Returning Starters – Offense: 9 Defense: 6
Preview: LSU has been consistently dominant with Les Miles as their head man going 103-29 overall during his 10 years as the head coach. LSU has as much talent as anyone in the nation, but this team is still looking for answers in terms of solid QB play and getting more disruption out of their defensive front. LSU was in a rebuild last season and they still had a quality season for most teams going 8-5 overall with a bowl loss coming to Notre Dame by a final of 28-31.
The first question that needs to be answered is who’s going to start at QB in the 2015 season. Right now the competition is between Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris with Jennings being the frontrunner for the position right now. LSU losses 2 quality players from their O-line, but the unit is capable of filling the gaps with little to no falloff. RB is set with former top recruit Leonard Fournette ready to take on an even larger role. Fournette will get the bulk of the carries out of the backfield as he looks to have a breakout sophomore season. There’s plenty of talent at the WR position, but this unit needs someone who can deliver the ball more consistently.
The Tigers shuffled in a lot of players along their D-line in 2014, but the inexperienced players are now seasoned and this unit should have more continuity coming into 2015. DT is set with guys like LaCouture and Godchaux, but this squad is still look for impact DEs in their new 3-4 scheme. The LB position has been criticized for its poor speed, but the addition of youngster Beckwith has helped in this area. LSU is well known for sending players from their secondary on to the NFL and this unit looks solid again with White and Paris leading the way.
Prediction: LSU has the talent to compete in the brutally tough SEC West, but there’s no way this squad can run through their schedule unscathed without a top flight option at the QB position. Despite being a very talented group this team could still end up finishing somewhere from 4th-7th with all of the lower teams in the SEC West getting better. Unless LSU gets better production out of Jennings or Harris under center this team will likely have a similar season to what they had in 2014.
Projected Record: 8-4 (4-4)