Peeps, tomorrow the LSU Bengal Tigers invade Starkville. The Dawgs won in a rout last season, so LSU will be out for blood. What does State need to do in order to win on Saturday? Here's what I think:
1. Run the "Darn" Football: Last week against USM, Dan Mullen got away from what makes the MSU offense a juggernaut. In just 60 offensive snaps, the Dawgs threw 38 times. I expected more passing based on the opponent, but not a total reversal of how we normally run the offense. That said, I would be beyond shocked if we don't see a return to the minimum 55/45 run/pass playcalling split on Saturday night. I'm hoping we'll see more of Dontavian Lee and Aeris Williams, too. Ashton Shumpert was much less than impressive with the few touches he got as the feature back last Saturday night.
2. Tackling: State was a little sloppy at times last Saturday night. There were several attempts at arm tackles and a couple of broken tackles. Gotta clean that up, because Leonard Fournette is a whole different animal than anyone on the USM team.
3. QB Pressure: Brandon Harris will be making his first road start tomorrow night. The Dawgs' D needs to bring the heat and make him uncomfortable. Get him off his spot and make him move to throw the ball. Hit him a few times and see if he'll get rattled. A couple of early sacks, especially if one is a big hit, could really get into his head.
4. Feed on the Emotion: ESPN. 815 PM kickoff time. Cowbells. Davis Wade Stadium will once again be transformed into The Torture Chamber. Our guys need to feed off the environment and play with emotion. The Dawgs were flat against USM and never really seemed to play with much fire. That can't happen if State is going to win on Saturday night. And for the record, I don't think there is any danger of it happening. If anything, we might come out a little too amped up and need a few plays to settle down.
That's what I think needs to happen for State to pull off a second straight victory over LSU. It's going to be interesting to see how this one plays out. Be there. Be loud. Respect the Bell.
In Mullen We Trust,