No. 22 Mississippi State (4-2) knows the hostile environment they’re walking into on Saturday.
The Bulldogs enter Death Valley as the homecoming opponent a week after No. 5 LSU (6-1) upset then-No. 2 Georgia (6-1). The already rabid Tigers fans will be even more energetic on the heels of the 36-16 victory vs. the Bulldogs, LSU’s third victory vs. a top-10 team this season.
Mississippi State, well rested coming off a bye week after defeating Auburn 23-9 on Oct. 6, will need to bring its A-game to top LSU.
⏪📽️ First half of the 2018 regular season ☑️
— MSU Football 🏈 (@HailStateFB) October 13, 2018
“We’ll have to play with fanatical effort and surgical precision to beat another top-ranked team in the country,” Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead said to The Clarion Ledger.
Moorehead believes Death Valley will be the toughest stadium the Bulldogs will play in this season and that they must “control the controllable” to neutralize the effects of the 100,000+ fans for the homecoming game.
Mississippi State will even go as far as attempting to replicate the atmosphere of LSU’s stadium, which is “as good as any”, during practices.
“(We’re) expecting a lot of crowd noise,” Moorhead said to The Clarion Ledger. “We’re going to be working on that this week. Tough to simulate, but we’ll do our best.”
— MSU Football 🏈 (@HailStateFB) October 16, 2018
If Mississippi State is going to pull off the feat, it’ll require a much more disciplined approach on the road.
The Bulldogs combined for 27 penalties in their last two road outings vs. Kansas State and Kentucky (16 for 139 yards). Mississippi State cleaned up on the flags vs. Auburn but will need an even better showing to come away with a victory at LSU.
“Certainly the pre-snap penalties are the biggest focus there,” Moorhead said to The Clarion Ledger. “The 16 at Kentucky, I think we cleaned up in the last few weeks. We’re trending in the right direction, but with the crowd noise, the atmosphere and the snap count and stuff like that, we’re going to be mindful of it.”