LSU’s Joe Burrow has enters nearly every one of the team’s contests of the year as the best quarterback by good measure, but things will be a little different in the fifth game of the season.
Burrow still has the upper hand here, but Utah State quarterback Jordan Love has been turning heads.
Love has kept his name in the mix toward the top of the 2020 NFL mock drafts, and is at the helm of a “warp speed” offense that could throw a struggling LSU defense off if they can’t get some control on the pace.
Here’s a look at how the two stack up.
First Impression: Burrow is continuing to impress the country with his quarterback play, but won’t have to face tough competition until the second half of the season. He’s well on his way to becoming the most sought after signal-caller in 2020, but will need to consistently perform at the level he has been to keep pace.
Last showing: vs. Vanderbilt, W 66-38
Burrow was 25-of-34 passing for 398 yards and six touchdowns.
Bottom line for Saturday: It’s going to take a lot for the Utah State defense to throw Burrow off of his game. He’s never looked more calm and controlled in the pocket than he does now. Burrow will need his receivers to step up, considering Terrace Marshall is out with an injury, and Racey McMath out for the first half. But Burrow has done a good job getting the ball out to several names this season, so it would be surprising if that affects him at all. The Utah State defense isn’t exactly intimidating, either.
First Impression: Utah State is far from one of the most difficult opponents on LSU’s schedule, but they do feature a first-round quarterback. At one point, Love was - and still is by some - listed as a more highly projected draft pick than Burrow. He’s got the ability to make NFL-level throws into tight windows, and has the arm strength needed for the next level. Just as head coach Gary Andersen says, Love is their guy, and as he goes, so do the Aggies.
Last showing: vs. Colorado State, W 34-25
Love was 17-of-33 passing for 204 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Bottom line for Saturday: LSU’s defense hasn’t been on the top of its game lately, but will return some key players. Outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson is expected to play. Love will have his work cut out for him against a more stout defense than he’s used to, but is capable of putting up somewhere in the realm of 30 points with his supporting cast in an up-tempo offense. After all, the Tigers defense did allow their last opponent to put up 38 points.