BATON ROUGE LA - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Les Miles of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates with his team after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 24-21 at Tiger Stadium on November 6 2010 in Baton Rouge Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
National championship hopeful LSU opens its season against North Texas. Follow @SBNationCFB
The LSU Tigers open their 2012 regular season against North Texas on Saturday in a game that figures to serve as a tune-up for the rest of the schedule. Expectations for LSU are high, as usual, and the Tigers are once again in a position to compete for both a conference title and a national championship. The Mean Green, on the other hand, have more modest goals heading into this season - just returning to bowl eligibility would be a big step forward.
North Texas struggled on both sides of the ball in 2011, finishing 96th in total offense and 97th in total defense. The Tigers lost several quality players off of last season's stout defense, but they figure to have plenty in reserve to play at a high level in 2012 and give the Mean Green all sorts of trouble in this game. North Texas was shut out, 41-0, by Alabama in 2011, and the oddsmakers are expecting a similar result when the Mean Green visit Baton Rouge on Saturday.
Game time, TV channel: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Point spread: LSU is favored by 43 points.
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