The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 3-0 to start the year and will look to leave Death Valley with a win over LSU Saturday night for the first time since 1991.

Here are five LSU players every Mississippi State fan needs to know by Saturday:

  1. Travin Dural (WR): The Tigers’ star wideout is the most dynamic member of the LSU offense, and is far and away the best pass-catching target on the team. His 12 receptions are tied for 12th in the conference, yet he’s second in the SEC in yards with 370 and tied for first with four touchdowns. The Tigers’ passing offense ranks just 10th in the SEC, but the Mississippi State secondary has been susceptible to allowing big plays, leading the conference in explosive pass plays allowed. The Bulldogs must make sure Dural does not beat them down the field Saturday night, letting a mediocre passing offense off the hook with one long completion.
  2. Kenny Hilliard (RB): Hilliard is 12th in the SEC with 215 yards rushing this season, and is tied for seventh with three rushing touchdowns. He has amassed those totals while sharing time in a crowded LSU backfield with the likes of Terrence Magee, Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams. Hilliard, a senior, remains LSU’s top tailback, and he’ll be the man called upon to lead a stout Tigers rushing attack in the team’s SEC opener. Mississippi State’s front seven has not been kind to opposing running backs this season, but expect LSU to try and establish Hilliard on the ground early in this game.
  3. Danielle Hunter (DE): Hunter is second on the team with 15 tackles from his defensive end position, and is tied for the team lead with 2.5 tackles for loss through three games this season. He has been a disruptive force in the trenches for the Tigers, and although he has yet to record a sack in 2014, he has been superb as a run stopper. This could mean bad news for a Mississippi State offense that should be very dependent on Dak Prescott and Josh Robinson’s running abilities in a difficult road environment. If Hunter is able to contain the run on his side of the field and make the MSU run game predictable, the Bulldogs’ offense could be in trouble.
  4. Jermauria Rasco (DE): Rasco has been as good of a pass rusher as Hunter has been a run stopper so far this season, recording two sacks in LSU’s first three games. He’s made 10 tackles this season and is the team’s co-leader in tackles for loss, along with Hunter, at 2.5. Between Rasco and Hunter, one of the two should be lined up across from the right tackle on every snap where MSU has missed starter Damien Robinson all season with a torn ACL. It’s safe to say the Bulldogs’ offensive line will have its work cut out for it when these two teams meet in Baton Rouge.
  5. Jalen Collins (CB): Collins is LSU’s top cornerback, and should be charged with defending either Jameon Lewis or De’Runnya Wilson most of the night. He is a sure-tackler, ranking third on the team with 11 tackles this season, which could be bad news for a player like Lewis who does a lot of his damage with yardage after the catch. And although he has yet to record an interception this season, he is among the team leaders in pass breakups and passes defended. It remains to be seen how often Prescott will challenge Collins, but he cannot afford to make a mistake to one of the best cornerbacks in the SEC West.