Big game for Mississippi State this Saturday in Starkville, as the LSU Tigers come to town for a much-anticipated matchup. Last season, Mississippi State stunned LSU – the reigning national champions at the time – with a season-opening win.
This weekend’s matchup will look a lot different, as both teams will feature a new quarterback under center. LSU’s Max Johnson in his first year as the starter will face off against Mississippi State’s Will Rogers – also in his first year as a starter.
Both offenses have had their strong moments mixed with inconsistencies. So, we’ll give you three bold predictions for Saturday’s game.
1. Max Johnson and Will Rogers combine for 100 or more pass attempts.
At the end of the day, this game could come down to whichever defense makes more plays to give their offense the ball back. But I strongly believe that both Mississippi State and LSU will throw the ball a lot.
Will Rogers and this Mississippi State offense have done a nice job of shredding defenses with the short to intermediate passing attack. And if that success continues Saturday and they can capitalize on a few big plays, then Rogers will easily surpass 50+ pass attempts.
Given the nature of these teams’ offensive schemes, Max Johnson will be forced to match Will Rogers in attempts and tempo, or the game could easily get out of hand in the Bulldogs' favor. I expect Max Johnson to challenge Mississippi State’s secondary.
And have early success while doing so.
2. Mississippi State and LSU combine for 800 or more passing yards.
This bold prediction should come as no surprise given the one we listed right above it. This game could come down to the fourth quarter and which offense can outlast who.
I fully anticipate a back-and-forth affair in which we see numerous quick big-play drives ending in points.
It should shock no one if both Will Rogers and Max Johnson end the game with 400+ passing yards.
3. Mike Leach won’t be afraid to target LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr.
LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. is one of the most talked-about players in all of college football. Many believe he will be the top cornerback drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft. And possibly even a top-five draft selection.
I could see a scenario where Leach doesn’t shy away from having Rogers target Stingley in coverage, as Leach trusts his system and players to execute the way he draws it up.
This prediction is a bit vague, but I do believe the presence of Stingley in LSU’s secondary could become the story of the game. And if Leach can find ways to eliminate Stingley; or beat him – it could be the difference between a close win and a close loss.