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Game Prediction: LSU Tigers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Irish Breakdown crew makes its predictions for the LSU vs. Mississippi State game

Notre Dame is off this weekend after its contest against Wake Forest was postponed to December 12. There are going to be a lot more games this weekend with the SEC kicking off its 2020 season.

The Irish Breakdown crew didn’t want to miss out on making predictions, so we looked over the schedule and found the LSU vs. Mississippi State game very intriguing. It will be the first game of the Mike Leach era in Starkville, and LSU begins its title defense.

Here are our predictions of that matchup:

BRYAN DRISKELL, PUBLISHER

Prediction: Mississippi State 31, LSU 27

What would be the point of us all picking the same team? Let’s have some fun …. but I could also see this happening. JP is right, Bo Pelini and Mike Leach have faced each other when they were both in the Big 12. Leach won both games, beating the Huskers 37-31 in Lubbock in 2008 and 31-10 in Lincoln in 2009.

I’m not sure if KJ Costello is the ideal quarterback in the Leach offense, which usually requires a more accurate passer, but when Costello is on he’s good. He’ll have some weapons around him as well, and it’s been awhile since Pelini saw an offense with the kind of speed his unit will face, and he’s still learning what the Tigers are all about.

But I’m more concerned with the LSU offense, which was absolutely decimated during the offseason following its record-setting 2019 season. Not only did the Tigers lose pass game coordinator Joe Brady and Heisman Trophy winning QB Joe Burrow, but they also lost a pair of 1,000-yard receivers, a 1,000-yard running back, their standout tight end and four starting offensive linemen.

Oh, and LSU lost the ability to have 102,000 wild and screaming fans in the stadium, which takes away some of what makes the Tigers so hard to beat at home.

So my question is, can the Tigers outscore the Bulldogs? I’m betting they can’t. It should also be noted that Mississippi State held LSU to its lowest yardage output and second lowest scoring total of the season in 2019.

VINCE DEDARIO, FOOTBALL ANALYST

Prediction: LSU 42, Mississippi State 41

This game is going to be very exciting for me. I think it is more so from the LSU side than from the Mississippi State side. What will be the second act for the Tiger after taking the college football world by storm and turning a 6th round pick into the #1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft? 569 yards and 48.4 points per game is no easy act to follow. They are breaking in a new quarterback in Myles Brennan but he has a slew of talented receivers. The unheralded matchup will be new Tigers DC Bo Pelini versus new Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach. I think this one will have some points scored for sure!

JP SCOTT, IB CONTRIBUTOR

Prediction: LSU 34, Mississippi State 18

LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini has seen Mike Leach’s offense plenty of times when they were coaches in the Big 12. LSU will be ready, both athletically and schematically, for what quarterback KJ Costello and the Bulldog offense throws at them.

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When LSU has the ball, they have the talent in the trenches to control the line of scrimmage.

NATHAN ERBACH, IB CONTRIBUTOR

Prediction: LSU 35, Mississippi State 24

Have to role with the defending champs in week one against Mississippi State. Quarterback KJ Costello and running back Kylin Hill on offense for the Bulldogs make this a fun game, but even with no Joe Burrow and the plethora of LSU players gone to the NFL and/or opting out of the season, LSU doesn’t lose their opener. They are in good hands with Myles Brennan at QB and I think the Tigers surprise some people with their ability post their historic 2019 season.

BRIAN SMITH, IB CONTRIBUTOR

Prediction: LSU 34, Mississippi State 20

Chris Curry will be the star of the evening. The next RB to be featured by LSU, Curry will rush for a score and catch a pass for a score.

LSU’s defense will be solid. Damone Clarke, the middle linebacker, will be the leader in tackles and help harass the Mississippi State quarterback(s) when blitzing. Corner Derek Stingley will also start to make his bid for All-American honors with an interception.

RYAN PALMERI, IB CONTRIBUTOR

Prediction: LSU 28, Mississippi State 17

Mississippi State has Mike Leach bringing in the air raid and LSU lost just about their entire starting roster and coaching staff from last year. This will follow the trend and be an ugly first game. LSU is still loaded with four and five stars so talent should win out. Washington State also put up a mere six points in Mike Leach's first season. It'll take some time to get the offense clicking.

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