Mississippi State faces another tough test tonight at LSU, but the recipe for an upset really isn’t that complicated. Wilton Jackson did a great dive into the numbers earlier this week, and they paint a clear picture. The Bulldogs need to run the ball and control the clock if they want to continue to turn their season around.
Looking at LSU first, here’s the cliff notes information. The Tigers have been far from dominant on the offensive side of the ball this year ranking 69th in the nation in total offense, and 51st in scoring with 32.0 points per game. Mississippi State will force this average offense to need to be incredibly efficient if they can control the ball and limit the amount of possessions in the game.
This means, the Bulldogs need to play to their strengths on offense and run the ball. Mississippi State’s rushing attack is 18th in the Nation averaging 240.7 yards per game. The Tiger’s defense against the run is ranked 26th, allowing 120.4 yards per game. This is the matchup the Bulldogs have to win, and they will lean heavily on Nick Fitzgerald and Kylin Hill to do so.
Time of possession has actually been a big factor this season for Mississippi State. In the Bulldogs four wins they are averaging 33:22 in time of possession. In their two losses they averaged 27:58 in time of possession. Furthermore, they are 3-0 when they win time of possession and 1-2 when they lose it, their only win coming against Stephen F. Austin in a drubbing.
Mississippi State’s upset over Auburn is a game script they’d like to repeat tonight. They ran the ball for 349 yards, held the ball for 41:53 and they were 41% on third down, converting seven of their 17 opportunities. If they do this on Saturday, they’ll be 5-2 and on their way back to a season most of us expected.
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Mississippi State Win
I can’t predict with this team this year