LSU vs. Mississippi State: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03:  Jarrett Lee #12 of the LSU Tigers throws against the Oregon Ducks at Cowboys Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

LSU 6, Mississippi State 3 -- 2Q, 1:18

SEC conference play kicked off with a bang in Week 2 with Auburn (21) and Mississippi State (25) battling it out down to the wire in a 41-34 win for the Tigers—their second straight high-scoring, thrilling affair of the season.

South Carolina (10) and Georgia followed up the Tigers and Bulldogs with arguably an even better performance—the Gamecocks took it 45-42. 

It's safe to say there's a good chance we'll see more of the same when LSU (3) and Mississippi State face off on Thursday night.

The Tigers boast one of the best defenses in the nation—look no further than the Oregon game for proof—and with an Oklahoma (1) loss to Florida State (5), LSU could very well leapfrog Alabama (2) and become the No. 1 team in the country. 

Of course, it isn't as pretty a picture on the other side of the ball. With Jordan Jefferson suspended and Jarrett Lee inspiring little confidence as his replacement, the quarterback position remains unsettled. Look for the Tigers to lean on the emerging running back duo of Spencer Ware and Michael Ford. 

For Mississippi State, keep the expectations for another 300-yard rushing performance in check. LSU's front seven isn't going to roll over like Auburn's did.

But if there's going to be an upset, look squarely to the shoulders of senior running back Vick Ballard. Averaging over 150 yards per game and 9.7 yards per carry, Ballard is one of the most under-appreciated talents in the country. 

This game sets up to be a beast of running game vs. defense matchup.

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