Game time: 7:00 PM ET
How to watch online: WatchESPN
Odds: LSU is a 14-point favorite (via OddsShark)
You might have bet on one of these teams having a quarterback controversy in Week 3 before the season started.
But you probably would have guessed that it would be Mississippi State and not LSU.
In what was supposed to be a breather against Jacksonville State, LSU quarterback Brandon Harris went just 1-for-4 on passing attempts for a meager eight yards before grabbing a clipboard as Purdue transfer Danny Etling came on. Etling’s stat line wasn’t exactly brilliant — 6-for-14, 100 yards, a touchdown and an interception; three rushes for six yards and a touchdown — but it was enough to say that the Bayou Bengals have a quarterback controversy on their hands.
On the flipside, Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald, after playing just two drives in a loss to South Alabama was excellent last week against South Carolina. Fitzgerald went 19 for 29 on pass attempts, threw for 178 yards, two touchdowns and an interception to go with 17 carries for 195 yards. 373 yards of total offense likely means the job is his for the foreseeable future.
While LSU fans are likely panicking about the quarterback situation, they can rest easy on another front. Leonard Fournette is likely to return to the lineup against Mississippi State. The Tigers didn’t miss him much against Jacksonville State as backup Derrius Guice ran for 155 yards on 19 carries, but that was Jacksonville State. And in any case, having both Fournette and Guice available is much better than just having the latter.
LSU has won 22 of the last 24 games in this series, but one of the two losses came the last time these two teams met in Baton Rouge. Back in 2014, Dak Prescott led a then-unranked Bulldogs team to a 34-29 win over the Tigers in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as that score makes it sound. State would be ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time in school history within three weeks of that game.
The oddsmakers have the Tigers as a two-touchdown favorite... but with the way the first two weeks of the season have gone for LSU, is anyone confident that this will be the walkover the oddsmakers think it will be?