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College Football Free Pick: Miami vs LSU

September 2, 2018

On Sunday, the curtain falls on Week 1 of college football when the No. 8 ranked Miami Hurricanes play the No. 24 ranked LSU Tigers at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

The current line on top sportsbooks has Miami (-3.5) favored with the point total on 47.

Last season Miami won its first 10 games and the ACC Coastal title and were in conversations about national title chances before ending the season losing three straight. LSU was just the opposite starting the season poorly at 3-2 and ending strong at 6-2.

Although the stadium is considered a neutral site by the NCAA, the clear advantage will be with LSU as the stadium is much closer to Baton Rouge than Miami and the Tigers are 3-0 playing there with all three wins over ranked opponents.

Miami will have quarterback Malik Rosier returning. Last season Rosier emerged as a legitimate dual-threat with 3,120 yards through the air and 468 yards on the ground with 31 total touchdowns.

However, Rosier’s play during the 0-3 skid included completing just 44.9% of his passes and five interceptions. Ahmmon Richards returns as one of Rosier’s favorite targets at wide receiver. Running back Travis Homer, who rushed in 2017 for 966 yards, will help take pressure off Rosier.

The defense for the Canes is aggressive and very fast and each player wants to wear the turnover chain with 11 of the 16 who wore its last season returning, including Jaquan Johnson a safety and preseason All-American candidate.

The LSU offense can only be described as inexperienced. Joe Burrow a graduate transfer from Ohio State will make his first start in college. Nick Brossette starts at running back taking the place of Derrius Guice who now plays in the NFL.

The LSU defense last season allowed an average of just 316 total yards and 18.8 points per game and is expected to be just as good if not better this season. The Tigers have two preseason All-American candidates in cornerback Greedy Williams and linebacker Devin White.

LSU holds a 9-3 advantage in the 12 games the Tigers have played Miami with the last meeting a 40-3 LSU win in the Peach Bowl in 2005.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron was an assistant coach with Miami between 1988 and 1992, when the Canes won two national championships.

Prediction: While the LSU defense should keep the game close Miami has the far better offense and behind the leadership of Malik Rosier should win and cover 24-17.

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