By The Associated Press
Syracuse (2-1) at No. 25 LSU (2-1), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Line: LSU by 23.
Series record: LSU leads 2-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
LSU must win not only to remain in the Top 25, but to begin restoring confidence in the program under first-year coach Ed Orgeron following a 37-7 drubbing at Mississippi State last week. For Syracuse, a win in Tiger Stadium could grab poll voters’ attention and potentially provide considerable momentum to a program that is off to a fair start.
LSU’s humbled defense against an emerging Syracuse offense. Orange coach Dino Babers points to the fourth game of his second season as the moment when his system clicks. The Orange offense flourished during the second half of last weekend’s 41-17 victory over Central Michigan, outgaining the Chippewas 333-60 in the third quarter alone. LSU has two defensive regulars sitting out the first half against Syracuse after being flagged for targeting at Mississippi State, which piled up 465 total yards on the Tigers.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Syracuse: Sean Riley has replaced former return man Brisly Estime, who led the NCAA at 17.7 yards per return last season. Last week against Central Michigan, Riley had a career day with 247 all-purpose yards — 47 rushing, 82 receiving, 20 on punt returns and 98 on kickoffs.
LSU: DE Arden Key, who notched an LSU single-season record 12 sacks in 2016, is trying to regain form after missing the first two games this season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He shared one sack in his first action last week.
FACTS & FIGURES
LSU leading rusher Derrius Guice is expected to miss the game with an undisclosed ailment. … Orgeron was Syracuse’s defensive line coach from 1995-97. … Orgeron is 8-3 as LSU’s coach, including a 5-2 record while serving in an interim role following the firing last season of Les Miles. His first victory as Miles’ permanent replacement came in last season’s Citrus Bowl. … Syracuse is 12-11-1 all-time against current members of the Southeastern Conference. … LSU has won 48 straight nonconference home games, a streak dating back to the 2000 season. … LSU won the previous meeting between these teams, 34-24, on Spt. 26, 2015, at Syracuse.
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