Wisconsin and LSU have their first meeting in a two-game off-campus series. This year's contest will be played in Houston and the series will go to Lambeau Field in 2016. Wisconsin is favorite to win the Big Ten West Division. They have a favorable conference schedule and this non-conference tilt is their toughest game on paper. LSU doesn’t have high expectations compared to other SEC teams in 2014, but they still have talent and Les Miles-coached teams always seem to be better when there isn’t a lot of buzz surrounding the program.
Date: Saturday, August 30
Time: 9:00 p.m. E.T
TV Channel: ESPN
Location: NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)
Betting Line: LSU -5 via 5Dimes
Prediction: Reports out of Wisconsin indicate that Tanner McEvoy will be the starting quarterback over last season’s starter Joel Stave. McEvoy is a dual-threat quarterback but there is uncertainty about his throwing ability. Regardless, the Badgers offense will rely on Melvin Gordon Jr. this game. Gordon averaged 7.8 yards per rush last season and has attracted a lot of preseason Heisman Trophy talk.
LSU’s starter quarterback, leading rusher and two leading receivers from 2013 have departed Baton Rogue. The Tigers plan to play both Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris at quarterback. Running back Leonard Fournette has been one of the most talked about true freshman in the country. LSU has a stable of running backs and Fournette has drawn the most attention. Wide receiver Malachi Dupre is another true freshman that LSU will count on.
This is a challenging game to predict because each team has had competitive quarterback battles that still might not have been decided. If LSU can contain Gordon, McEvoy will be challenged against a strong defense. We will pick LSU to win the game but be on the safe side, and take the points with Wisconsin getting more than a field goal.