Location: NRG Stadium (Houston)
Time: Jan. 4, 9 p.m. EST on ESPN
Teams: LSU (6–6) versus Kansas State (7–5)
Line: Kansas State -0.5
LSU has been through it this season.
An unceremonious exit for Coach O, some dramatic wins against impressive teams, close losses against even more impressive teams, a laundry list of injuries and then whatever Brian Kelly did on his first day in Louisiana...
Kansas State, on the other hand, has had a wildly mediocre showing in a wildly mediocre Big 12 this year.
Deuce Vaugh has been a bright spot on offense, rumbling for 1,246 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. The defensive side of the ball is where they've shined (take the word shine with a grain of salt, we're trying to be nice here). They're decent in preventing big plays, the rush defense does the job as well. Expect their defense to be the difference.
The Tigers are banged up. They have the more impressive resume, but it's tough to ignore the turmoil within the program and how inconsistent they've been this season. Kansas State plays a slow, gritty game and finds a way to cover.
The Score: Kansas State wins 27-20
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