Mississippi State Football: Louisiana Tech Preview

Head coach Mike Leach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Head coach Mike Leach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Football is back. The 2021 edition of Mississippi State football kicks off Saturday, September 4, at 3 PM CT. The Bulldogs will host Conference USA opponent Louisiana Tech to open up the season. This will be the 14th meeting all-time between the pair of Bulldogs, with MSU holding a 10-3 advantage.

Louisiana Tech finished a tumultuous 2020 campaign with a record of 5-5. The Bulldogs didn’t play a game in the month of November due to COVID-19 issues. However, Louisiana Tech was invited to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, and Georgia Southern obliterated them 38-3.

Taking a look at Louisiana Tech

Head coach Skip Holtz returns 17 starters from a year ago, most coming for the defensive side of the ball. Former Oklahoma and West Virginia QB Austin Kendall will lead the offense with RB Greg Garner and WR Smoke Harris. Harris hauled in a team-high 39 passes and four touchdowns in 2020 for the Bulldogs.

Defensively, LBs Trey Baldwin and Tyler Grubbs and DB BeeJay Williamson anchor the Bulldogs. Grubbs finished his freshman season with a team-high 99 tackles and 9.5 TFL. Baldwin finished with 85 tackles to put him second on the team. Williamson was third in tackles with 56 while leading the Bulldogs with three interceptions.

As far as preseason predictions go, Louisiana Tech has been tabbed to finish third in the C-USA Western division behind UAB and UTSA. The Bulldogs from Ruston will look to take the next step and compete for a division title after finishing third in the West in 2020.

Prediction: Mississippi State wins

Mississippi State’s offense gets rolling in the season opener. Big performances from Will Rogers and Makai Polk lead MSU to a comfortable win over Louisiana Tech. Zach Arnett’s defense builds off of last year’s success and plays well in Week 1.

17. 2119. 42. 893. Prediction

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