starter Spencer Ware ran for 38 yards on eight carries in his first appearance of the season after recovering from an undisclosed injury. As for Mettenberger (12-of-18, 195 yards, 1 TD), the Georgia transfer has been effective when asked to throw. Meanwhile, the defense, which is dealing with the loss of 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu (dismissed from team), held the Huskies to just 183 yards. Freshman Jalen Mills, Mathieu's replacement, recorded his first career interception against Washington. Lombardi Award hopefuls Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery anchor arguably the best defensive line in the country. Montgomery had one of the Tigers' four sacks after being a non-factor in the season opener a development he attributed to carrying some extra pounds.
1. The Tigers, who haven’t lost a non-conference game since dropping the 2002 season opener against Virginia Tech, are 46-4 against unranked opponents under Miles.
2. LSU tied Kansas State’s FBS record for consecutive non-conference wins set from 1993-2003.
3. Blackman’s 352 yards against Bowling Green is the second-best debut in school history behind Ryan Fien’s 542-yard effort against Wyoming in 1996.
NCAA Football Prediction: LSU 52, Idaho 3.
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