Mississippi State will play its biggest game so far this season against No. 8 LSU Saturday night in Death Valley, but the game will be especially significant for Bulldogs’ quarterback and Louisiana native Dak Prescott.

Prescott grew up in Haughton, Louisiana, which is located 265 miles away from Baton Rouge on the other side of the state yet remains firmly entrenched in “Tiger Country.” When Prescott isn’t starring for the Bulldogs most football fans in the area remain loyal to LSU, but that may change when Prescott and Mississippi State come to town this weekend.

“It’s cool,” Prescott told the media Wednesday when asked about his homecoming. “My friends and my family, some people that don’t necessarily get to watch the game because they’re watching LSU or something, all eyes will be on us and LSU this time.”

The Bulldogs’ redshirt junior quarterback was actually recruited by LSU during his senior season at Haughton High School, but the Tigers’ interest in the dual-threat quarterback came too late to win his commitment. As Prescott explained, by the time Les Miles and LSU formally offered him a scholarship, he had already been committed to Mississippi State for “three or four months” and was “pretty certain” of his decision to commit to the Bulldogs.

To this point, it appears Prescott made the right choice in choosing State over LSU, as the Bulldogs’ quarterback has already achieved a great deal in a short amount of time in Starkville. Miles’ LSU squad, meanwhile, has struggled at quarterback so far this season, causing many LSU fans to wonder what if when imagining Prescott in Purple and Gold.

Prescott has played in Death Valley one other time during his career, but it came in a much smaller role as a redshirt freshman in 2012. He completed his only pass of the game for nine yards when he rotated onto the field in place of then-starter Tyler Russell, and ran once for three yards before being removed from the game.

Mississippi State lost that game 37-17, and the Bulldogs’ quarterback is anxious to return to his home state and show what he can do against a team that didn’t try hard enough to recruit him out of high school.

“To go back and know the whole game is mine and I can control the whole offense and the team is behind me and just know we’re going into a place where its us against the world is pretty exciting,” Prescott said Wednesday.

The star quarterback is right: this game truly will be State against the world. Mississippi State has lost its last 14 games against ranked opponents, hasn’t beaten LSU since 1999, hasn’t beaten LSU in Death Valley since 1991 and hasn’t won a road game against a ranked team in even longer than that. History says Mississippi State has no chance in this game, but in the Bulldogs’ recent history they’ve never had a quarterback as dynamic as Prescott.

He led the team in rushing a year ago with more than 800 yards on the ground, and is on pace to rush for more than 1,000 yards this season. He’s also shown tremendous growth as a passer while at Mississippi State, throwing for more than 700 yards in three games including an impressive nine touchdown passes to six different players. He grows more and more comfortable each week in commanding the MSU offense, and the offense has responded by scoring 131 points in three weeks, more than 43 points per game.

Most importantly, Prescott is well aware of the challenges Death Valley presents visiting teams, especially when the sun goes down. The Louisiana native grew up watching LSU all visitors to Baton Rouge, and he knows how much success the Tigers have experienced in his lifetime under the coaching of Nick Saban and Miles. The noise and the atmosphere will not overwhelm the Bulldogs’ leader on offense, which bodes well for a strong Mississippi State offense facing a dominant LSU defense.

Prescott’s friends and family will likely be drowned out by a much larger collection of Tigers fans filling Death Valley Saturday night, but just knowing his support system is watching may elevate State’s quarterback enough to spark an upset.

“I’m just excited for the opportunity to play there,” Prescott said, also noting that a win over LSU “would mean everything to this program, and it’d get us going in the right direction.”