#12 LSU Tigers at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Davis Wade Stadium – Starkville, Mississippi
Opening Line: LSU -6 1/2
Current Line: LSU -7 1/2 (+100)
Opening Total: 52
Current Total: 55
Opening Money Line: LSU -275 / MSU +225
Current Money Line: LSU -290 / MSU +245
Both the LSU Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs are 2-0 as they open SEC play Saturday in Starkville. LSU leads the series 73-34-3 against Mississippi State including 15-6-1 in Starkville. The Bulldogs have won only twice in the series since 1992. They haven’t won in Starkville against the Tigers since 1999. Since MSU won in Baton Rouge in 2014, LSU has won two straight games. LSU won last year in Baton Rouge 23-20.
LSU is coached by Ed Orgeron. The Tigers are 2-0 with wins over BYU 27-0 in New Orleans and last week at home over Chattanooga 45-10. LSU is 1-0-1 ATS and the total is 1-1 this season. The Tigers pushed against Chattanooga as a 35 point favorite and the total was 50.5.
Mississippi State is coached by Dan Mullen. The Bulldogs have a home win over Charleston Southern 49-0 and a win last week at Louisiana Tech 57-21. MSU trailed 9-0 against Louisiana Tech but rallied for the blowout win. The game was notable because in the fourth quarter, Louisiana Tech had second and goal at the six. however, they fumbled and finally recovered it at their own seven setting up 3rd and 93! The Bulldogs are 2-0 ATS and the total is 1-1 this season. MSU was a 10.5 point road favorite last week at the other Bulldogs and the total was 66.5.
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LSU is outscoring teams 36-5 this season. LSU is #6 in points allowed nationally. The Tigers average 467 yards per game on offense including 208 passing and 259 rushing yards. LSU is #19 in rushing nationally. LSU allows 170 yards per game on defense including 138 passing and 32 rushing yards per game. LSU is #4 in total and #1 in rush defense. The Tigers are +2 in turnovers with 3 takeaways. LSU averages 80 penalty yards per game and opponents average 25 yards per game. LSU is 11/24 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 6/28. The Tigers have forced 8 sacks and allowed 2 this season. LSU is 9/12 scoring in the red zone with 7 touchdowns and opponents are 2/2 with a touchdown.
Quarterback Danny Etling has completed 71% of his passes for 398 yards with a touchdown pass.
Running back Derrius Guice has 42 carries for 224 yards and 4 touchdowns. Darrel Williams has 23 catches for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Nick Brosette, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Rusell Gage will also get some carries.
Receiver D.J. Chark has 7 catches for 180 yards. Gage has 5 catches for 56 yards. No other Tiger receiver has more than 2 catches. Drake Davis has the only touchdown catch of the season for the Tigers. Five defensive players are on the injury report.
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Mississippi State is outscoring teams 53-11 this season. The Bulldogs are #15 in points allowed and #8 in scoring. MSU averages 507 total yards including 203 passing and 304 rushing yards. On defense, MSU is allowing 174 yards per game including 89 passing and 85 rushing yards. The Bulldogs have forced three turnovers and have one of their own. The Bulldogs average 50 penalty yards per game and opponents average 29. Mississippi State is 12/27 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 7/31. MSU has forced 5 sacks and has allowed zero this season. The Bulldogs are 10/12 scoring in the red zone with 9 touchdowns and opponents are 3/5 with 2 touchdowns.
Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has completed 59.6% of his passes for 363 yards with 5 touchdowns and an interception, and he also has 17 carries for 152 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Back-up Keytaon Thompson has thrown for 43 yards with a touchdown, and also has 47 rushing yards.
Running back Aeris Williams has 25 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown, plus a catch for 28 yards. Kylin Hill has 19 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown.
Receiver Donald Gray has 7 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Farrod Green has 2 catches for 68 yards. Deddrick Thomas has 5 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Thomas has 4 catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Gabe myles has 4 catches for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns.
LSU is 5-0 ATS against teams with winning home records, 4-0 after gaining 450 total yards or more and in road games, 3-0-1 overall, 4-0-1 after allowing less than 275 yards, 6-1-1 after allowing less than 20 points, 4-1 against teams with winning records, 3-1-1 after allowing 100 rushing yards or less, 5-2 after scoring 40 points or more, and 1-5-1 in September. The Tigers are 13-6 ATS including 9-2 in Starkville.
Mississippi State is 4-1 ATS in September, 19-7 against teams with winning road records, 8-3 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 5-2 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, and 1-4 after a cover. The over is 9-4 in this series recently.
Both these teams have been dominant on defense against inferior competition. Mississippi State has also been explosive on offense. Still, LSU is a better team, and I like them to win an ugly rock fight.