Who Are a Few 2020 Opponents LSU Football Will Need to Design Its Gameplans Around?

Harrison Valentine

Another loaded schedule stares LSU straight in the eye for the upcoming 2020 season, headlining a 12-game slate filled with electrifying playmakers and blockbuster matchups.

The SEC as a whole lost a considerable amount of talent to the NFL Draft in April, but the conference does what it always does: reload. While it’s always interesting to analyze and breakdown each team matchup, let’s take a look at three players specifically that LSU might have trouble against in 2020.

Sam Ehlinger (Texas)

Going 296-of-454 (65.2%) for 3,663 yards and 32 touchdowns in his 2019 campaign, Ehlinger arguably gave LSU the most trouble out of any quarterback last season. Although in a losing effort, Ehlinger went 31-of-47 for 401 yards and four touchdowns vs. LSU in the instant-classic showdown between the two perennial powers. His performance opened a ton of eyes, even from the opposing locker room.

"Phenomenal player. Better than we thought he was," Orgeron said of Ehlinger after beating Texas in Austin. "I thought he was a good player going in. This guy is a phenomenal player. He wanted to take the game on his back, and he practically did."

Returning for his senior season, Ehlinger will be out for revenge when he enters Death Valley on Sept. 12.

Najee Harris, Jaylon Waddle and Devonta Smith (Alabama)

The Crimson Tide simply return too much talent to narrow the selection down to one, so here’s three Alabama players that will certainly give LSU fits during their early-November contest in Baton Rouge.

In LSU’s 46-41 win over the Tide in Tuscaloosa, running back Najee Harris single-handedly willed Alabama back to life. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder tallied 19 carries for 146 yards and a touchdown, most of which coming in the second half. He’s the prototypical Alabama back. He will run over you. His downhill style of running was difficult to contain in 2019 and it will continue to be difficult to contain in 2020.

As far as Jaylon Waddle and Devonta Smith, they’re probably the top receiving duo in America, alongside Ja’Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall. Feel free to debate that amongst yourselves.

Kylin Hill (Mississippi State)

A first-team All-SEC selection, Kylin Hill recorded 242 carries, 1350 yards and 10 touchdowns. Returning as the leading-rusher in the conference in 2019, Hill gets a bulk of his yards after contact and could be used in more ways under new head coach Mike Leach.

After many expected Hill to enter the NFL Draft, he ultimately announced his return to Starkville for his senior season on Jan. 15 and is primed for another big year in a new-look offense.