Facing a quick turnaround, LSU opens the road portion of its SEC slate Saturday in Starkville, Miss. facing the upset-minded Mississippi State Bulldogs. LSU (1-1) is smarting form a 30-27 overtime loss to Tennessee while the Bulldogs (2-2) are coming off a 23-10 loss at home versus Georgia. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. at Scott Field.

Head to Head

Mississippi State RB vs. LSU LB

Jerious Norwood vs. Kenny Hollis

Jerious Norwood was a preseason all-SEC and probably the second-best running the Tigers will face this season behind the likes of Tennessee's Gerald Riggs. Norwood is the catalyst of the Mississippi State offense and teamed with mobile quarterback Omarr Conner, the tandem combines to make up one of the SEC's most exciting duos. Kenny Hollis has risen as leader on this LSU defense as was displayed in a number of big plays he made in the loss to Tennessee.


Mississippi State LB vs. LSU RB

Qinton Culberson vs. Joseph Addai

Mr. Versatile meet Mr. Versatile.  Joseph Addai is heralded as one of the most versatile players in the SEC on the offensive side of the ball. When the senior running back breaks through the Mississippi State defensive front, he will meet arguably the most versatile defensive player in the league. Quinton Culberson came to Miss. State as a safety, moved to outside linebacker a year ago and is now one of the most athletic middle linebackers around. Culberson is no doubt the Bulldog's quarterback on defense.




Player to Watch

Keith Andrews

PK, Junior

6-2, 185

Ouachita Christian

Bastrop, La.


Why it is important to stop him?

For a Mississippi State team that has scored very few points, the Bulldogs rely on their talented place kicker for a steady base for scoring. Andrews, a standout prep kicker from North Louisiana that kicked a 59-yarder at Ouachita Christian, is a former teammate of current Tiger center Rudy Niswanger. He has a strong leg and is very accurate from long range.


Who has to stop him?

Another Bastrop, La. native Claude Wroten had a pretty memorable blocked field goal attempt in the Tigers season opener at Arizona State. Wroten, along with the rest of the Tigers special teams, must try and neutralize Mississippi State's primary scoring threat.




LSU rushing offense vs. Mississippi State rushing defense:

LSU's rushing attack moved the ball adequately on Arizona State and at times versus Tennessee. Joseph Addai has proven game after game he is without a doubt the most versatile player in the SEC. However, the lack of production from Justin Vincent and Shyrone Carey leaves the LSU rushing attack somewhat on an island and will eventually run out of gas going to the Addai well time after time. However, LSU's defensive front should be able to handle the Bulldogs offensive front led by DelJuan Robinson

Advantage: LSU


LSU passing offense vs. Mississippi State passing defense:

The Tigers passing attack really struggled in the Tennessee game to find its rhythm. JaMarcus Russell was handcuffed in the second half with conservative play-calling and when the time came for him to shine, he was unable to step up to the challenge. Miss. State's pass defense was carved up by Georgia's D.J. Shockley, but does have its share of stars in free safety Jeramie Johnson. But LSU gets the nod.

Advantage: LSU


Mississippi State rushing offense vs. LSU rushing defense:

While the Bulldogs do possess one of the SEC's top running backs in Jerious Norwood, Norwood alone can't get it done. The Tiger defense held the SEC's top running back Gerald Riggs to 89 yards on 24 carries. While Norwood is good, his offensive line isn't quite as talented as that of the Vols.

Advantage: LSU


Mississippi State passing offense vs. LSU passing defense:

At this point, count this as a disadvantage for the Tigers until further notice. Not totally disrespecting Tennessee quarterback Rick Clausen, but when he left LSU in 2002, some speculated if he had Division I-A talent. Clausen dissected the Tiger secondary time and again. Let's just say MSU quarterback Omarr Conner isn't as polished as Clausen, but he is playing well in State's West Coast scheme.

Advantage: Mississippi State


LSU special teams vs. Mississippi State special teams:

Tiger place kicker Chris Jackson has grown into one of the SEC's better kickers and is among the conference's best punters. Colt David has yet to miss and extra point and Skyler Green is playing to full potential as the league's best punt returner. Keith Andrews has one of the strongest legs in the SEC and can hit field goals from long range. While LSU should get a slight edge, penalties on kick returns can hold this Tiger unit back.

Advantage: Mississippi State



Mississippi State is in a position with nothing to lose. Sylvester Croom is still in a rebuilding phase in Starkville. The Bulldogs are just trying to compete from week to week. Les Miles' team on the other hand is somewhat backed in a corner after the disappointing loss to Tennessee. The Tigers, shouldered with lofty expectations, are trying to rebound from the meltdown in Tiger Stadium. LSU could come out tight and in a short week…..

Advantage: Mississippi State



While Mississippi State is in a perfect position to upset the Tigers, it shouldn't happen. While LSU's offense has struggled and the Bulldogs will likely complete some passes, the Tigers' possess too much talent for State. The Tigers endured some injuries versus Tennessee and depth could become a problem, but they should pull through. However, Mississippi State's defense held Auburn to 28 points and Georgia to 23, and despite a lack of offense, could make things interesting.

LSU 31, Mississippi State 17


- Matt Deville

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