Life isn't a walk in the park inside the SEC.
LSU will be entering its fifth straight week against Top 25 competition when the Tigers meet Mississippi State in a crucial SEC showdown this Saturday. Mississippi State will be entering its third straight week against Top 25 teams.
With BCS implications on the line, let's take a look ahead to this Saturday's showdown in Baton Rouge.
When: Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line (via Covers.com)
Over/Under: 44.5, Spread: LSU (-14)
Mississippi State's schedule was soft from the outset, but it has recently gotten much more difficult with games against Alabama and Texas A&M. It lost both games by 25 points or more, proving what kind of team it really is.
The Bulldogs will struggle to score against LSU's stingy defense, and the Tigers will be able to put enough points on the board to cover the spread.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
Eric Reid, S, Day-to-Day
Josh Williford, OG, Day-to-Day
Alex Hurst, OT, Out Indefinitely
Kwon Alexander, LB, Out for Season
Jordan Allen, DE, Out for Season
Travin Dural, WR, Out for Season
Tyler Edwards, TE, Out for Season
D.J. Welter, LB, Out for Season
Evan Washington, OL, Out for Season
Tahj Jones, LB, Out for Season
Chris Faulk, OT, Out for Season
BCS/Top 25 Implications
Despite losing last Saturday night, LSU is still in perfect position for a BCS bowl game. A loss this Saturday, however, just might be enough to place the Tigers on the outside looking in at this point of the season.
Mississippi State is in a slightly different situation. It went from a possible BCS berth to looking for a victory just to stay in the Top 25. A loss this Saturday via blowout fashion might be enough to push it out of the Top 25 rankings.
Mississippi State Player to Watch: LaDarius Perkins, RB
LaDarius Perkins is averaging 5.3 yards rushing per attempt this season while boasting 804 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Perkins has rushed for over the century mark four times this season but has failed to do so in the past two games.
However, in the past two games, Perkins received 15 or fewer carries. When his touches are limited, he struggles to produce at a high rate. When he receives more than 15 carries per game, Perkins has rushed for 100 yards or more in every game this season.
When he rushes for 100 or more yards, the Bulldogs are undefeated. What he does and how the Bulldogs use him often determines outcomes of games.
LSU Player to Watch: Zach Mettenberger, QB
Zach Mettenberger is the difference between LSU playing in the national championship game and LSU finding itself on the outside looking in on the BCS picture. He has struggled for the majority of the season and is a major reason why LSU has two losses.
However, Mettenberger played fantastically against Alabama, posting 298 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions against the best defense in college football.
Maybe this was the game that will change the direction of his collegiate career. Maybe not. We will see what direction he goes this Saturday.
Prediction: LSU 27, Mississippi State 10
Right now, Mississippi State isn't on the same level as LSU. The Tigers run game will be enough to give LSU a 17-point home victory over the Bulldogs, keeping LSU's BCS hopes alive.
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