Commentary

LSU faces quarterback questions; talented freshmen everywhere in Week 1

Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench examines Week 1 story lines, including the LSU and UCLA quarterbacks, Alabama's offense and potential fireworks between Michigan State and Cal.

Updated: August 29, 2008, 2:06 PM ET
By Steve Muench | Scouts Inc.
Here's a quick look at some of the biggest story lines Scouts Inc. is watching in Week 1:

[+] EnlargeAndrew Hatch
Crystal LoGiudice/US PresswireAndrew Hatch, a former walk-on who transferred from Harvard, will likely get the call for LSU in Week 1.
• LSU's decision to dismiss QB Ryan Perrilloux in early May left it without an heir apparent to 2007 starter Matt Flynn, and fall camp did little to settle the dust in terms of finding a clear-cut starter. Chances are sophomore Andrew Hatch will get the start this week with redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee and/or true freshman Jordan Jefferson seeing time as well. Only Hatch threw a pass in a game last year, and considering the lack of experience here, it's important LSU builds the young quarterbacks' confidence. The Tigers are in excellent position to do just that this weekend. Hatch, Lee and/or Jefferson will face an Appalachian State secondary that's fielding four new starters and will be playing behind an experienced offensive line capable of keeping them upright.

• No. 9 Clemson's defense is sure to be fired up playing in front of the home crowd against No. 23 Alabama on Saturday night, but it had better control those emotions, especially early. The Tide's offense is going to run at a higher tempo and be more aggressive under new coordinator Jim McElwain. In fact, look for QB John Parker Wilson to throw the ball downfield early in an effort to jump out in front and take some of the wind out of the Tigers' sails. In addition, true freshman WR Julio Jones, who was the top receiver prospect in the nation last year, will make his debut for Alabama and is dripping with big-play ability. Clemson can't afford any breakdowns early.

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Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc., but his current focus is on the NFL draft.