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Insider

Countdown to kickoff: Offensive targets

8/8/2012

In a conference with seven members ranked in the top 25, it's a given LSU is going to run into some playmakers in its bid for conference supremacy this fall.

With that in mind, here's a look at five offensive game changers LSU fans should be excited (and maybe a bit nervous) about facing.

1. Keith Price, Washington QB: Tiger fans are going to get a good look at their revamped secondary early on in the 2012 campaign, when the Huskies visit Sept. 8.

Price is one of the few household names on Washington's roster, and along with Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and Alabama's AJ McCarron, he's one of the best quarterbacks on LSU's schedule this year.

The junior threw for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns last year, and he earned national notoriety in Washington's crazy, 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl. Against the Bears, Price completed 23-of-37 passes for 438 yards and four scores. He also rushed for 39 yards and another three touchdowns.

A playmaker like that will be a nice early test for the LSU D.

2. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina RB: If you look at preseason watch lists, Lattimore is probably considered the best player LSU will face this season.

The junior is working his way back from a torn knee ligament, but he should be healthy for the start of the season and therefore the Gamecocks' October meeting with LSU.

Lattimore had 818 yards through just seven games last year when the injury sidelined him.

The Tigers had moderate success against Alabama's Trent Richardson last fall, limiting the Heisman finalist to less than 100 yards in both of the teams' meetings. Lattimore will present a similar challenge.

3. Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn TE: Any time you can throw a tight end onto the list, you pretty much have to do it. Lutzenkirchen is one of the top tight ends in the country, and he's also one of Auburn's only proven offensive threats, along with running back Onterio McCalebb.

At 6-foot-5, 256 pounds, Lutzenkirchen is also massive, and he could be a matchup problem for LSU's young, undersized linebackers. Of course, all of that depends on Auburn's ability to get him the ball.

4. Eddie Lacy, Alabama RB: Lacy doesn't jump off this list in terms of star power, at least not yet. And he might not have a chance to, since the word out of Tuscaloosa is that talented freshman T.J. Yeldon is pushing Lacy for playing time in the race to succeed Richardson and Mark Ingram in the Alabama backfield.

But the story line of Lacy, a Geismar, La., native and a product of Dutchtown High School, returning to Baton Rouge and Tiger Stadium to take on LSU? That's too juicy to pass up.

With former Dutchtown teammate Eric Reid lining up against him and fellow Dutchtown commit Landon Collins standing on the Alabama sideline, big time bragging rights will be up for grabs.

5. Knile Davis, Arkansas RB: Wilson might be the popular choice for Arkansas, but LSU proved it ability to stop the talented signal-caller last fall.

Davis showed in 2010 what he can do to opposing defenses before he missed all of 2011 with an injury. The 226-pound tailback romped for 152 yards in Arkansas' win against LSU two years ago, and he'll undoubtedly be eager to make a splash this season.