LSU head coach Ed Orgeron congratulates players after a score against Vanderbilt in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. LSU won 41-7. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

LSU Football Opens Up Season With Matchup Against UCLA

Week one of the college football season begins with a matchup between UCLA and LSU Saturday night. While it will be LSU’s first game of the season, UCLA comes in having already defeated Hawaii 44-10 on Saturday, August 28.

After winning the National Championship in 2019, LSU finished 2020 4th in the SEC West with a record of 5-5. For UCLA, the Bruins only won three games but kicked off 2021 with a big win.

LSU Key Players

While LSU had seven players drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft, including  Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Shelvin, Max Johnson is expected to be the starting quarterback after Myles Brennan broke his arm earlier this summer.

He will have four talented receivers in Kayshon Boutte,  Brian Thomas, Jaray Jenkins, Deion Smith. Defensively, Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks will be big in the secondary. They will also have Ali Gaye and Andre Anthony as edge rushers.

Also, Coach Ed Ed Orgeron will have two new members to his coaching staff on offense in passing game coordinator DJ Mangas and offensive coordinator Jake Peetz. It has been a crazy week though of practice after LSU had to evacuate Louisiana from Hurricane Ida.

UCLA Key Players

For UCLA, Dorian Thompson-Robinson played well last week at quarterback. He went 10-20 with 130 yards after throwing for over 1,120 yards in 2020 and rushed for an additional 306.

Also, running back Zach Charbonnet ran for over 100 yards against Hawaii and scored three touchdowns. At the same time, Brittain Brown, who is likely going to get the majority of carries, added 76 yards. Defensively, UCLA is led by Otito Ogbonnia and Qwuantrezz Knight.

The two teams will play in Pasadena, California, at 8:30. This is the first-ever head-to-head meeting between these two schools that have combined to win five National Championships. Following this game, LSU will play McNeese State University on September 11 while UCLA has a week off before their matchup with Fresno State on September 18. 

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