Mississippi State is currently 1-0 in SEC play so far. They’re at the top of the SEC West. And the Bulldogs want to find a way to continue to be the current leader in the race to Atlanta amongst the SEC West teams. A win in Baton Rouge would keep them at the top of the division’s standings.
But the Bulldogs are facing an immensely talented program. Like Mississippi State, LSU is still trying to recover mentally from their week one loss to an inferior opponent. However, unlike the Bulldogs, they didn’t get much of a significant win in week two. Instead, they had a few bright spots from a new quarterback, but other than that there are still plenty of questions around the LSU program.
The offense for the Tigers has questions. This is without a doubt the weakest aspect of their team. And it starts with a mess at the quarterback situation. Brandon Harris hasn’t developed at all under Les Miles and the LSU offensive staff. And he doesn’t look any better than he did a season ago. Add in the fact that his competition, Danny Etling, is a Purdue transfer that couldn’t excel with the Boilermakers, and LSU fans have a right to be concerned about the output of their offense.
It surely doesn’t help calm their nerves that Leonard Fournette isn’t fully healthy. He’s been struggling with an ankle issue since the offseason, and he had to sit out the game against Jacksonville State.
Now, I’m not a superhuman, Heisman caliber talent like Fournette, but it’s always taken me more than a full week to heal up my injured ankles. But even if he is injured, the Tigers always have a stable of talented backs that they can turn to. Mississippi State will need to stop them to have a realistic shot at winning. And the Bulldogs have a mean front seven that might match up well here.
LSU’s defense is always stout, and their front seven is something that’ll cause nightmares for opposing quarterbacks. Mississippi State’s offensive line looked sharp at times against the Gamecocks, but they’ll need to be far better at generating running lanes against the Tigers or it’ll be a long night for the Bulldogs.
And while the Bulldogs have a significant amount of confidence after the South Carolina game and an incredible amount of motivation and fire generated by the South Alabama loss, all of that may not translate over to the field. The Bulldogs will need to play perfectly tonight to come away with a victory, and we have only really seen them execute well in the first halves of each of the first two contests.
Some of that was driven by fans leaving because of weather in both games (super hot in week one and lightning scares in week two), but ultimately the level of play falls on the shoulders of the coaches and the team. Dan Mullen will need his team fired up and focused for 60 full minutes of football, otherwise an upset win is unlikely.
And even though my gut is telling me to pick Mississippi State in this game, and thoug I believe it’ll be a close contest, I do honestly think that LSU will come away with a win. Mississippi State’s defense should shine, but the questions surrounding the young offense for the Bulldogs on the road might prove to hold too much weight for Mississippi State to overcome in Baton Rouge.
Final Score Prediction: LSU 21-MSU 17