Checking the temperatures in Baton Rouge after the Tigers’ 34-29 loss to Mississippi State last week.


The quarterback battle. Les Miles is insistent that Anthony Jennings will remain the starter, but another putrid performance and he could be changing his mind. Freshman Brandon Harris lit it up when he finally got into the game late, nearly pulling out a miraculous comeback for the Tigers. Harris hit long passes against a defense that was trying to prevent exactly that. Fans would probably like to see Harris get more time, and Miles says he will, although in the backup role. How much longer can Miles hope that Jennings gets the ship moving in the right direction?


Secondary receivers. For the first three weeks of the season, it seemed like Travin Dural was the only man getting any looks through the air for LSU. If there’s anything to be taken away from the loss to Mississippi State, it’s that there are more threats out wide than just the sophomore speedster. Malachi Dupre looked the part of a budding superstar with 4 catches, 120 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Trey Quinn is getting more looks. If John Diarse would look a little more engaged and focused on the field, LSU might have a veritably frightening young receiving corps.


The run defense. After being incredibly hot for two and a half weeks, Mississippi State threw a bucket of cold water on LSU’s defense. They blew up the defensive front right in the middle and got runners to the second level with ease. Once there, they easily avoided LSU’s linebacking corps and made the defensive secondary pay. Now that Quentin Thomas could miss two games in the middle of the defensive line, LSU will need to find a way to slow down the rushing attack before the Auburn game.


LSU’s running game. The Tigers have a very talented backfield, but the last two weeks LSU hasn’t been able to run the ball all that effectively. They averaged 4 yards per carry against Louisiana-Monroe and just 2.5 against Mississippi State. The offensive line has been getting beat up, a surprise due to the talent level the Tigers have up front. On top of that, Kenny Hilliard, Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams have not been patient waiting for holes to open up. With the problems LSU has had in the passing game, they’ll need to find some sort of blocking scheme to get the running game untracked.