Mississippi State football seeks to stretch its winning streak to seven games as the Bulldogs open Southeastern Conference play against No. 8 LSU at 6 p.m. CT Saturday in what is expected to be a record crowd of over 102,000 in Tiger Stadium.
The contest will be televised live in primetime on ESPN with Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe calling the action. It’s also available on WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app on mobile devices. The C Spire Tailgate show goes live on the MSU Sports Radio Network at 4 p.m. CT (click for affiliates)
Saturday’s game will re-air on the SEC Network at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, 4:30 a.m. Monday and 12 a.m. Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (3-0) have been dominant offensively, racking up 500 yards of offense in four consecutive games, including 514 in a 35-3 win at South Alabama last weekend. Quarterback Dak Prescott, a Haughton, La., native ranks second nationally in points responsible for with 72. Prescott has completed 43-of-72 passes for 696 yards through the air, while rushing for over 100 yards in back-to-back games.
MSU’s high-powered offense will be tested by an LSU squad that is off to a 3-0 start, including a come-from-behind win over Wisconsin in week one. The Tigers have not allowed a point in nearly 10 quarters highlighted by consecutive shutouts of Sam Houston and UL-Monroe.
“We were in a tough environment last week, but it’s going to be an even tougher environment playing at LSU on a Saturday night,” said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. “That is always a tough environment to go in to. This is a team that brings so many weapons to the table. It’s a huge challenge for our offense. Statistically, this is the best LSU defense we have ever played going into the game.”
Defensively, the Bulldogs ranks in the top 15 nationally in scoring defense (11th – 12.3 ppg), rushing defense (11th – 80.3 ppg), redzone defense (second) and tackles for loss (fifth – 9.3 tpg). MSU’s 29 tackles for loss is currently most among Power 5 Conference teams.
“I think all year we are playing good defense,” said Mullen. “I can’t say we are playing great defense because of the big plays we have given up down the field. But when you take away the big chunks we are playing really good defense. That is something we continue to work on with guys and making sure guys are always in the right position.”
Senior defensive end Preston Smith was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for the third consecutive game, a first in league history. Smith has made impactful plays with two blocked kicks, two interceptions, one forced fumble, two sacks and three quarterback hurries. Junior linebacker Benardrick McKinney is the Bulldogs’ leading tackler with 20 and five tackles for loss.
Junior running back Josh Robinson, a Franklinton, La., native makes a return to his home state. Robinson is MSU’s leading rusher with 96.0 yards per game and three touchdowns.
LSU has won 14 in a row in the series, and the Bulldogs seek their first victory over the Tigers since Oct. 23, 1999 in Starkville.