Mississippi State enters perhaps the biggest game of of the season this Saturday as it travels to Baton Rouge to take on the Tigers of LSU. The MSU Bulldogs carry momentum from a win over then number 8 Auburn and a bye week to get healthy, while the Bayou Bengals are reveling in an upset of number 2 Georgia last Saturday. The two are set to clash on October 20 at 6:00 pm on ESPN. Mississippi State owns a surprising 4-2 record but looked to be getting things in the right track in their last game. LSU is a great team but not everyone is convinced of their prowess based on eye tests, but there’s no denying that they are the favorite.
LSU is a team that doesn’t do anything particularly spectacularly, aside from the fact that their defensive back play is stellar. But they get a good enough effort from just about every unit. There are some things of which the Bulldogs could still take advantage. They’ve given up 16 sacks this season, and MSU has had 18 as a defense. That’s a matchup that favors the Bulldogs; as far as pass rushing is concerned. Expect at least a sack or two this Saturday. The Tigers seek to rush the football, so the MSU run defense needs to remain what is has been in order to win. Coach Moorhead has a better chance of getting his first SEC road win if he can force LSU to get into predictable passing situations. LSU averages 4-5 yards per rush, and that can’t happen if State expects to upset the Tigers. Joe Burrow, the Tiger quarterback takes care of the ball, but he’s little more than an excellent game manager. Putting the game in his hands should be the game plan for Mississippi State. They don’t need to let their running backs run free. Offensively, perhaps the rushing prowess and lack of a will to pass the ball will bode well for Mississippi State, because as previously mentioned, the defensive backfield for the Bayou Bengals is mighty. That the threat is somewhat neutralized when MSU can run the ball even in non-advantageous formations. The ball should get thrown around more than last game, though, as a complete and balanced offense will bode well for Nick Fitzgerald and MSU. The key for this game is time of possession. Dominating the clock will give the Dawgs a huge advantage in Death Valley. They held the ball for 43 minutes against Auburn, which is a massive amount of time to have possession. A similar plan will give MSU the 24-17 upset Saturday.