A couple of teams coming off of big wins clash here in an SEC West matchup. LSU bullied Southern after their disaster against Florida State in Week 1, while the Bulldogs won by 22 on the road against Arizona in a unique visit to a Pac-12 opponent for an SEC squad.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys for Mississippi State to stay perfect on the year:
Keep Will Rogers Hot
Will Rogers is 77-of-98 through the air, passing for 763 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also been sacked just three times, partly due to the Mike Leach scheme, which sees Rogers get the ball out of his hands early, relying on his play design and skill position players to pick up huge YAC.
Rogers’ long pass on the year is just 35 yards, but it is the volume and way that he can pick an opponent apart for continual short to medium gains that is pushing this offense forwards.
Stop Jayden Daniels
There are other matchups at play here – the Bulldogs’ rush defense will need to continue to be lights out – but the battle of the quarterbacks will draw eyes to this matchup.
Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels did everything he could to dig the Tigers out in their loss to Florida State. He then bombed away on Southern in a glorified scrimmage. Daniels has been incredibly efficient, considering he is starting for a new team. He completes 78% of his passes and has five touchdowns to zero interceptions. The Bulldogs defense will need to be ready for the threat he poses.
Quit Turning the Ball Over
LSU has scored 88 points so far in 2022. It is worth noting that 34 of those 88 points have come directly off the six times LSU has taken the ball away from its opposition. The Tigers are +2 in the turnover column thanks to their four giveaways, but two of those were interceptions thrown by backup quarterback Garrett Nussmeier. More realistically, against the players that Mississippi State will play on Saturday, they are +4.
Turnovers are a little bit of an issue for the Bulldogs. They are just +1 after five takeaways and four giveaways. In a game that should be close, the turnovers could prove to be the difference if MSU is too loose with the ball.