The #7 LSU Tigers (7-2, 3-2 in SEC) national title aspirations may be all but gone now but the season still goes on and this week they will host the #21 Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-2, 3-2 in SEC) who are also coming off a tough SEC loss last week as well. The loser of this game will not only have three losses on the season but all three of them will be inside of conference play which won’t look good when bowl selection time comes rolling around.
The Bulldogs are currently averaging 230.7 passing yards gained per game (63rd in FBS), 156.4 rushing yards gained per game (69th in FBS), 30.8 points scored per game (48th in FBS), 377.9 total offensive yards allowed per game (51st in FBS) and 19.7 points allowed per game (23rd in FBS).
The Bulldogs offense is going to have quite a task in front of them this week and at the center of that will be the man behind center for them Tyler Russell. This season Russell has passed for 1,954 yards, 16 touchdowns, three interceptions and completed 59.3% of his pass attempts. The Bulldogs will also need a huge game out of their work-horse of a running back LaDarius Perkins who has rushed for 804 yards and eight touchdowns on 153 carries along with hauling in 13 receptions for 104 yards this season. When Russell is looking down field to pass the ball he will be attempting to get the ball in the hands of Chad Bumphis (34 receptions for 536 yards and 7 TD), Chris Smith (33 receptions for 426 yards and 2 TD) and Marcus Green (17 receptions for 191 yards and 5 TD) in order to make plays for him and the Mississippi State offense.
The Tigers enter the game averaging 190.6 passing yards gained per game (100th in FBS), 200.7 rushing yards gained per game (29th in FBS), 29.4 points scored per game (58th in FBS), 255.3 total offensive yards allowed per game (3rd in FBS) and 15.3 points allowed per game (10th in FBS). Head coach Les Miles will definitely ask his team to play inspired this week following their tough loss last week with the hopes that they can remain in the hunt for some type of major bowl game during the postseason.
Zach Mettenberger (1,717 yards, 8 TD, 4 INT and completed 58.4% of his attempts this season) is coming off of without question the best game of his collegiate career last week where he passed for 298 yards and a touchdown without throwing an interception and completing 24 of his 35 attempts. In order to keep his success going Mettenberger will lokk to get the ball in the hands of Odell Beckham (30 receptions for 493 yards and 2 TD) and Jarvis Landry (31 receptions for 292 yards and 2 TD) in order to keep a good balance between their air game and their excellent ground attack. That ground attack is led by Jeremy Hill (77 carries for 429 yards and 6 TD), Kenny Hillard (71 carries for 420 yards and 6 TD) and Michael Ford (63 carries for 370 yards and 3 TD) who all will need to have a better performance this week than what they produced last week in their loss. Defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery will attempt to get as much pressure on the Bulldogs back field as possible so that Eric Reid and the Tigers secondary can make some huge plays in passing situations.
This game will probably end up with a lopsided result for two reason; one LSU is angry following last week’s loss and secondly the Tigers are that much better than the Bulldogs. LSU wins big in this one 28-10.