Indeed, when you look at Mississippi State and that Air Raid offense, the fact that it’s going up against a secondary that does not have a lot of game time together is an advantage for Mississippi State. LSU’s corners felt like they proved something in the opener against Florida State. Other than getting beat on a flea-flicker, they were stuck right on the receivers in coverage and didn’t allow anything profound. That was a plus for them, and they felt like they had proved something, but they hadn’t faced this kind of scheme. They struggled a little bit with communication in the opener. Brian Kelly thought they could shore that up by making some adjustments in terms of personnel, but they don’t have a lot of snaps on the field together. That seems like an advantage for Mississippi State in this game and an experienced defensive front going up against LSU’s offensive line, which is still a work in progress. There’s a lot of shuffling going on there — again, there’s not much cohesion on the offensive line. Those seem like two pretty big pluses for Mississippi State. For LSU, playing at home that’s big. It’s sort of an evening game in Tiger Stadium. That helps. So does the fact that they’re starting to click a little bit on offense, using some tempo. They’ll get John Emery back. It will remain to be seen what he does in his first game back in over a year. He’s been out for 643 days and has not played a football game. He is a talented running back who might give them more on offense.
I don’t know a score yet, but I think at this point in the week that Mississippi State will win. That’s a talented team. I was surprised that they were not in the top 25 as many people earlier this week. This game is where they can prove they belong in that top 25. This seems like Mike Leach’s best team since he’s been there; they have a lot more experience. LSU is still figuring things out at many different places, and that’s a tough place to be in the middle of a football season against a team that is already cohesive and has answers everywhere. Whereas LSU is trying to find those answers, Mississippi State already has them. I would say Mississippi State wins the game.