LSU will face a Top 25 team for the fifth straight game - a first in school history - on Saturday when the ninth-ranked Tigers welcome No. 22 Mississippi State to Tiger Stadium for Homecoming.
Zach Mettenberger had a big game last week
LSU brings a 7-2 overall mark and a 3-2 league record into the contest following last week's gut-wrenching loss to top-ranked Alabama, 21-17.
The Bulldogs won their first seven games before back-to-back losses to Alabama and Texas A&M. Mississippi State is 7-2 overall and 3-2 in SEC action.
LSU has won 12 straight and 19 of the last 20 games against Mississippi State, which includes a 19-6 win last year on a Thursday night in Starkville.
The Bulldogs last win over the Tigers came in 1999 by a 17-16 count in Starkville and the Bulldogs haven't won in Tiger Stadium since a 28-19 victory in 1991.
LSU and Mississippi State meet for the 106th time on Saturday with the Tigers leading the series, 69-33-3. The Tigers have more wins over the Bulldogs than any other school in the SEC and they've played MSU more than any other team in the league.
LSU is 18-1 under Les Miles in games following a loss and the Tigers have dropped back-to-back games just twice during the regular season since the start of the 2001 season.
As a unit, LSU's offense is averaging 29.4 points and 391.2 total yards a game (200.7 rushing, 190.6 passing).
LSU goes into the Mississippi State contest coming off its best offensive effort of the year as the Tigers racked up 435 total yards (139 rushing, 296 passing) to go with 10-of-20 third-down conversions, no turnovers and 39 minutes and 15 seconds of possession time against the nation's top defense in Alabama.
Quarterback Zach Mettenberger had his best game at LSU last week, completing 24-of-35 passes for 298 yards, 1 TD and no interceptions against the Crimson Tide. For the year, Mettenberger has thrown for 1,717 yards, 8 TDs and only 4 INTs.
LSU's ground game has produced seven 100-yard rushers this year with true freshman Jeremy Hill having done it three straight times (107 vs. Alabama, 127 vs. Texas A&M, 124 vs. South Carolina). Hill leads the Tigers with 429 yards and 6 TDs.
Defensively, LSU continues to be ranked at or near the top in the SEC in points allowed (3rd at 15.3), total defense (2nd at 253.1), rushing defense (3rd at 102.8) and pass defense (1st at 150.3).
LB Kevin Minter has 82 tackles, 9.5 TFL and 3 sacks to lead the Tigers. Other defensive standouts include: S Eric Reid (57 tackles, 2 INTs), LB Lamin Barrow (61 tackles, 5 TFL), DE Sam Montgomery (26 tackles, 10 TFL, 5 sacks), DT Bennie Logan (23 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 sacks) and DE KeKe Mingo (25 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 9 QB hurries).
Mississippi State’s offense averages 30.8 points a game and 387 yards of total offense (230.7 passing and 156.4 rushing).
Tyler Russell has completed 59.3 percent of his passes and averages 217 yards a game. He has thrown 16 touchdown passes against only three interceptions.
Chad Bumphis (34 receptions, 536 yards, seven TDs) now has 19 career TD receptions, adding to his school record. The senior needs 27 receptions to tie the program record of 162.
LaDarius Perkins leads MSU with 908 total yards and eight touchdowns, including four 100-yard rushing games.
The Bulldogs yield 19.7 points a game and 377.9 yards of offense (209.7 [passing and 168.2 rushing).
Jonathan Banks is one of the Bulldogs’ best defenders with 45 tackles, four interceptions and a fumble recovery. Darius Slay also has four interceptions, and Benardrick McKinney (73 tackles) and Cameron Lawrence (72 tackles, 7.0 TFL, 4 sacks) lead the Bulldogs from the linebacker position.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. with ESPN televising the game to a national audience.