Opponents to watch: Burrow emerges with few holes in game

Myah Taylor

Texas blew past Louisiana Tech last Saturday in its 45-14 victory over the Bulldogs. But this weekend the superior Louisiana team is coming to Austin. With its offensive efficiency and formidable defense, No. 6 LSU won’t make it easy for the No. 9 Longhorns to go 2-0. 

Watch for these four Tiger players when they take the field against Texas on Saturday:

No. 9 Joe Burrow — Quarterback 

After transferring from Ohio State following the 2017 season, redshirt senior Joe Burrow found his place as a starter at LSU last fall. In 2018, Burrow led the Tigers to 10 wins, five of which were against ranked teams. With 16 passing touchdowns and seven scores on the ground, Burrow posted a solid first season in Baton Rouge. 

This year, his game continues to improve. In LSU’s 55-3 blowout win over Georgia Southern last Saturday, Burrow finished 23 of 27 and threw for five touchdowns to three different receivers in the first half. His record-setting performance earned him co-SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors along with Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Texas defense was effective in stopping the run against Louisiana Tech last weekend, but it also gave up 340 passing yards. Such play won’t fly on Saturday against the Tigers with Burrow at the helm.

No. 18 K’Lavon Chaisson — Outside linebacker 

Chaisson is the latest player to critique Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s game, claiming to be unthreatened by Ehlinger’s style of play. Despite what Chaisson may think about Ehlinger’s arm strength and passing ability, the Longhorn quarterback passed for 276 yards and four touchdowns last weekend. One thing is for sure: the Texas offense should not have these same sentiments toward Chaisson. Whether the junior outside linebacker’s assessment of Ehlinger is valid or not, his role in the Tiger defense should not be underestimated. Last week, Chaisson forced a fumble that was later recovered by LSU. The Texas offense will need to plan for this explosive linebacker ahead of every snap.

No. 6 Terrace Marshall Jr. — Wide receiver 

Joe Burrow’s success under center last weekend was enabled by LSU’s stacked receiving core. Among the nine players Burrow completed a pass to in the Tigers’ win against Georgia Southern was sophomore receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. The big-bodied wideout from Bossier City, Louisiana, had a breakout game last Saturday, catching three of Burrow’s five touchdown passes. All three of Marshall’s touchdowns were on quick-strike scoring drives, so the Longhorn secondary must key on him in the red zone. With so much depth at receiver, Burrow will be spreading the ball around. Expect Marshall to be one of the quarterback’s main targets this weekend.

No. 90 Rashard Lawrence — Defensive lineman 

Two forced fumbles were recorded by the LSU defense against the Eagles last week. Chaisson was the catalyst for one, and senior defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence was responsible for the other. Lawrence has dominated on the field throughout his time as a Tiger. His play in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl earned him Defensive MVP honors, and he was LSU’s leading tackler in 2018. Last Saturday, Lawrence and the Tiger defense held Georgia Southern to just 74 yards on the ground. With Texas’ running back room looking paper thin after an injury to freshman Jordan Whittington, the Longhorns may have to re-evaluate their running game.