It goes without saying that LSU pulled arguably the upset of the season over Georgia, in what was one of its most memorable victories. That said, Mississippi State will throw the kitchen sink at them come Saturday. But that is of course easer said than done when going into Tiger Stadium in primetime. With that, here are two special talents the Bulldogs must be on extra watch for.
The first is of course quarterback Joe Burrow, the Ohio State transfer who has been phenomenal thus far. Having just two interceptions in his 2018, it goes without saying that he knows how to make the right decision. Burrow has thrown for 1415 yards on the season along with six touchdowns and a 53.3 completion percentage.
Given that Mississippi State’s defensive front boasts speed and can set the edge, they will be heavily relied on to frustrate Burrow. Defensive end Montez Sweat must use his quick first step to get to the quarterback. Sweat has rare talent and can easily get around lineman. Look for him to make an immediate impact and fill the stat line.
In addition to Sweat, defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons has to win the line of scrimmage. With a 6’4” 295 pound frame, Simmons is more than capable of having the advantage. He can collapse and fight off blocks, both rare for a tackle in today’s game.
While Burrow only threw for 200 yards without any touchdowns against Georgia, he was a surgeon against their defense and picked them apart steadily. Perhaps that is the attribute Mississippi State should fear most, the ability to be a game manager and not panic about stats. Having said that, Burrow rushed for 66 yards and two scores, making him a dual threat. Luckily, the Bulldogs’ defense has enough playmakers to put an end to any rushing attack.
On the other side of the ball is Tiger linebacker Devin White, a household name and fan favorite in Baton Rouge. White is a one man wrecking crew and terror. The matchup between him and Mississippi State signal caller Nick Fitzgerald will be something special to watch. White can do it all, as he can easily disrupt both the rushing and passing game.
Look for head coach Joe Moorhead to key in on White, ultimately frustrating him with different looks and/or schemes. With 13 total tackles against the Dawgs, White did it all as the face of a defense that held one of the game’s best offenses to just 16 points. He has 66 tackles and a forced fumble on the year, as White seems to just be getting started.
Likely to both be given time, Mississippi State’s two headed monster in running backs Kylin Hill and Aeris Williams will give white all he can handle. But how formidable can they be at Tiger Stadium, arguably the toughest place to play in college football. It will be a show and look for a huge clash between one the SEC’s most lethal rushing attacks against one of the best linebackers in the country.
Overall, this game has marquee written all over it. As it of game changers, Burrow and White are right there at the top. Look for the Bulldogs to jump out of the gate but keep a special eye on those two. This will most definitely be one of Saturday’s games where all around are saying one word, WOW!!