<
>

Early look: AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl -- Texas Tech vs. LSU

Keeping up with Leonard Fournette is the big challenge for Texas Tech. Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech will play LSU in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl on Dec 29.

Here’s an inside look at the game:

Matchup to watch: LSU running back Leonard Fournette against everybody. Well, not quite everybody on the Red Raiders roster, but Texas Tech -- from coaching staff to players -- will spend every moment until Dec. 29 trying to come up with ways to slow the dynamic sophomore star. Fournette’s Heisman snub will fuel the fire as LSU takes on a run defense that allowed 271.83 rushing yards per game and held teams under 200 rushing yards just three times in 12 regular-season games. It’s quite possible the Red Raiders’ best bet is to use Patrick Mahomes and their offense to keep Fournette (1,741 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns) off the field or force the Tigers to chase them from behind.

Stat to watch and why it matters: Six of LSU’s nine total turnovers occurred in the Tigers’ three losses, including three in a 38-17 loss to Ole Miss. And the Red Raiders forced turnovers in 11 of their 12 games in 2015. Kliff Kingbury’s team may not be able to stop Fournette, but if it can take the ball away, will it matter? Tech defensive coordinator David Gibbs arrived on campus wanting to make the Red Raiders’ defense an opportunistic unit, and it has been. If the Red Raiders can create two or more turnovers, their chances of winning will increase greatly.

Coaching edge and why: Even with all the attention on Les Miles’ job security during the final days of the regular season, the veteran coach has seen it all and done it all during his time in Baton Rouge, including winning a national title in 2007. Kingsbury, finishing up his third season in charge, still is working to build his program toward the level of the Tigers. Miles gives the Tigers the coaching edge, but Kingsbury’s explosive offense and Mahomes’ excellence will be unlike anything LSU has faced this season.