LSU-Syracuse Preview Capsule
No. 8 LSU (2-0) at Syracuse (3-0), 12:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: LSU by 24 1/2.
Series Record: Series tied 1-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
LSU has wins over two ranked teams from the Southeastern Conference — Mississippi State and Auburn. The Tigers are off to a good start in conference, but a nonconference slipup would hurt playoff hopes. Syracuse already has matched its win total from last season and is halfway to qualifying for a bowl game for the fourth time in six years.
The Syracuse defense against RB Leonard Fournette, who leads the nation in rushing at 193.5 yards per game and also has scored three touchdowns in each game for the Tigers. The Orange’s swarming defense thrives against the run and has allowed just 140 yards in the first three games to rank in the top three nationally. Since Scott Shafer became head coach in 2013, only five opposing running backs have run for more than 100 yards against the Orange.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
LSU: Fournette. Last week, he rushed 19 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns against then-No. 18 Auburn. His 12 yards per carry in the game is a school record.
SYRACUSE: Walk-on QB Zack Mahoney, a junior college transfer and fifth on the depth chart in preseason, is in line to make his first career start. Mahoney helped rescue Syracuse last week in its 30-27 overtime win over Central Michigan, hitting tight end Kendall Moore for 13 yards on third-and-5 to set up the winning TD in extra time.
FACTS & FIGURES
The teams have never played during the regular season. The Tigers beat Syracuse 13-10 in the 1965 Sugar Bowl as Orange star Floyd Little was held to 46 yards rushing and LSU wide receiver Doug Moreau caught a TD pass and kicked the game-winning field goal. Syracuse beat LSU 23-10 in the 1989 Hall of Fame Bowl. ... LSU is averaging 338.5 yards rushing per contest, which ranks fifth nationally. ... LSU has not played a game in New York state since Nov. 7, 1942 when the Tigers beat Fordham 26-13 in New York City. ... LSU has not committed a turnover so far this season and the Syracuse defense has four fumble recoveries and five interceptions.