Donovan Tennimon

LSU Looks To Rebound Against Starkville’s Bulldogs

Created on Oct. 03, 2013 2:51 PM EST

For the second week in a row, LSU will take to the road to face off against a pack of Bulldogs representing the rough and rugged SEC. Mississippi State will welcome the Tigers to Starkville on Saturday night as both teams attempt to avoid two conferences losses early in the season.

Sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott has done an admirable job filling in for injured starter Tyler Russell. After Russell suffered a concussion in the opening loss to Oklahoma State, Prescott has become the Bulldogs’ leader in passing and rushing. He certainly presents more of a dual-threat option than Russell ever did and it gives Mississippi State two legitimate options at quarterback heading into this contest.

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing LSU’s defense this weekend will be preparing for two different, yet capable quarterbacks. Fortunately for the Tigers, neither Prescott nor Russell is capable of putting up the kind of numbers Aaron Murray did last Saturday, and Mississippi State doesn’t have the same talent on the perimeter of their offense as Georgia.

Will LSU be able to get its running game moving again? The Tigers’ powerful rushing attack averaged just more than two yards per carry against the Bulldogs from Athens. Zach Mettenberger also was sacked four times. While the strength of Mississippi State’s defense is its front seven, don’t expect them to get the same kind of push as Georgia was able to generate last week.

Speaking of Mettenberger, will he be able to maintain his incredible play from the first five games? He still is sixth in the country in passing efficiency with a rating of 187.8. Mettenberger has thrown 13 touchdown passes against only one interception. Look for LSU to exploit the Bulldogs’ suspect secondary, especially if the offensive line can give him time to find the open receivers.

It will be interesting to see the mindset of LSU’s players during this game. How will they react to a close, heart-breaking loss to Georgia one week ago? While Mississippi State doesn’t possess the same talent or depth as the Tigers, any kind of a letdown on the road could prove detrimental to LSU and its chances at a conference or national title, both of which remain possibilities for LSU.

It’s hard to envision a Les Miles-coached team not being prepared for a conference game on the road. This game might be close for the first half, but expect LSU’s talent and depth to take over in the second half and wear the Bulldogs down. The Tigers still control their own destiny and all of their preseason goals are still attainable if they can win out.

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