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LSU vs. Mississippi State Preview: Cowbells don't play defense

September 15, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

LSU will play only its second non-holiday Thursday game tonight. So it will be the perfect time to show off its high-powered offense.

That is, if the Tigers had one to show off. Gone are the days of JaMarcus Russell, or even Matt Flynn. Maybe if Jordan Jefferson hadn't gone and done something stupid, the LSU Tigers would be tearing up the field.

But instead, LSU averages about as many yards total per game as Mississippi State does just passing the ball.

So the Tigers will have to be content flexing their defensive muscles once again. LSU is currently 11th in defensive yardage allowed in Division 1. Considering one of the teams ahead of them is Eastern Michigan which has yet to play a real opponent this season, you can consider the Tigers pretty good.

Down right dominating might be a better term, as Oregon and Northwestern State managed an average of just 215 yards per game.

Oregon couldn't run the ball, Northwestern State could barely move.

Now Mississippi State's 500-plus yards of offense will be on display. And the game is in Starkville, so there will be plenty of cowbell.

It still shouldn't be enough to intimidate this LSU team, because it seems like nothing does. The Tigers continue to win, no matter what gets thrown at them. They continue to dominate on defense, no matter what the opponent. They continue to make Les Miles look like a mad, grass-eating genius.

And so this should continue to be a win for LSU, the 69th in the 105-game series between the two teams, that according to the LSU games notes dates back to ... 1986.

Yeah, that is surely a typo. One hundred five meetings in just 25 years. That would be a record.

Good to see that math and factual accuracy are core skills in Baton Rouge.

But even with the odd accounting in the LSU athletic department, one thing is clear: The Tigers dominate this series.

LSU scores against the Bulldogs (and probably should continue to do so, even without a strong offense). Mississippi State allows teams to move the ball. It lost to Auburn, a team it should have dominated given the losses the defending national champion endured. It should have shut down a team that had a hard time getting past Utah State.

If Mississippi State played Minnesota, you would count that as an automatic win, wouldn't you?

But Mississippi State played so poorly that you almost had to check to make sure that Cam Newton wasn't still on the field.

Sure, the Bulldogs came back at the end of the game, but to think that will even be possible against the LSU defense is a joke.

LSU should dominate this game, just based on the results so far this year. You can discount the two throw away games by these two teams and the results are the same. LSU dominates.

At the beginning of the year, the thought was that Mississippi State might pull off an upset at home sometime this season. But after the Auburn debacle, the Bulldogs would be hard pressed to do it against LSU.

The Vegas line is just 3.5 in LSU favor. That looks like a gimme. Take the Tigers to cover.

   

Posted September 15, 2011 1:56 PM

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