No. 7 LSU Tigers at Mississippi State Bulldogs Preview and Pick
- Updated: September 22, 2009
NCAA Football Betting Preview
No. 7 LSU Tigers (3-0) at Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-1)
Saturday September 26th, 12:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – LSU -13, 43.5 O/U
The no. 7 ranked LSU Tigers have jumped out to a quick 3-0 start and a respectable top 10 ranking. The Tigers avoided the upset team of the country this year in Washington in their opener 31-23 and many people questioned just how good the Tigers were after the dismal performance. Well as we found out, Washington may not be that bad and neither is LSU. The Tigers struggled on offense all last year, but seem to have things clicking this season. QB Jordan Jefferson has performed well considering the quarterback position was such a big concern in 2008. However, Jefferson has stepped up and it has been the defense which has had some question mars. Still, the Tigers will try to avoid the upset bug that has swept through the top 10 teams so far this season when they travel to Mississippi State in a SEC West match-up.
Mississippi State is under the command of new coach Dan Mullen. Mullen is the former Florida Gators offensive coordinator who helped the Gators win the National Championship. However, the offensive mastermind definitely does not have the talent that Florida owned, but still will be trying to turn the Bulldogs offense around. The Bulldogs ranked dead last in scoring offense last year averaging just 15 points per game. However, the Bulldogs have appeared to be much stronger under Mullen’s command scoring at least 15 points in each ball game this season. If Mississippi State had a big time quarterback, they could really make some noise this season. Senior Tyson Lee has struggled with accuracy issues over the last two seasons and as a result the Bulldogs have kept things on the ground.
The Bulldogs own 4 different players that are averaging over 5 yards per carry. Senior Anthony Dixon is the workhorse who has carried the ball 41 times this year for 215 yards. Also, expect senior Christian Ducre to get into the action in the backfield. The brightest spot on the offense may come from sophomore quarterback Chris Relf. Relf has backed up Lee in the past, but may give the Bulldogs the best opportunity to move the ball. Relf is a dual threat who can make passes and run the ball. Relf has the 2nd most rushing yards on the team (178) and more yards per carry than any other player (6.4). The sophomore has thrown 3 touchdowns in limited action. If the Bulldogs offense gets in a bind, expect Relf to see playing time behind center and if the Bulldogs are to really excel they will need a big performance from Dixon at the running back position.
The LSU Tigers offense is clicking so far in the season averaging 30 points per game. The offense had huge problems last year holding onto the ball as their quarterbacks threw 18 interceptions last year. However, that has not been a problem with Jordan Jefferson at the helm. Jefferson has thrown 5 touchdowns to just 1 pick on the season while establishing much needed ball control for the LSU offense. In the key positions, the Tigers have some big playmakers. Running backs Charles Scott and Keiland Williams are equally dangerous talents who have 164 yards a piece this season. Also, wide outs Brandon LaFell and Terrance Toliver are big time players on the outside. The two talented wide outs have recorded 5 of the Tigers 6 touchdown catches this season are should be main targets this weekend against Mississippi State.
The Tigers defense was a big reason that LSU was so far up the preseason rankings. LSU returned nearly every player in its back 7 and are one of the best pass defenses in the SEC. The Tigers defensive front is also pretty talented holding opponents to 110 yards per game. If they can shut down the Bulldogs running game, they should be able to control Mississippi State in all other aspects of the game. Of course that is mere assumption as the Bulldogs have been known to play LSU very well. The LSU secondary is so talented that Mississippi State will likely not go to the air much at all meaning this war will be kept on the ground likely by both teams. With that being said, consider a play on the under here.
Pick – Under 43.5
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