How does LSU beat Mississippi State? Keys include withstand ‘ambush’ and stop the run
2 months ago The Advocate 0
No. 2 LSU (6-0) continues its Southeastern Conference slate against Mississippi State (3-3) on Saturday inside Davis Wade Stadium. These are staff writer Wilson Alexander’s keys to the game for LSU.
1. Withstand the ambush
The last time LSU played at Mississippi State, the Tigers lost, 37-7. Junior defensive end Glen Logan, at the time an unprepared freshman thrust into the fray, called the game an ambush. Coach Ed Orgeron referred to it as walking “into a hornet’s nest.” He admitted he didn’t have the team ready. LSU has harped on that experience this week, pumping “Who Let the Dogs Out” and other noise into its practices so the Tigers feel prepared.
2. Hold that football
Mississippi State has a penchant for forcing turnovers. The Bulldogs have recorded 16 takeaways this season, third-most in the country. Ten of those were off fumbles. Though LSU has only lost two fumbles this season, the Tigers have focused on ball security in practice the past couple weeks. Will the drills pay off? Mississippi State defensive coordinator Bob Shoops’ teams have a takeaway in 22 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation.
3. Renew York
Freshman kicker Cade York began the season 7 for 7 on field goal attempts, looking unflappable under pressure as he made three against Texas in his second collegiate game. But York has missed his last two attempts, one a 44-yarder against Florida and the other a 53-yarder against Utah State. York will probably need to make a long, high-pressure kick at some point this season. The Tigers need him to get back on track this weekend.
4. Stop the run
With the worst passing offense in the Southeastern Conference, Mississippi State has won and lost games this season based on its ability to run the football. During its win over Kentucky, Mississippi State averaged 6 yards per carry. Over the next two games, both losses, the Bulldogs averaged 3.2 yards per carry. Meanwhile, LSU has allowed an average of 91.83 rushing yards per game. If LSU maintains that average, it can handle Mississippi State’s offense.