Experience, or lack thereof, will be critical for Brian Kelly in his first season as LSU head coach. The Tigers, tied with Florida for the fifth-best SEC Championship odds at the online sportsbook, rank 82nd in returning production and return just 10 starters.
There’s a three-way battle at quarterback between veteran Myles Brennan, Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels, and youngster Garrett Nussmeier. The receiving talent should be there led by star Kayshon Boutte, but the offensive line is a question mark. Matt House has been appointed the new defensive coordinator and will look to revive a unit that ranked 71st in scoring defense.
Here’s a look at LSU’s schedule with dates, times, opponents, and analysis:
Week 1 – vs. Florida State Seminoles
Date: September 4
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
There’s no easing into the schedule as Kelly and the Tigers face Florida State in week one in a neutral-site game at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Week 2 – vs. Southern Jaguars
Date: September 10
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
This will be a free win for the Tigers against a Jaguars team that finished just 4-7 overall a year ago.
Week 3 – vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Date: September 17
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
LSU has won three of the last four meetings against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have much more experience and rank 20th in returning production, which could be pivotal this early in the season.
Week 4 – vs. New Mexico Lobos
Date: September 24
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
A third straight home game is a welcome sign. A year ago the Lobos went just 3-9 in coach Danny Gonzales’s second season.
Week 5 – at Auburn Tigers
Date: October 1
It’s been an offseason full of turmoil for Bryan Harsin and Auburn, but LSU has lost this matchup two straight years by a combined 42 points.
Week 6 – vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Date: October 8
LSU has dominated this matchup, winning each of the last five contests. These teams don’t play often, as this will be the first meeting since 2017.
Week 7 – at Florida Gators
Date: October 15
LSU hits the road to face the Gators in Year 1 under Billy Napier. Florida returns just 11 starters and LSU has won three straight games against the Gators.
Week 8 – vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Date: October 22
LSU has split games against Ole Miss since Lane Kiffin came to town. Similar to the Tigers, the Rebels will rely on a bevy of transfers including quarterback Jaxson Dart and running back Zach Evans.
Week 9 – BYE
Week 10 – vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Date: November 5
Brian Kelly’s first game against Alabama comes at home after an off week, which should be a significant help. Nick Saban’s squad is primed to be a National Championship contender with stars Bryce Young and Will Anderson, Jr.
Week 11 – at Arkansas Razorbacks
Date: November 12
Arkansas had a great year under Sam Pittman a year ago, but that didn’t stop LSU from winning a 16-13 game at Tiger Stadium. The Razorbacks have high hopes but return only 10 starters.
Week 12 – vs. UAB Blazers
Date: November 19
UAB head coach Bill Clark made a stunning announcement on June 24 that he would be stepping down from the program due to chronic back problems. The Blazers are usually among the Conference USA’s best teams, so not your typical late-season SEC cupcake.
Week 13 – at Texas A&M Aggies
Date: November 26
The home team has won this matchup each of the last four years, including LSU’s 27-24 win a year ago. Brian Kelly will be anxious to shake that trend against Jimbo Fisher.
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