The LSU Fighting Tigers started off the year with heartbreak after losing to Florida State 24-23 with a last-second botched field goal triggering the loss. Ever since then the Tigers have buckled down and really committed to winning. They are now 4-1 and ranked 25 in the college football rankings. However, they are gearing up to face their toughest opponent yet in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Volunteers are the 8th ranked team in the country and LSU's biggest test so far. If the Tigers win this game their entire season begins to shift, with them having a chance to get back into the playoff hunt. Here are 3 things LSU must do to beat Tennessee on Saturday.

1. The Defense Must Be Spectacular

I know that headline sounds unfair; however, it's true. LSU's best attribute or best facet of their team is their defense. And they are facing the best quarterback they have faced this year in Hendon Hooker; however, for Hooker LSU is the best defense he's faced.

TransPerfect Music City Bowl - Purdue v Tennessee
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Hooker is arguably the best quarterback in college football and easily a Heisman candidate. This year he's thrown 113 passes and completed 81 while throwing 1,193 yards. He also has thrown 8 touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for 175 yards and 3 touchdowns. The guy is the real deal.

LSU will have to answer spectacular offense with spectacular defense. Hooker has been sacked 8 times total this season, but what's important to note is that 3 of those sacks came against Florida. And in the Florida game besides those sacks, he was pressured a lot thus leading to the score being 38-33. So defensive lineman BJ Ojulari, Mehki Wingo, and linebackers Harold Perkins Jr. and Micah Baskerville will be crucial to LSU's success. If those 4 can get pressure on Hooker it will allow for the secondary to have some help and force the ball out of his hands. When Ojulari and Perkins are sacking the quarterback and Baskerville and Wingo are causing hurried throws LSU is at its best. The goal will be to get the ball out of Hooker's hands by any means possible and if that happens they can win.

2. Brian Kelly Must Out Coach Josh Heupel

Out of all the opposing coaches that Tennessee's head coach Josh Heupel has faced Brian Kelly is the best one of the bunch. Heupel has shown a great magnitude for calling great plays on the offensive side of the ball with his offensive coordinator Alex Golesh. Kelly and his defensive coordinator Matt House will have to be on their P's & Q's.

Ever since that Florida State game Brian Kelly has not let down. He has consistently got this team to go out and battle from the start of the whistle to the last whistle blown. Coach Kelly has shown that his players buy into his system and it is not all talk. Well, he will need that to happen again this week for LSU to win. More so than any game this season he needs his guys to be dialed in along with himself because if they win this game the season changes.

3. Jayden Daniels Must Execute

I know that this one seems understood; however, it's still very important. Tennessee is a high-powered offense that can score at will. Last week against Auburn LSU didn't get the offense really moving until the 2nd quarter when they turned on the jets. However against Tennessee that won't cut it.

Jayden Daniels must come out the gates executing the plays to a T and he must leave every drive with at least 3 points because that's how good Tennessee is. If not then he must control the clock and limit the amount of possessions Hooker will have. Daniels' legs will be just as crucial as well. If nothing is open then he must realize and then scramble for the first down before taking a sack. Also with the limited run game that LSU has he must help them out in that department. But that doesn't mean run first, no he must settle in the pocket and look to drive the ball down the field. LSU has great weapons on the outside in Nabers and Boutte, Daniels must utilize them to their fullest to get the job done.

If these 3 things occur LSU will win the game. This is the toughest team Tennessee has faced and their defense quite frankly is a little shaky. LSU has all the opportunities in the world to change its fate on Saturday. Hopefully, they succeed so we can have a great month of October football.

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