LSU rushing offense
vs. Miss. State rushing defense
The LSU rushing attack has seemed a
bit bogged down this season. The tandem of Justin Vincent and Alley Broussard is
not getting the pop they in the latter half of the 2003 season and the Tiger
offensive line is having its share of travails as well. LSU is very average in
the rushing department averaging just 160 yards per game. However, the
Mississippi State rushing defense is much worse than advertised giving up 151
yards per game. If anyone saw what Auburn’s Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown
did to the Bulldogs, there is no question who is favored here.
LSU passing offense
vs. Miss. State passing defense
Last week, Marcus Randall started
for the third straight game. After Randall showed some promise on the opening
drive leading the team downfield for a touchdown, JaMarcus Russell came into the
game and the Tigers’ aerial assault never got on track. The LSU wide receivers
seem to be coming into their own, but the passing game is still a bit shaky.
Mississippi State is actually decent in the secondary giving up just 147 yards
per game, good enough for 16th nationally. But are those stats skewed
due to the fact most teams can run at will on the Bulldogs defense with little
need to throw.
Miss. State rushing
offense vs. LSU rushing defense
While Cadillac Williams and Ronnie
Brown had their way with the LSU defense most of the day last weekend, the Tiger
run stoppers did a good job of bending but not breaking. LSU hasn’t done a very
good job of tackling in any game this season, but for the most part has been
effective allowing just 89 yards per game on the ground. Plus the Tigers haven’t
allowed a rushing touchdown yet this season. The Bulldogs have a capable duo of
running backs in Fred Reid and Jerious Norwood, but look for the Tigers to
dominate this area.
Miss. State passing
offense vs. LSU passing defense
The Bulldogs have a very versatile
signal caller in sophomore Omarr Conner. While the Mississippi State Bulldog
offense can be anemic at times, Conner is really the only true player the
Bulldogs possess whereas he can hurt you through the air and with his scrambling
ability. Oregon State’s Derek Anderson and Auburn’s Jason Campbell both found
comfort zones facing the LSU secondary, can Conner do the same?
LSU special teams
vs. Miss. State special teams:
What a wacky season for the LSU
special teams this season? The Tigers have been less than brilliant in this area
with a number of fumbles, missed field goals and extra points and some poor
punting early on. Mississippi State has had its trouble as well as kicker Keith Andrews missed a field goal against Maine and was denied the chance to try at
another when the Bulldogs had the ball on the Black Bear 30-yard line.
Mississippi State instead elected to pooch punt. Neither team is really strong
in this area.
LSU has ruled this series winning
12 of the last 13 meetings with Mississippi State. While we feel the Bulldogs
will eventually get better under the tutelage of Sylvester Croom, the Bulldogs
are not very good at this point as shown in a 9-7 loss to I-AA Maine last
weekend. Mississippi State hasn’t won in Tiger Stadium since 1991 and hasn’t
been in a competitive game with LSU since the Tigers defeated the nationally
ranked Bulldogs 45-38 in overtime in 2000.
Let’s face it. Mississippi State is
not a good football team. The Bulldogs are lacking in talent on both sides of
the ball and it will take several years under Croom to re-build this program
left in shambles by Jackie Sherrill. The fact is the Tigers do not have to play
their best game to beat the Bulldogs. This one shouldn’t be and will not be
close in any stretch of the imagination. Mix in the fact LSU is still smarting
from last week’s one-point loss, Mississippi State is the perfect treat for the
Tigers’ craving. Look for head coach Nick Saban to grab an early lead and play
lots of people trying to generate game experience for next week’s showdown with
Georgia in Athens.
LSU 49, Mississippi
- Matt Deville