Special teams: Just don’t do anything dumb
This sounds a bit harsh but this is the area of the game where a team like Texas could absolutely win the game. On paper, LSU has the advantage on both offense and defense, however, Texas has the advantage in special teams, although slight.
As much as it is overlooked, the special teams play can absolutely swing a game and even decide a game. I am not talking about just one play either, a good special teams game can really make a difference in starting field position and then subsequent scoring.
Texas was one of the best teams in the nation in returning punts last season, ranking 12th in average punt return yards. Zach Von Rosenberg was solid in his first week as the punter for the Tigers, though, averaging 51.3 yards on his three punts, with his longest being 53 yards. That is consistent.
So the Tigers should know exactly the ballpark that the punts should be falling and punting from the 30-40-yard line will yield some good results. That is, of course, as long as LSU plays textbook football in the special team’s units and does not make any mistakes.
The Texas return unit is one that will make you pay for mistakes. Suddenly, a 51-yard punt that was caught inside the 10 can change to a drive that starts in LSU territory.
While it will obviously benefit them, LSU does not even have to have a great special teams night in terms of their own returns. All they have to do is play textbook football on their own punts and kickoffs. That will be enough.