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'A Little Bit Tough to Evaluate': LSU Team Looks Different Ahead of Mississippi State Matchup

LSU looks a good bit different since the last time it faced the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Mike Leach is familiar with the LSU Tigers and quarterback Jayden Daniels.

But both look different since the last time he faced them.

LSU has a new coach in Brian Kelly and a new quarterback in Jayden Daniels. The latter is someone Leach is familiar with and faced in his Pac-12 days.

"Good player," Leach said when I asked him about Daniels and LSU. "We played him when he was at Arizona State and he can definitely help himself out with his legs. And when coverage breaks down he throws it up. He can give you trouble if you don't keep track of him so sometimes it gives you two things to keep track of."

Daniels was lackluster despite being one of the team's best pieces in season opener in which LSU lost 24-23 to Florida State, completing 26-of-35 passes for two touchdowns, also rushing for 114 yards. That stat line is not poor, but Daniels looked to run at times when it wasn't necessary and at times showed some questionable decision-making.

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Daniels looked more solid in the 65-17 blowout of the Southern Jaguars, completing 10-of-11 passes for 137 yards with three passing touchdowns and one interception. One of the biggest questions that Daniels provided some concern about himself was his ability to score through the air and he's gotten better, though he will have to continue to prove it as the schedule gets tougher.

As for the LSU team as a whole, this is a much different squad than Leach and the Bulldogs went up against the last time they were in Baton Rouge. LSU made some moves in the transfer portal and has a much different lineup than the time quarterback KJ Costello put up 623 passing yards on them.

"LSU is a little bit tough to evaluate," Leach said. "From the standpoint they've got a lot of new faces. They were big into the transfer thing. So we'll see how all those guys turn out and I think it's still unfolding."

It will be interesting to see how things play out this time around as LSU looks shaky against respectable competition and as MSU is still considered a dark horse with a staunch defense and an Air Raid offense that has clicked on a new level since the start of the season.

LSU and MSU are set to kick off at 5 p.m. CT on Saturday, Sept. 17 in Tiger Stadium.