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The Sports Troll: Tigers hope for better play

LSU won last week, but made a lot of mistakes while doing it.

With another non-conference tune-up this week, the goal is simple: play a clean game and get a stress-free win.

The Tigers will host Troy on Saturday night in Death Valley – a homecoming meeting between a pair of 3-1 programs.

LSU will celebrate homecoming during Saturday and will try and extend their non-conference winning streak in Tiger Stadium to 50 games.

To do that, coach Ed Orgeron said he wants to see a total team effort from all three phases.

“Our teams have come in focused this week and are working hard to get better with each practice,” Orgeron said. “This Troy team is a physical football team and an opponent that we respect. They have come into Tiger Stadium before and played very well, so they are going to have confidence that they can do it again. Our team is going to be ready to play.”

Orgeron’s comments do hold merit.

The Trojans have played some solid football this season.

Troy comes into Saturday’s game on a three-game winning streak – the only loss of the season coming on opening night at Boise State.

The Trojans are led by quarterback Brandon Silvers, who has completed 102-of-154 passes for 1,084 yards and two scores this season.

On the ground, Troy utilizes Jordan Chunn, who has 61 carries for 299 yards and five touchdowns.

But let’s be real here – LSU is the far more talented team on paper.

The Tigers just haven’t played well since beating BYU on opening night, which has a lot of fans worried about the direction the season is headed.

LSU played both quarterbacks Danny Etling and Myles Brennan against Syracuse – each enjoying success in the win. Orgeron said he expects the rotation to continue on Saturday.

On the ground, LSU has a two-headed monster in Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams, who have combined for close to 600 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

Guice is questionable for the game after re-aggravating an injury last week against Syracuse.

Also questionable is Rashard Lawrence, who returned last week after a sprained ankle, but is out again after rolling the previously non-injured ankle against the Orange.

Orgeron said LSU respects Troy, but has spent a lot of the week focusing on itself.

The Tigers have had trouble at both lines of scrimmage this season – something Orgeron wants to improve against the Trojans.

“Be physical at the point of attack,” Orgeron said as a goal for the game. “Play great defense for four quarters – not two quarters. Eliminate the big play. We have given up too many big plays and have had too many busts on defense. … This isn’t about getting ready for SEC play, this is about beating Troy. We are just thinking about one game at a time.”

LSU offense vs. Troy defense

Advantage: LSU

The Tigers should be able to move the pile forward against the Trojans – even though their defense is stingy, having allowed just 317.8 yards per game so far this season. We expect the Tigers to get far more than that on Saturday.

LSU defense vs. Troy offense

Advantage: Troy

LSU’s defense is young and has looked pretty awful the past two weeks. Troy has experience at quarterback, halfback and along the lines of scrimmage. We trust Dave Aranda, but until we see some progression, we’re setting the bar awfully low.

Special teams

Advantage: LSU

The Tigers have too much overall team speed to not hold a big edge in this phase, although the inability to actually catch a punt in the air last week was maddening. How about we get that right this week, fellas’?

DIG’s PICK

LSU 41, Troy 21

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