Predicting LSU Football’s 2020 Season (Games 1-3): A Strong Start for the Defending Champs

Tigers open with three straight winnable games in Death Valley
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Although Ed Orgeron and the Tigers lost a significant amount of production from last year’s national championship team, LSU’s 2020 schedule sets up nicely for a fast start out of the gate.

Similar to the 2019 schedule, LSU’s first five games are extremely manageable, setting up a possible 5-0 start before an always-anticipated trip to Gainesville on Oct. 10 to take on Florida.

With the logistics of the upcoming college football season currently up in the air, all we can do right now is make assumptions, which is exactly what we’ll do for the Tigers’ first three games, all at home inside Death Valley.

How many or even whether there will be fans in the stands remains to be seen but the Tigers' schedule leans toward a strong start to get the season rolling.

UT San Antonio - Sept. 5, Baton Rouge, LA

It may not be a blockbuster matchup, but the season-opener vs. UTSA will reveal a lot about where LSU is under new starting quarterback Myles Brennan. With the loss of spring practice, programs like LSU in particular -- having to replace so much -- could show some deficiencies early on.

All eyes will be on grad-transfer linebacker Jabril Cox, an offensive line that had to replace all but one starter, and, of course, stars like Ja’Marr Chase and Derek Stingley Jr.

When the Tigers opened up against Georgia Southern in 2019, it was a coming out party for Joe Burrow and the new spread offense under Joe Brady. The 2020 opener probably won’t garner the excitement to that extent, but it will be telling to whether LSU is still on track among the elite.

Prediction: LSU 38, UTSA 10

Texas - Sept. 12, Baton Rouge, LA

If this matchup is anything like last year’s, we’re in for another treat.

Last season, it was Justin Jefferson’s 61-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-17 that made the ultimate statement to the rest of the college football world: LSU was for real. And this time it was true.

So, who will it be in 2020? With the return of Sam Ehlinger, the Longhorns will definitely be a tough out in Tiger Stadium. Ehlinger went 31-for-47, for 401 yards and four touchdowns against the Tigers in 2019.

Prediction: LSU 28, Texas 21

Rice - Sept. 19, Houston, TX (NRG Stadium)

A neutral site contest inside NRG Stadium in Houston should make for an entertaining fall weekend for LSU fans.

The Tigers and the Owls last faced each other in 2018, where LSU won at home and Joe Burrow went 20-for-28 passing for 307 yards and two touchdowns.

To put it in perspective, Rice went 1-11 in 2018 and 3-9 in 2019.

No matter who’s playing quarterback, LSU should take care of business with ease in H-Town, a city that’s always been filled with purple and gold.

A little history could also be on the line as Chase needs just four touchdowns to break the program career record of 26, held by Dwayne Bowe. Does it happen week three against the Owls?

Prediction: LSU 45, Rice 13

Check back tomorrow for a prediction piece on games 4-6 as the Tigers kick of their SEC schedule against Ole Miss and travel to the Swamp.