This Saturday, the LSU Tigers (1-1, 0-0 SEC) will open their SEC play against the Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-1, 1-0) at home.
Both teams are still adjusting to their new quarterback situations. After losing star quarterback Dak Prescott to the NFL in the off-season, MSU head coach Dan Mullen has chosen redshirt sophomore Nick Fitzgerald to lead the offense. In their two games so far this season, Fitzgerald has been more of a threat in the running game rather than the passing. He ranks sixth in rushing in the SEC with 206 yards and leads the SEC with 10.8 yards per carry.
Last week, the Bulldogs put on a dominant performance against South Carolina in their SEC opener. At halftime, MSU had a 24-0 lead after Fitzgerald threw for two touchdowns. MSU got their first win with a final score of 27-14 after being upset by South Alabama in Week 1.
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) September 16, 2016
While Mississippi State is getting more confident with their new quarterback, LSU is struggling to decide who will take the reins for their offense. The battle is between juniors Brandon Harris and Danny Etling, who transferred from Purdue. Harris has been the starting quarterback since halfway through his freshman season, but has struggled to be effective in throwing the ball. In last week’s game against Jacksonville State, Etling replaced Harris on their third possession and opened with three straight scoring drives. The Tigers beat JSU 37-13, but head coach Les Miles said that both quarterbacks should be ready to play and compete for the starting position as both offer different skill sets.
LSU was without running back Leonard Fournette after he suffered a minor injury to his left ankle in the season opener against Wisconsin. Coach Miles said that his health is getting better every day and should be expected to play this week.
When these teams met last season in Starkville, LSU won a close game, 21-19. The Tigers victory came in large part from Fournette who scored all three touchdowns.
This Saturday, kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. The game will air on ESPN2.