By game six, we will have submerged fully into the season starting a streak of 7 conference games. These are the games we fight hard to win, and even then sometimes lose. Three of these teams we lost to last year and need revenge. One mistake and we could lose one or more of these games. So we’d better be ready to fight some hard battles.
Troy is the last non-conference opponent we play in the regular season before a non-stop streak of 7 SEC opponents and our last game to get us ready for teams like Alabama, Auburn, Florida that we lost to last year. Troy has a good pass offense, in fact the best in the Sun Belt Conference, and a good rushing game to back it up. They have a pretty solid pass defense that could pick Danny Etling if he isn’t accurate with the ball. They won’t be a huge barrier for us but they can bite back if we let them. They only lost by six points to Clemson, the national champion last year, and they picked Deshaun Watson twice. If we don’t keep our heads up things could get a little embarrassing for us.
Florida beat us last year in a game that we really should have won but we couldn’t capitalize when we got in the red zone and we had a few fumbles and other careless mistakes that lost us the game. They were the SEC east champion and no matter what this will be a close game. Florida is our biggest rival from the east and even in our best years and their best years it was always a close game. I don’t think we have the right to say we played their defense last year since more than half their starters were injured. They did have a powerful set of DBs like Marcus Maye, Quincy Wilson and Jalen Tabor all of whom have taken their talents to the NFL, and almost all of their defensive lineman and linebackers left to the NFL as well. We’ll see a whole new defense this year, for better or worse.
On offense things haven’t changed too much, we’ll still have to deal with their unguardable wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland who gave even Alabama’s DBs trouble. What made most LSU fans even more frustrated was their running back, Jordan Scarlett, who refused to be tackled before getting at least ten yards. He literally piggy-backed Jamal Adams on his way to the end zone. If we can avoid simple mistakes that cost the game for us last year, guard Tyrie Cleveland, and tackle Jordan Scarlett then we can win.