Mississippi State vs. LSU Preview

It seems like an eternity since we last saw the Bulldogs play, and that gets remedied tomorrow as they head to Baton Rouge for a classic SEC West showdown with the LSU Tigers. LSU leads the series 67-33-3 and also leads in the series in Tiger Stadium 45-18-1. The last time the Bulldogs beat LSU was in 1999 and the last time they won in Tiger Stadium was 1991.

A close game and last-minute loss last year in Starkville has Bulldog fans looking to finish the job and this year looks as good as any. LSU has struggled offensively in its first 2 games, ranking 112 in total offense and 90 in rushing offense. Defense is definitely the Tigers strength at this point in the season. If we though the Auburn D-line was tough, LSU will be darn near impossible to penetrate. They rank #4 in the nation in rush defense and 33 in total defense.

The Bulldog defense will have to play at the same level or higher than they did against Auburn for any chance to come away with a win tomorrow. LSU's offense was hit or miss during the Vandy game, but eventually got moving in the 4th quarter as Vandy's defense started to tire. Stevan Ridley had a monster game, carrying the ball for 159 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Russell Shepard added 48 yards an a touchdown, as well as Alfred Blue who carried 5 times for 23 yards. All in all, LSU came away from Nashville with 280 yards of rushing. Their passing game, however, was not as much of a highlight. Jordan Jefferson completed only 8 of 20 passes for 96 yards and also threw an interception.

Stevan Ridley had a monster game on the ground, as he finished the game with 159 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Russell Shepard added 48 yards and a touchdown and Alfred Blue carried it five times for 23 yards and a score. It was a good thing the ground game was working, as quarterback Jordan Jefferson really had a hard time throwing the ball last week. Jefferson completed just 8 of 20 passes for 96 yards, and also had an interception in the game

Defensively, LSU will probably be the toughest opponent we have faced so far. Their line is very experienced, and they have shutdown corners in the secondary. That combination pretty much eliminates the run game and the deep pass. If the Bulldogs can come out with a series of short passes, crossing routes, and a good zone-read/option game, we will be able to put up some points. Luckily, that seems to be what worked best for us against Auburn, and Chris Relf has the running ability to make the option play a serious threat.

I am looking for this game to be close, similar to the Auburn game. The game will come down to less than a touchdown and possibly hinge on a 4th quarter field goal. Hopefully, that field goal is in favor of the Maroon and White.

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