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Mississippi State Has a Lot to Overcome Against LSU

Mississippi State has a tall task tonight against the Tigers.
Mississippi State has a tall task tonight against the Tigers.

Mississippi State endured a close loss when its last real chance to score died as a quarterback keeper was stopped a yard short of the end zone.

True, that describes last week's excruciating loss to Auburn. However, it also describes the last time LSU and Mississippi State met in Starkville. Back then it was the much smaller Tyson Lee attempting to get to pay dirt and there was a bit more time on the clock, but the result in the won-loss column was the same.

That 30-26 loss was the closest margin in the MSU-LSU series since the Bulldogs pulled out a 17-16 win in 1999. That win is the only victory Mississippi State has had over LSU since divisional play began in 1992, and only four games have been decided by no more than seven points. When you talk about one team having another team's number, LSU over Mississippi State is a good example.

The scheduling of the game certainly favors LSU as well. Mississippi State went down to the wire against Auburn last week, while the Tigers maxed and relaxed in a 49-3 laugher over Northwestern State. For perspective: Jarrett Lee completed 90% of his passes against the Demons. Yeah.

If that's not enough, the Mississippi State offensive line is a bit banged up. C Quentin Saulsberry sprained his knee and didn't return against Auburn, though he is expected to play. LT James Carmon had to be carted off the field in Jordan-Hare and is "day-to-day" with his knee injury. The last thing a team wants, especially one that relies on the running game, is to have potential weaknesses on the offensive line when facing LSU. No matter what happens from now until the end of time, LSU will have a good defensive line. That's just one of the immutable laws of the universe.

For Les Miles' part, he thinks Dan Mullen's scheme will help his team succeed much more than Chip Kelly's scheme did in Week 1. It's going to need to with all of the cards stacked against the Bulldogs. If you need one more straw on the camel's back, consider that LSU's offense is run-based this year with the superb Spencer Ware and Michael Ford. Auburn gashed the Bulldogs on the ground last week, and Tomahawk Nation's Bud Elliott, who keeps track of these things, pointed out on Twitter recently that no front seven has lost as much size from last year to this year as MSU's did (sorry for not having a link, I can't find it right now).

This game might not end up 29-7 like last year's contest in Baton Rouge did, but it's going to be an uphill climb for Mississippi State.

LSU 30, Mississippi State 17