Despite a crushing defeat against Auburn last week, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have surprised many in the SEC with their dynamic rushing game.
The Bulldogs are averaging 321 yards on the ground through their first two games, putting them sixth overall in the nation. Not only does RB Vick Ballard have 301 yards on the year with four touchdowns, QB Chris Relf has surprised some with his great mobility. Through two games, Relf has rushed for 157 yards. Not too shabby for the senior QB out of Montgomery, Ala.
This should be a big test for the LSU defensive line as it is used to stopping the run. After shutting down LaMichael James in Week 1 versus Oregon, Northwestern State Demon's running game last week wasn't much of a challenge.
LSU currently holds the eighth-best rushing defense in the nation, allowing an average of just 45.5 yards per game, and has only allowed two rushing TDs all season. Both DT Michael Brockers, who has seven tackles, and DE Sam Montgomery, who has 9 tackles and 2.5 for a loss, will need to continue pounding in the trenches to close the openings created by the Bulldogs offensive line.
The Tigers shouldn't have too much issue shutting down the run as it is the more predictable of the two offensive choices for the Bulldogs, but if Mississippi State is able to dominate the line of scrimmage, it could cause problems for the Tigers.