Peach Bowl

LSU (13-0) VS. OK­LA­HOMA (12-1) 4 p.m. Satur­day, ESPN Mercedes-Benz Sta­dium, At­lanta

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS FRIDAY -

When LSU has the ball

Coaches like to talk about be­ing ag­gres­sive of­fen­sively. That’s how Heis­man Trophy win­ner Joe Bur­row and the Tigers play.

“Whether it’s by tempo or by play de­sign, they main­tain their ag­gres­sive­ness from play one un­til the last play of the game,” Mis­sis­sippi State coach Joe Moor­head said.

The Tigers of­ten have five re­ceivers on the field, re­ly­ing on their front five to pass pro­tect and Bur­row’s de­ci­sion­mak­ing and mo­bil­ity to avoid pres­sure. LSU’s top three wide re­ceivers (Al­lAmer­i­can Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jef­fer­son and Ter­race Mar­shall Jr.) each have at least 10 touch­down catches. Ver­sa­tile run­ning back Clyde Ed­wards-He­laire (50 catches and 1,290 yards rush­ing) is used fre­quently in the pass­ing game as more than just an out­let. “Even when you in­clude the tight end

(Thad­deus Moss), all their guys can win the one-on-one matchups,” Moor­head said.

Ed­wards-He­laire is nurs­ing a ham­string injury and might not play. His ver­sa­til­ity would be missed, though prob­a­bly not as much as Ok­la­homa will miss de­fen­sive end Ron­nie Perkins.

Perkins, who leads the Soon­ers in sacks with six, is re­port­edly sus­pended for the play­off.

“The key to their de­fense is re­ally to get pres­sure with their front, the line move­ment and the twists and all the things they do,” Bay­lor coach Matt Rhule said of the Soon­ers.

When Ok­la­homa has the ball

If fans ex­pect a typ­i­cal fast-paced Big 12 of­fense, the Soon­ers might sur­prise them.

“They are not a high-fly­ing tempo of­fense. They are pro-style, sub­sti­tute per­son­nel group­ings, call two plays, get­ting into the right play at the line. As a re­sult they can limit pos­ses­sions,” Rhule said. Ok­la­homa’s of­fenses un­der coach

Lin­coln Ri­ley have al­ways been bal­anced and among the best in the coun­try on the ground. With Heis­man run­ner-up

Jalen Hurts, the quar­ter­back is now the Soon­ers’ pri­mary ball car­rier. The pow­er­ful se­nior ran for 1,255 yards be­hind a huge of­fen­sive line. Kennedy Brooks is the top tail­back. In­juries and sus­pen­sions have de­pleted the depth be­hind him. Ex­pect a lot of Hurts and Brooks, set­ting up play-ac­tion passes to Al­lAmer­ica re­ceiver CeeDee Lamb.

The Soon­ers don’t have much chance of hold­ing down LSU’s of­fense with­out get­ting a bunch of turnovers. Slow­ing down the game might be OU’s best bet.

But LSU’s de­fense is health­ier than it’s been all sea­son and their big bod­ies up front (Glen Lo­gan, Tyler Shelvin and

Rashard Lawrence all weigh over 300 pounds) are hard to move.

“They play the odd stack (three-down line­men), re­ally kind of stuff up your in­te­rior gaps,” Moor­head said.

Ralph D. Russo’s pick Bowl his­tory

LSU: Ap­pear­ing in its 51st NCAA-sanc­tioned bowl game. This will be the Tigers’ sev­enth trip to the Peach Bowl, their last com­ing in 2012 when they lost to Clem­son 25-24.

Ok­la­homa: The 53rd post­sea­son game for the Soon­ers, but their first ap­pear­ance in the Peach Bowl. How they got here ...


Aug. 31: Ga South­ern, W55-3 Sept. 7: at Texas, W45-38 Sept. 14: North­west­ern St., W65-14 Sept. 21: at Vanderbilt, W66-38 Oct. 5: Utah State, W42-6 Oct. 12: Florida, W42-28 Oct. 19: at Miss. St., W36-13 Oct. 26: Auburn, W23-20 Nov. 9: at Al­abama, W46-41 Nov. 16: at Ole Miss, W58-37 Nov. 23: Arkansas, W56-20 Nov. 30: Texas A&M, W50-7 *Dec. 7: Ge­or­gia, W37-10 *SEC cham­pi­onship game


Sept. 1: Hous­ton, W49-31 Sept. 7: South Dakota, W70-14 Sept. 14: at UCLA, W48-14 Sept. 28: Texas Tech, W55-16 Oct. 5: at Kansas, W45-20 Oct. 12: Texas, W34-27

Oct. 19: West Vir­ginia, W52-14 Oct. 26: at Kansas State, L48-41 Nov. 9: Iowa State, 42-41 Nov. 16: at Bay­lor, W34-31

Nov. 23: TCU, W28-24 Nov. 30: at Ok­la­homa State, W34-16 *Dec. 7: Bay­lor, W30-23 (OT) *Big 12 cham­pi­onship game

Play­ers to watch


QB Joe Bur­row: 4,715 yards pass­ing, SEC-record 48 TDs, 77.9 com­ple­tion per­cent­age.

WR Justin Jef­fer­son: 88 re­cep­tions for 1,207 yards and 14 TDs.

RB Clyde Ed­ward­sHe­laire: 1,290 rush­ing yards and 16 TDs. Still iffy if he plays.

OK­LA­HOMA QB Jalen Hurts: 3,634 yards pass­ing, 32 TDs, 71.8 com­ple­tion per­cent­age,

1,255 yards rush­ing, 18 TDs.

WR CeeDee Lamb: 58 re­cep­tions for 1,208 yards and 14 TDs.

RB Kennedy Brooks: 976 yards and five


Last time they played ...

LSU de­feated Ok­la­homa 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl for the BCS na­tional cham­pi­onship (Jan. 4, 2004).

The line

LSU by 13 1⁄2 | O/U 76


LSU quar­ter­back Joe Bur­row


Ok­la­homa quar­ter­back Jalen Hurts



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