LSU looks to continue long run versus State

Saturday at 11:30 a.m. will mark the beginning of another test No. 9 LSU will face this season when Mississippi State invades Tiger Stadium.

The State offense has struggled this season and should not present many problems for the No. 1 LSU defense. However, LSU head coach Les Miles and his staff has been outspoken all week in preparation, especially in reference with the MSU defensive front seven.


That front seven has limited offenses all season thus far, including Auburn at home. The Tigers would like to come out running the ball, and the MSU front seven should offer a great test.  


"Their front seven are strong," offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said. "If you watch what they did in the Auburn game, South Carolina and UAB, they didn't give up anything. They are physical. They are tough. They will test you physically and mentally. The Mississippi State game as you all know is always a very physical football game."


The LSU offensive line has done a great job of protecting its quarterback, allowing junior slinger JaMarcus Russell to pick apart defenses. But the rushing attack has lacked play in opening holes and lanes for backs to run through this season. 


A successful running game traditionally opens up passing lanes for the offense, and Russell said he appreciates a good rushing game because it makes his job easier.


"If we can get a running game going to show the great efforts by the offensive linemen to block, then that helps build confidence," Russell said. "Sometimes you have to run to open up the pass and that makes your job a lot easier."


Running the ball is easier said than done. In college football, defensive coordinators can focus their game plan on one aspect of the game, which sometimes could be the run.


Sometimes coordinators just need to center their efforts against one player in order to win, which Fisher said happens more often than you think.  


"[Defensive coordinators] know if you have a go-to guy and how to take him away," Fisher said. "Then you have to be creative. A good example is when we had Josh Reed here. You knew, I knew, everyone in the world knew we were going to him. But he could get open. But that had to do with his intelligence. It all depends on the personnel you have."


Russell said he knows that coordinators focus on taking certain players out, but that doesn't worry him. He said he knows LSU has enough weapons to go to, and that practice usually prepares them for anything.

"If every team had the same defense, then there would be no need for practice," Russell said.

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