The Matchup: #21 Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2) at #7 LSU (7-2, 3-2)
When: Saturday, November 10th
Where: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Game Time: 7:00 PM ET
Recent History: LSU has won 12 straight games in this series, and Mississippi State’s last victory in Baton Rouge was back in 1991, and they have dropped 10 straight trips to Death Valley.
Storyline(s): Both LSU and Mississippi State are coming off of reeling defeats last week, and both are hungry for a victory. This is MSU’s best chance to beat LSU and finally notch a worthy SEC West opponent.
What you need to know about Mississippi State: The Bulldogs started out 7-0 and ranked #11 in the BCS until they played Alabama. Now, two games later and two losses later, the Bulldogs sit 7-2 and wondering how they will finish in their next three games.
In what seemed a promising season on the whole, Dan Mullen took care of his first seven cupcakes with little to no problem. However, they were blown out against Alabama 38-7 and thumped by Texas A&M 38-13 last week.
The defense is getting pushed around and is missing tackles left and right, and the offense cannot get in its earlier grove. The good news is that the Bulldogs have another week to correct those issues, but the bad news is the game is in Baton Rouge…at night – where opponents’ dreams go to die, or so says Les Miles.
Tyler Russell must get back on track in the passing game, and LaDarius Perkins must get going on the ground. The defense as a whole just needs to stop playing soft, man up and win a football game for its team.
But it doesn’t get any easier to rebound this week.
What you need to know about LSU: The Tigers played their most complete team last Saturday night against Alabama in the loss. They would have beaten 99 percent of all college football teams, just not Alabama.
Zach Mettenberger finally got on track in the passing game, throwing for 298 yards and one touchdown. He completed 68.5 percent of his passes, and we’ve been waiting for him to break out. I think we witnessed that against Bama.
Jeremy Hill is the guy toting the rock in the backfield, not the four horsemen of Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Kenny Hilliard or Alfred Blue (injured). Hill has been fantastic in the last three games, rushing for a total of 358 yards and four touchdowns, and he’s a fresh set of legs with the perfect combo of speed and power in the downhill running game.
Defensively, this club can get to the quarterback, led by the ends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo. The Tigers remain second in the SEC in total defense, third in rushing defense and first in passing defense. This group is fierce and ultra-talented, led by LB Kevin Minter.
What Gives? We’ll see which team can bounce back and notch another win. LSU clearly has much more talent, but this game was tied 6-6 going into the fourth quarter last year in Starkville.
The Bulldogs are going to have to play a complete game in Death Valley in order to beat the Tigers. The defense will have to force Mettenberger to be good again in the passing game, and I look for them to attack the Tigers’ running game by loading the box and creating some situations with their good defensive backs. LSU doesn’t have a big-time receiver, and the Bulldogs’ secondary matches up pretty well.
But Tyler Russell must get going. He’ll be the key to a Bulldogs’ win or loss Saturday night.
Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE