Tiger Stadium will come alive Saturday evening when LSU opens their SEC schedule against Mississippi State on national television.
The Tigers, fresh off their blowout win over Southern, will look to get Brian Kelly’s first SEC game off the right foot. However, Will Rogers and the Bulldogs will have over plans.
Don’t sleep on the Tigers.
Everybody’s high on Mississippi State, and with good reason. The Bulldogs have been rolling through two games, scoring 44 points a game and averaging 487 yards of total offense. Plus, Will Rogers at quarterback always gives you a chance to win.
But the Tigers have also scored 44 points per game through two weeks, averaging 449 yards of total offense. The glaring difference is that the Bulldogs are getting more done in the air, averaging 120 more yards per game passing than LSU.
Jayden Daniels has been efficient leading this offense, completing 77.7% of his passes for 346 yards and five touchdowns. He’s also added 132 yards on the ground through two games.
John Emery will be back in the backfield for LSU, but it is unknown what his workload will look like coming off of his two-game suspension for the academic issues in 2021. Noah Cain and Armoni Goodwin will handle the majority of the load. Kayshon Boutte and Malik Nabers will look to both have big games to kick off the SEC slate Saturday night.
Defensively, BJ Ojulari is expected to be back in the lineup, as he and Ali Gaye will be the two edge rushers against Will Rogers. Mekhi Wingo and Jaquelin Roy will fill the middle of the D-line for the Tigers. Greg Penn III, Micah Baskerville, and West Weeks will be the linebackers to watch for LSU, and Major Burns, Jay Ward, and Jarrick Bernard-Converse will be the names to look out for in the secondary.
The Bulldogs will come to Death Valley off of wins over Memphis and Arizona to open the season. Mike Leach is in his third season in Starkvegas and it appears that his team has taken a liking to his Air Raid offense. Will Rogers is currently leading the nation in completions per game (38.5), 3rd in passing yards per game (381.5), 6th in the nation in passing yards (763) and fourth in completion percentage (78.6%) while throwing nine touchdowns (2nd nationally) and only two interceptions.
Skill player wise, Dillon Johnson is the leading rusher for Mississippi State with 127 yards on 25 carries, while Rara Thomas (144 yds, one TD), Caleb Ducking (129 yds, three TDs), Rufus Harvey (115 yds, one TD), and Lideatrick Griffin (88 yds) are the players to watch at the receiver position for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State is big in the trenches, returning 5,175 total snaps of experience throughout the offensive line. Defensively, the Bulldogs are only allowing 305 total yards per game (220.5 passing and 84.5 rushing).
Jett Johnson (20 tackles) and Nathaniel Watson (8 tackles, one interception) will look to cause issues for Daniels with a shuffled LSU offensive line. Add in Emmaunel Forbes and Jalen Green in the secondary and this defense will cause a lot of problems for the Tigers.
Kickoff for this game is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Saturday at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA. Pregame is at 3:00 p.m. and you can hear it all on The Game.