Looking at LSU vs. Mississippi State

The No. 10 LSU Tigers, currently 2nd in their division behind Alabama, had a devastating loss against the Georgia Bulldogs last week. They are on the road again this week, facing more Bulldogs at Mississippi State. More past the jump.
 
Will they fare any better? 
Mississippi State was off last weekend and is at the bottom of the SEC West. The Bulldogs last game was a win against Troy, but they remain winless in conference play this season. Considering LSU has won 13 times straight in this series, it looks like it could be another conference loss for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. 
 
Will Mississippi State start Tyler Russell? 
Russell has been out since the Bulldogs season-opening loss against Oklahoma State. He is scheduled to start on Saturday, though don’t count out Prescott, who has been filling in for Russell. Prescott is leading Mississippi State in rushing with 215 yards and 5 touchdowns on 37 carries and considered a dual-threat. Russell had a strong season last year, passing for 2,897 yards, 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Either one will have a tough game as they will have to compete against an LSU defense looking to redeem themselves from last week’s loss. 
 
Will Mississippi State be able to score against the LSU Defense? 
This season, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have averaged 34 points per game. Will they be able to maintain this type of offense? With LSU averaging almost 43 points per game, the Mississippi State defense could tire quickly, leaving the offense little time for rest. But, the LSU defense struggled last week against Georgia, so Mississippi state offense might have a chance if their line play is good. Then again, the fact that Mississippi State is converting just around 30 percent on third downs doesn’t help them. 
 
Will LSU be able to improve their defensive mistakes? 
In last week’s loss to the Georgia Bulldogs, LSU allowed almost 500 yards. So far this season, the LSU defense is allowing an average of 24 points and 347 yards per game. There has been much confusion in the secondary, and the Tigers generated zero sacks against Georgia. While they may be positioned to beat Mississippi State, watch for them to work on their defense as they face the Florida Gators next week. 
 
Will LSU start any of their younger players? 
We know that Les Miles will be focusing on his defense. How bold will he be though in making sure his defense gets back to where it needs to be? Some of the newer guys – Christian LaCouture, Rickey Jefferson, Rashard Robinson and Tashawn Bower – haven’t received that much playing time so far this season. Will Les change his starting lineup this week? Will he play Senior Craig Loston and give him a chance to redeem himself? Knowing that Russell will start might play a part in his decisions. 
 
Will playing at home help Mississippi State? 
The only thing that is giving Mississippi State any hope at all is that LSU doesn’t necessarily love playing in Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville. In 2009, LSU won in the final minutes, 30-26. And, in their last meeting two years ago, they only won 19-6 — and that was during their BSC run. Mississippi State also has a strong defense. The Bulldogs are second in the SEC for total defense and third in scoring defense. The home field advantage and a tougher defense may be enough to hold LSU at bay. LSU struggled with “communication” issues last week. If that carries over to this week, the Bulldogs might have a chance of at least making the Tigers work for a win. 
Cameron Roberson

About Cameron Roberson

I muse and ramble about LSU sports daily. History buff & creative thinker. Coming at you from the Deep South & the heart of LSU Land, Baton Rouge.

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