Mississippi State (0-0, 0-0 SEC West) at LSU (0-0, 0-0 SEC West), Saturday, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
Last week for the Bulldogs: First game of the season. Last season, MSU won three of its last four regular season games to finish with six wins to become bowl eligible. After losing to Louisville in the Music City Bowl, the Bulldogs fired second-year coach Joe Moorhead.
Last year’s game: LSU quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns to break the LSU season record with 29 in the No. 2 Tigers’ 36-13 victory at Starkville. Burrow, who had his pants pulled down by a State defender while being sacked, said afterwards laughing, “I heard there was supposed to be a full moon in Starkville tonight.”
Last time MSU beat LSU in Baton Rouge: MSU QB Dak Prescott, who then-LSU coach Les Miles tried to sign out of Haughton (La.) High as a tight end, passed for 268 yards and two TDs and rushed for 105 yards and 1 TD as the Bulldogs beat No. 8 LSU 34-29 in Tiger Stadium to snap a 14-game losing streak against the Tigers.
Series record: LSU leads 74-35-3
MSU coach: Mike Leach (139-80 overall in 18 seasons, 1st year at MSU)
THIS AND THAT
Latest betting line: LSU by 16½
Number of Louisiana natives on MSU roster: 9
Number of Mississippi natives on LSU roster: 4
Mississippi State-LSU current program connections: Redshirt freshman OG Cole Smith transferred from LSU last August and will start for MSU. . .LSU freshman redshirts DB Raydarious Jones of Horn Lake (Miss.) and OL Xavier High both chose LSU over MSU on 2019 signing day despite late pushes from the Bulldogs.
Reason to dislike MSU: Those damned cowbells.
Reason to like MSU: LSU has more wins over the Bulldogs than any school the Tigers have played.
Stuff: LSU is playing its first season-opening day game in Tiger Stadium since 2008 when the Tigers beat Appalachian State 41-13 in a game moved to 10 a.m. due to Hurricane Gustav. LSU has won five straight and 18 of its last 19 day games in Tiger Stadium, a streak that dates back to
the start of the 2010 season. . .LSU has won three straight and 16 of its last 17 season opening contests dating back to 2003. The only loss during that span came against Wisconsin (16-14) in Lambeau Field to open the 2016 season. Then-LSU coach Les Miles was fired three games later after a 2-2 start. Ed Orgeron was named interim coach and then permanent coach at the end of the regular season. Orgeron is 40-9 overall guiding the Tigers with 31 wins by double-digit margins. He’s 18-7 against Top 25 ranked teams, including 12-3 vs. Top 10 teams.
MSU PLAYERS TO WATCH
(All stats listed from 2019)
QB K.J. Costello (Stanford graduate transfer,102 of 167 passing for 1,038 yards and six touchdowns in 2019), RB Kylin Hill (1,350 yards rushing, 10 TDs), WR Garrett Shrader (587 rushing, 6 TDs), OT Greg Eiland
LB Erroll Thompson (84 tackles, 6 QB hurries), DE Marquiss Spencer (37 tackles, 6½ for losses including 2 sacks), FS C.J, Morgan (59 tackles, 8 PBUs), CB Martin Emerson (32 tackles, 1 interception)
PK Brandon Ruiz (Arizona State transfer, 37 of 49 career field goals, 94 of 95 extra points), P Tucker Day (42.6 ypg, 13 inside the 20, 10 fair catches), KR TBA, PR TBA
1. What did LSU coach Paul Dietzel say after the Tigers managed to escape with a 7-6 win in 1958 over Mississippi State in the rain in Jackson?
A. “I hate playing in Jackson”
B. “I don’t need more cowbell”
C. “Thank God we have someone who can make an extra point”
D. “What does it matter – 7-6 or 70-6?”
2. What Mississippi State quarterback is the only QB ever to go 4-0 against LSU in his career? In his final game as a senior vs. the Tigers in 1983 in Tiger Stadium, he rushed for 158 yards and four TDs in a dominant 45-26 MSU win.
A. James Bond
B. Garry “U.S.” Bonds
C. John Bond
D. Barry Bonds
3. What coach won two games each over LSU in Tiger Stadium coaching Texas A&M and Mississippi State?
A. Jackie Sherrill
B. Emory Bellard
C. Ralph Emery
D. Ralph Cranston
4. Who first began welding handles on cowbells for Miss. State students?
A. Two tone-deaf human beings
B. Two very evil and probably tone-deaf MSU professors
C. Two MSU fans living in a van down by the river
D. Two enterprising MSU football players
ANSWERS: 1. D 2. C 3. B 4. B