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SEC Tilt: LSU At Tennessee!
Knoxville, Tennessee will be a sea of orange this weekend when the Volunteers host the LSU Tigers in a tilt that has all kinds of SEC and BCS bowl implications. What must be troublesome to the multitude of customers at Sportsbook is that LSU opened as a -2 ˝ point favorite over the 8th ranked at home Vols.
What further confuses the Betting proposition is the fact that LSU has lost two games to Florida and Auburn, with both coming on the road. Would you care for more statistics? The Tigers lost 30-27 in overtime last year to Phillip Fulmer's troops and have a brutal 5-20-3 record against the hosts!
At 7-1 the Volunteers have been piling up the offensive numbers while LSU scored a combined total of 13 points in their road trips to Florida and Auburn. The other concern for LSU backers is the creampuffs that they have been devouring along the way. I hardly consider the likes of Louisiana Lafayette, Arizona, Tulane, Mississippi State, Kentucky and Fresno State to be worthy opponents.
Tennessee on the other hand knocked off California to begin the season and the Bears are ranked higher then LSU, they beat Alabama, hung up 51 points at Georgia and scored 20 on the vaunted Florida defense.
JaMarcus Russell controls the team from the quarterback position and he has completed 69.9 percent of his passes for 1,910 yards with 15 touchdowns and only four interceptions. This defensive unit is strong against both modes of attack, ranking fifth nationally against the pass and seventh against the run. With a high total of 26 sacks, LSU clearly has no trouble applying pressure to the quarterback.
Last season, when Tennessee was losing on an irregular basis, a great deal of blame was directed at quarterback Erik Ainge. What a difference a year makes, as Ainge is now considered the most influential player in the success of the Vols. The standout quarterback was outstanding against South Carolina last weekend, completing 21-of-29 passes for 254 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Tennessee defense did not shut down South Carolina by any means last weekend, as the Gamecocks were able to rack up 23 first downs and 395 total yards en route to 24 points. The three South Carolina scoring drives covered 73 yards, 80 yards, and finally 95 yards late in the fourth quarter to put the outcome in question. If not for three interception, one of which resulted in a touchdown, the defensive performance would have been extremely disappointing. As it stands, however, the effort was mediocre and must be better this weekend. Opponents are posting 19.1 ppg and 293.4 total ypg against Tennessee, which has the potential to be one of the top defensive teams in the nation but has yet to put it all together. With 13 takeaways and 14 sacks, there has been a lack of big plays made by the unit.
Hey if all this information has you confused then take advantage of Sportsbook.com's point total of 45 on this clash!
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper who has written for the sports industry for over a decade. He has been a regular contributer to Sports Scene, a sports consultant for television's 33 Made and other major motion pictures.