This week’s game: No. 22 MSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) at No. 9 LSU (7-2, 3-2), Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPN (Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe)
Mississippi State’s defense has a lot to prepare for when it comes to this LSU offense. It’s had a strong running attack all season, and as you can read in today’s Journal, the passing game is now a threat with Zach Mettenberger coming into his own. He had a breakout performance in last week’s 21-17 loss to Alabama, and he showed why he was so hyped up in the preseason.
Alabama has a strong secondary, and LSU was having to play from behind, so that makes Mettenberger’s performance all the more impressive.
“He played his best game of the season in his most critical moment,” MSU defensive coordinator Chris Wilson said. “He was able to be really efficient in the passing game, made some throws, but they were more prevalent.”
There was a lot of talk this week about Mettenberger being hot, and one wonders if this was a one-game thing or if he can sustain it.
“He was hot for sure, and that’s kind of like any quarterback. You get them in the rhythm, they’re good when they’re hot,” MSU linebacker Cam Lawrence said. “I’ve seen him when things weren’t going good for him kind of be down, but things were going good for him the other night, and he was hot. We’ve just got to keep things going our way.”
Some quick numbers for you: LSU is 11th in the SEC in pass efficiency, while MSU is fifth in pass efficiency defense. State also has 12 interceptions, although it’s not made one the last two games, both losses.
Some more links for you: MSU opens the basketball season tonight at Troy. Y’all be sure to follow Wes Johnson on Twitter for in-game and postgame updates. … IAHS tailback Ashton Shumpert is about ready to trim his list to five. … MSU commit Chris Jones will try to keep Houston rolling in the playoffs. … LSU tries to forget the Alabama loss and focus on MSU. … Dang, has it really been 10 years since the Bluegrass Miracle? I’m old.
Here’s the rest of this weekend’s SEC football schedule (Kentucky is off):
• Arkansas at South Carolina, 11 a.m., CBS
• Missouri at Tennessee, 11:21 a.m., SEC Network
• UL-Lafayette at Florida, 11:21 a.m., SEC Network
• Texas A&M at Alabama, 2:30 p.m., CBS
• Georgia at Auburn, 6 p.m., ESPN2
• Vanderbilt at Ole Miss, 6 p.m., ESPNU