Yes, this thing is getting broken down like Pete Rock doin' some samples yo!
With that out of the way, I'm going to take a look at what each team must do to win tonight's game. I already made my predicition in the Bowl-O-Rama post, but this one is going to be a bit more in-depth.
Ohio State Can Win If...
They can stop LSU's strong rushing attack. In their loss against Illinois, the Buckeyes were ran over to the tune of 260 yards with a 5.1yards/carry average. Their average for the season ended up being 77yards/game and 2.5yards/carry. Not being able to stop the run like they had been really took them out of their element.
Their inability to stop the run also allowed Illinois to control the clock, and hold Ohio State's time of possession below their average. In that game, the Buckeyes had the ball for 27 minutes. For the season, they averaged about 32 minutes.
A second key to Ohio State getting a victory will be their production on third down. Throughout the course of the season, they averaged a success rate of 47.6% on third downs. Against the Illini, they averaged just 38% on third down.
Vernon Gholston is going to have to be a disruptive force along the defensive line, but LSU is probably going to concentrate on blocking him out of most plays. That means that other d-linemen like Heyward and Larimore will have to step up their game.
LSU Can Win If...
They can consistently get their backs into the second and third levels. The Tigers need to get their strong rushing attack going early. If they can dominate the line of scrimmage early, and allow their running backs to force the linebackers and defensive backs to make tackles on them, then they can wear them down. This would in turn allow LSU to turn short pass plays into long gains as a result of sloppy tackling because of fatigue. I wouldn't be surprised to see a consistent rotation at running back to keep those guys fresh, and keep the pressure on OSU's LB's and DB's.
LSU also needs to focus on pressuring Boeckman. The Buckeyes have allowed just 14 sacks all year. If the Tigers can bring pressure from different areas on the field, like bringing McCray on blitzes, then they should be able to force Boeckman out of his comfort zone and into making some mistakes.
Why I Think LSU Will Win
In the end, I think that LSU's rushing attack will prove to be too much. They were held under 150yds rushing in just two games this year(Tulane-134, 'Bama-87). That attack will wear down Ohio State's defense, and allow Matt Flynn to make some plays downfield. It will also give the receivers a chance to catch some short passes, and turn them into long gains. And a healthier Glenn Dorsey should help ratchet up the pressure on Boeckman. All of which leads to an LSU victory.