The Tigers have a Brandon Harris problem, while the Bulldogs are still trying to get past a bad Week 1 loss to South Alabama. Who’ll rise up in the SEC West opener? Check out the LSU vs. Mississippi State fearless prediction and game preview.
LSU vs. Mississippi State Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 17th
Game Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Why Mississippi State Will Win
LSU’s quarterback situation is a flaming hot mess.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that veteran starter Brandon Harris threw the one pass a veteran starter should never, ever give up – the pick to end the Wisconsin game – and if it wasn’t a problem that he got benched after an ineffective start against Jacksonville State, now the LSU season has the potential to implode after he tweeted out “u smart” to former teammate Tyron Johnson – now an Oklahoma State Cowboy – starting a swirl of transfer rumors and speculation.
And now Harris has locked his twitter account.
If nothing else, the focus isn’t really there right now for a big SEC West showdown.
It’s not like Purdue transfer Danny Etling set the world on fire when he got his shot, completing just 6-of-14 passes for 100 yard with a touchdown and a pick, but at least the offense started to move against JSU.
Mississippi State might have its issues, but the defensive front has been a rock over the first two games, stuffing South Carolina for 34 yards on 31 carries helped by 11 tackles for loss. With the LSU passing game not going anywhere, the Bulldogs will load everyone up to stop a feeling-better Leonard Fournette.
Why LSU Will Win
Okay, Leonard, now it’s time to do that Heisman thing.
Lost in the defeat to Wisconsin was how Fournette had a solid game up until he took a shot on his leg late, running for 138 yards averaging six yards per pop.
With ankle and knee injuries giving him a problem, will he be the same runner who ripped up MSU for 159 yards and three scores in last year’s opener?
He’d better be.
This is still one of the most talented teams in college football, and it’s loaded with more than enough playmakers to overcome the issue at quarterback. But it’s going to require Fournette to carry the offense no matter how many Bulldogs are trained to stop him, and it’s going to take a big day from the defense to pick up the slack.
The Mississippi State ground game has been fantastic so far, but it can’t run all over the Tigers like it did against the Gamecocks. LSU has to force several three-and-outs, it has to win the field position battle, and it has to start looking and playing the part.
What’s Going To Happen?
This is it. This is the turning point in the 2016 college football season. Either LSU gets its stuff together and figures it out fast, or this ultra-talented team that has no business being anywhere else on New Year’s Eve but in the College Football Playoff might be one of the all-time biggest flops.
Is this a team and a program and a coaching staff that can play through adversity, come together, and thrive? It sure doesn’t look like it, but this week it’ll get by thanks to a secondary that won’t allow a thing, and a run defense that’ll step up to the plate.
Think the Wisconsin game, only without the major screw-up at the end.
LSU vs. Mississippi State Prediction
Final Score: LSU 26, Mississippi State 16
Line: LSU -14, o/u: 45
ATS Confidence: 5: Vegas, Now – 1: Talk To Wife … 3
Must See Rating: 5: Hell or High Water – 1: This Is Us … 3