LSU got over the first roadblock in its win against Georgia last weekend, but the job is far from done. The Tigers have to follow that up with back-to-back home Games against ranked teams, the second of them being Alabama. After getting gouged by Mississippi State early last year, it’s a different situation for LSU as an early -7 point favorite as of Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
There isn’t much to say about last year’s matchup, which Miss. State won 37-7 and outgained LSU by almost 200 yards. This one should be much different and all signs point to an extremely competitive Game. While the Tigers just beat Georgia, this is still a team that lost at Florida the week before. Mississippi State may have two losses, but they showed plenty of capability in a 23-9 win against Auburn last Game, which followed back-to-back losses against Kentucky and Florida. Unlike last year’s meeting, this could be a defensive slugfest.
There hasn’t been more than 35 total points scored in each of MSU’s last three Games and while LSU’s Games have been more offensive, it’s unlikely either team will reach 30 points in this matchup. The Bulldogs will cause all kinds of problems for the LSU offense, at least that’s what one would assume. LSU is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and Joe Burrow is simply a Game manager at quarterback, but it can’t be ignored this offense ran for 275 yards against Georgia last weekend. That performance makes this Game a little harder to project, but going by overall numbers and how things played out in last year’s meeting, the Tigers will have a hard time rushing for more than 150 yards and as long as Burrow doesn’t have a career Game, it should be competitive most of the way.
The other end is the bigger question because while Miss. State has firepower, the offense has struggled to do anything in recent weeks, scoring seven points at Kentucky and only six against Florida. After missing the opener, it’s been a struggle for quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who is at just 5.76 yards per attempt with Four passing touchdowns and three picks. He’s never been an elite passer, but his numbers are lower than previous years and that’s likely due to new options at receiver. To win or cover this Game, the Bulldogs need to focus on their ground Game, similar to the Auburn win in which Fitzgerald ran for 195 yards and Kylin Hill added 126. It’s logical to think that if Miss. State can run through Auburn that it can do the same against LSU, but this defense did just contain Georgia. Then again, MSU ran for 285 yards in last year’s matchup so the history is there against this defense.
The Bulldogs are 7-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, but 1-4 ATS in their last five Conference Games. The Tigers are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 Conference Games, but haven’t covered in their last Four following an ATS win. Mississippi State has covered the last Four meetings between these schools and the over has hit in five of the last seven played at LSU.
Our Pick – Miss St +6.5