Start Time: 11:00 AM CT, Saturday, Oct. 17
Location: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS.
TV: SEC Network
Radio: LA Tech Radio Network, MSU Radio Network
Records: LA Tech 4-2, Mississippi State 4-2. Mississippi State leads the all-time series, 8-3.
Live Stats: HERE
Betting Line: Mississippi State -13.5
The last four meetings between these two teams have been decided by 8 points or less. There are intriguing matchups including Dak Prescott vs Jeff Driskel, Manny Diaz against his former team, and former high school teammates (Mississippi State DE A.J. Jefferson and LA Tech DT Vedrnon Butler) going for bragging rights.
Mississippi State is the home team and the Bulldogs from the Magnolia State have home field advantage. We found ten reasons that Louisiana Tech fans can find hope in.
1. Mississippi State ranks 90th in the country running the ball at 150 yards per game. The Bulldogs rushed for just 56 yards against Auburn, who gives up over 200 yards per game on the ground.
2. Mississippi State ranks 73rd in the country against the run, giving up 170 yards per game. The Bulldogs did shut down the run against both Troy and Southern Miss. Will they have the same success against Kenneth Dixon?
3. Louisiana Tech ranks 23rd in the country against the run, giving up 112 yards per game. Brandon Holloway rushed 5 times for 5 yards against Texas A&M and 5 times for 7 yards against Troy. Ashton Shumpert has just 15 carries for 36 yards in his last 3 games.
4. Louisiana Tech ranks 17th in Total Offense at 493.7 yards per game. The Bayou Bulldogs are a much better offense than Troy, who went down 38-0 to Mississippi State at halftime last week. LA Tech has proven they can move the ball.
5. Mississippi State ranks 126th in Time of Possession at 23:16 per game. Southern Miss rolled up 413 yards against State and held the ball for 37:45. Troy held the ball for over 40 minutes against the Bulldogs.
6. LA Tech outgained Kansas State 451 to 360. The Bulldogs from Louisiana have been on a big stage already this season and played really well. They won't be intimidated on Saturday in Starkville. While Tech ultimately lost in 3OT, they had several chances to put K-State away.
7. Jeff Driskel has two last minute drives in crucial situations. The fifth year quarterback led LA Tech down the field in the last minute for a game tying field goal against Kansas State and a game winning field goal against UTSA.
8. LA Tech is 2-1 in their last three meetings against State. Tech won in 1996 and 2008 and then lost in overtime in Starkville in 2011. In the Battle of the Bulldogs, Louisiana Tech has had plenty of success.
9. LA Tech has four starters from Mississippi in Adarius Barnes, Vernon Butler, Vontarrius Dora, and David Mahaffey. Especially on defense, LA Tech will be playing at a high level of intensity as they play for bragging rights.
10. Mississippi State ranks just 92nd in the country in 3rd down offense, converting 35.7% of the time. LA Tech's defense ranks right in the middle of the country, holding teams to a 37.1% conversion rate. If LA Tech can keep Dak Prescott and Co. off the field, they will have a chance to win.
This game is going to come down to Dak Prescott. If the Heisman contender has a big game, then Mississippi State should win. The key for Louisiana Tech will be to try to hold Prescott halfway in check. The LA Tech Bulldogs have their own big dual threat quarterback in Jeff Driskel, who has being playing at a high level this season. It should be a good matchup.
Mississippi State 27, Louisiana Tech 24