Tired: Mississippi State is 3-19 vs LSU since the turn of the millennium.
WIRED: Mississippi State is 3-5 since Dak Prescott was named QB1 on Dan Mullen’s team.
What’s interesting to note in those three games is that each one was led by a different QB. Prescott, Nick Fitzgerald, and KJ Costello. What a group. Now, Saturday night, Will Rogers gets his chance to add his name to the list and ascend to the national QB conversations that he is repeatedly left out of.
In each of those three guys’ respective games, they all had an “I’ve arrived” moment. Albeit, each had a varying degree of arrival. Dak, of course, ignited that magical run in 2014 with a victory in Baton Rouge. Fitzgerald’s squad welcomed into Starkville a #12 ranked LSU team featuring stud RB Derrius Guice and a stout defense that now has multiple guys playing on Sundays. And, of course, 2020 was one of the more shocking MSU games I can remember. Everything about that game was weird, from the lack of fans to the first glimpse of the air raid offense. This Bulldog’s eyes had never seen such a thing.
6 PM on ESPN (yes, I’m in Eastern time) is one of the most visible slots in the Saturday slate. Add the name value of LSU, the storyline of how will Brian Kelly do in his first SEC bout, angry Tiger fans desperate to see their team look decent, and boy, you’ve got quite the matchup. No matter that both teams are unranked, just means they’re hungrier to show what they’re capable of.
Will Rogers has to know the potential of what this game can do for the Bulldogs. I’m not asking him to look ahead, but what I am doing is hoping that he understands how impactful starting 1-0 in the SEC can be.
Road tests are where good teams are separated from the rest. Heading to the West Coast was actually a great thing I think the program did when building the non-conference schedule for 2022. It’s early in the season, give the players a bit of a weird situation and see how they react. Personally, I thought the team would start slow against Arizona, given the late start. It can’t be the easiest thing in the world to get up mentally for a game after you’ve been awake for 14 hours. Props to the staff for keeping their mentality fast, focused, and ready to execute.
Completion percentages are great and I love knowing my QB is a sound decision-maker with the ball, but this weekend is going to draw on his ability to be a play-creator, both pre and post-snap. Brian Kelly mentioned on the weekly SEC teleconference that he thinks of the air raid offense in the same way he thinks of the triple-option; they’re schemes that take special preparation and attention to stop. You better believe he’s working on how to break this offense, perfect time for LaQuinston Sharp to put up another Offensive Lineman of the Week-worthy performance.