Since 2006, LSU is 10-1 on opening season games and has won those games by an average margin of victory of 18.5 points per game. Last season’s loss to Wisconsin in Green Bay, 14-13, snapped the Tigers winning streak.
LSU’s four losses to Wisconsin, Auburn, Alabama and Florida were a combined 42-13 overall or .763%.
The Tigers lost their four games by a total of 23 points or 5.7 points per game.
Since 2006, BYU is 9-2 in opening season games and have won those games by an average margin of victory of 11.0 points per game. Three of BYU’s four losses in 2016 came on the road or on a neutral field site (at Utah, at Boise St. & West Virginia in Baltimore Maryland).
BYU won 9 games in 2016, with 8 wins coming against FBS opponents with a combined overall record of 38-62 or .380%.
The only two FBS teams BYU beat with a winning record were Wyoming and Toledo.
BYU lost their four games in 2016 by a total of 8 points or 2 points per game.
The Tigers ended their 2016 season with dominant road/neutral field victories over Texas A&M and Louisville. LSU averaged 28 points per game and rushed for 233 yards per game along with passing for 190 yards per game through the air last season.
Purdue transfer quarterback Danny Etling stepped in for Brandon Harris and brought stability to the offense and developed down the stretch in stretching defenses vertically. On the year, Etling completed 59% of his passes for 2,123 yards with 11 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Etling showed poise in the pocket and played well in games against Texas A&M and Louisville completing 36 of 57 passes (63%) for 541 yards with 4 touchdowns and one interception.
In LSU’s four losses in 2016, the offense completed 52 of 98 passes (53%) for 545 yards (149 passing yards per game) with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Leading receiver, Malachi Dupre, who led the team 41 receptions for 593 with 3 touchdowns only managed 12 receptions for 101 yards with no scores (25 yards per game).
Third down conversions in the Tigers four losses was evident as well. On the year, LSU converted 43% of their third down attempts in 2016. However, in the team’s four losses, the Tigers managed to convert 17 of 52 attempts or 32% of their opportunities.
Running back Derius Guice led the team with 1,387 rushing yards averaging 7.5 yards per carry with 15 rushing touchdowns. However, even though Guice split time with departed running back Leonard Fournette- he only rushed for a total of 156 rushing yards (with one rushing TD) in LSU’s four losses or 39 rushing yards per game.
Defensively, the Tigers allowed 15 points per game and held opposing offenses to 117 rushing yards per game along with 197 passing yards through the air in 2016.
LSU recorded 36 sacks as a defensive unit with 15 sacks coming in the last four games of the year.
LSU held opposing offenses to 32% on their third down attempts and only allowed one team to pass for over 250 yards per game on their secondary-Texas A&M (284 passing yards).
LSU held 8 of 12 opponents to under 54% completions on the 2016 season. The Tigers finished even in turnover margin in 2016.
The Cougars ended their 2016 season with a gutty 24-21 win over Wyoming in San Diego. BYU averaged 29 points per game and rushed for 201 yards per game on the ground along with passing for 197 yards through the air last season.
The 197 passing yards was the Cougar’s lowest since prior to 2008 and the first time BYU passed for under 200 yards per game, since the 2010 season when they threw for 198 yards per game.
Junior quarterback, Tanner Magnum, who set BYU Cougar freshman passing records in 2015 will take over the reigns for former Cougar signal caller Taysom Hill. Magnum completed 66% of his passes last year on 33 attempts with 3 touchdowns and one interception.
However, in 2015, he completed 59% of his passes for 3,377 yards with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He is a pure pocket passer that if given time can pick apart opposing secondaries.
In BYU’s four losses in 2016, the Cougars completed 92 of 167 passes (55%) for 215 yards per game with three touchdowns and five interceptions.
BYU’s offensive line allowed 26 sacks in 2016, however, when Magnum started in 2015, the unit gave up 33 sacks as a unit because of Magnum’s lack of mobility.
BYU’s rushing attack could take a hit in 2016-as both quarterback Taysom Hill and running back Jamaal Williams move on to possible NFL careers.
Both players combined for 1,974 rushing yards (Williams 1,375 yards, Hill 599 rushing yards) with 20 rushing touchdowns (Williams-12, Hill-8) which was 75% of the Cougars rushing yards and 71% of the rushing touchdown production in 2016.
Defensively, the Cougars allowed 15 points per game and held opposing offenses to 112 rushing yards per game along with 252 passing yards per game in 2016.
In the team’s four losses, the Cougars held opposing offenses to 124 rushing yards per game. However, it was the secondary that was exposed in BYU’s losses in 2016. The defense allowed 318 passing yards per game with 7 passing touchdowns. More importantly, was the unit’s inability to force pass break-ups.
In those four games, the secondary allowed Utah, UCLA, West Virginia and Boise St. to complete 96 passes of 142 attempts or 67%.
BYU recorded 29 sacks in 2016 and held opposing offenses to 37% conversions on their third down attempts. BYU ended 2016 with a +12 in turnover margin and was able to force turnovers on the road last year ending with a +9 margin on the road or on a neutral field site.