No. 14 LSU (1-1) at Mississippi State (2-0), Saturday, Noon ET (ESPN)
Line: LSU by 9 1/2 according to FanDuel.com Sportsbook.
Series: LSU leads 77-36-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
LSU rebounded strongly from its opening-game loss to Florida State with a 72-10 shellacking of Grambling and begins defense of its West Division title. After surviving Arizona 31-24 in overtime, Mississippi State begins its quest to be in the division title hunt with a daunting league stretch that includes a visit to South Carolina and home game against No. 10 Alabama in the coming weeks. Topping the Tigers will be tough, considering they have won 20 of 23 matchups this century.
LSU’s offense vs. Mississippi State’s defense. The Tigers rolled up 627 yards against Grambling and scored touchdowns on their first 10 possessions – five each rushing and passing. They lead the SEC at 540.5 yards per game and are second in rushing at 207.5. MSU ranks in the middle of several SEC defensive categories but held Arizona to 91 yards rushing on 25 attempts and intercepted four passes among five takeaways. The Bulldogs also came up big in overtime by stopping quarterback Jayden de Laura short of a first down after they scored the go-ahead TD.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels is coming off a career-best five-TD passing performance against Grambling, the third time he has accounted for at least five scores in his Tigers career. The senior leads the SEC in total offense at 354 yards per game, is second in passing at 307.5 and tied for third with six touchdowns.
Mississippi State’s Jo’Quavious Marks main role previously was catching Will Rogers’ passes out of the backfield in the Air Raid. He still does in the pro set, but has become a rushing threat who leads the SEC with 250 yards and three touchdowns after his first 100-yard games in consecutive weeks. Marks’ next reception will make him MSU’s career leader with 200, 12th all-time in the SEC.
FACTS AND FIGURES
LSU has won 20 of 23 matchups, including the past two. … Running back Logan Diggs rushed for 115 yards in his Tigers debut, the first to do so since Cecil Collins’ 172 in a 1997 win over MSU. … Malik Nabers has a 20-game reception streak and is tied for eighth with 11 catches for 154 yards a year after leading SEC receivers. … MSU linebacker Jett Johnson had another imposing performance against Arizona, recording 11 tackles and intercepting two passes for 33 return yards. He has eight games with 10-plus stops in his career and currently ranks ninth in the SEC with 17. … The Bulldogs forced takeaways on Arizona’s first four possessions and have posted one in seven consecutive contests.