#7 LSU & #21 Miss. State: Who Will Bounce Back?

When #7 LSU and #21 Miss. State take the field on Saturday night in Death Valley, one thing has to be the theme for both teams, and that would be ‘bouncing back.’ Both teams are searching for the will to pick themselves up off the floor, wipe the blood from the corner of their mouths, and come out swinging. For LSU, the roller-coaster of emotions they faced last Saturday night vs #1 Alabama, were enough to demoralize a team for the rest of the season. For MSU, the Bulldogs have taken 2 of the toughest blows we’ve seen a Dan Mullen team take, and even worse- in back-to-back weeks.

The question is: Who has the stronger will?

I didn’t ask about talent. I didn’t ask about traditions. I didn’t ask about the home field advantage. I’m asking, which team can move past the hangover of a tough loss, look within, and manufacture a win on Saturday night. Who’s hungrier? State and LSU do carry the same exact record, so a loss on Saturday night means a 7-3 overall record, and a 3-3 (.500) mark in SEC play. It’s at that point that seasons fall into that downward spiral, losing can become contagious, and head coaches and fan-bases begin to look for answers. For both teams this is possible, yes even the #7 LSU Tigers. But, the latter is probably more of a possibility for MSU, and I can already sense some changes that may be made within the Dawgs’ coaching staff. There are no such things as moral victories, but for State, another ugly loss to a conference foe would completely demolish the feelings of a 7-0 start, and cause State fans to question their progress in competing against the SEC West’s and Nation’s best teams.

I for one, don’t see another ugly loss on the docket this season. There’s no doubt that MSU has one more heavy-weight left on its schedule in LSU, and I’m not discounting the Hogs or Bears, Lord knows our track record at times against both of those schools. But, Mullen always seems to right the ship at some point. Whether it’s a season that starts off poorly, or until this last week- a game that we fall behind in, Dan seems to get State back in the fight. As bad as State has looked the last 2 weeks, and I mean ‘BAD’, I have to think that Mullen and Co. will get back to basics this week, focus on the smallest details, and preach effort and passion. But, we’ll see….

Anyway, a couple of reasons why I think the LSU game will be close? 
1. The Tigers could still be deflated from the Bama loss, and State will be looking to rebound from 2 losses.
2. State will be facing a true Pro-Style Offense, that takes very few shots, and should be more elementary in defending, as compared to the complex spreads they’ve seen this year.
3. There’s no Bulldog Bash the night before the game for our players to attend (Heard those rumors yet?).

Any thoughts on how you feel State is approaching this game?

Can MSU hang in Death Valley? At least avoid another ugly loss?

Will LSU be deflated, or rebound strong?

4 thoughts on “#7 LSU & #21 Miss. State: Who Will Bounce Back?

  1. buzzardroostus

    I happen to catch Jackie Sherrill talking on the Paul Finebaum show yesterday. He gave an interesting outlook. He said that a college football team normally can only get up and motivated for about 3 games per year. And the rest of their games they have to play on ability. He believed MSU had already won 2 games on emotion versus Auburn & Tennessee. And believed Bama played their 1st emotional game versus MSU then another the next week at LSU. Also thought LSU has used 2 of their’s versus A&M & Bama. Then he said he felt like MSU & A&M had a good chance of pulling off the upset at Baton Rouge & Tuscaloosa.

    Jackieisms are always interesting. I think there’s some truth to you can only play so many games on emotion and the rest you have to play on your ability. I hope Vandy plays TSUN w/ some emotion this weekend.

  2. imabulldog Post author

    Ol’ Jackie…

    Yeah that’s a pretty cool way to break down the mentality of a team. Now that I know his mindset, that explains his calm in the locker rooms before games. Rarely did he build them up to get them going.

    No doubt that the Bama game and aTm game stole something from us, probably along the lines of what you texted me Buzzard- manhood.

    I sure hope our guys can get up for this game. To me, we’ll be catching at either the perfect time for us, or for them. Depending on how LSU comes out. For us, I think it’s automatic that we come out amped. Like Mullen said, if you can’t get up for LSU, at LSU, then you shouldn’t be playing CFB. This is gut check time for our guys, and I don’t necessarily think they have to win to rebound, but rather play extremely well. But, the other side of that is, if you go down there and play extremely well, I like our chances due to the possible mental and physical state of the Tigers.

  3. hailst8

    I surely hope that we had some sort of meeting behind closed doors this week. I’m talking air out all of the dirty laundry and get back to playing football. I really though that our team would have been a mentally tough group this year with all the senior leadership and experience we have. But I think it’s safe to say that we took a few punches and immediately waved the white flag.

    I personally don’t feel very good about this weekend. There is no evidence that Les Koenning has left the program so I expect our same old pathetic offense to roll onto the field, get a quick 3 and out and then let the Tigers kick our face in. Where has the tempo in our offense gone, where are our short screens to get Perk in space, where has designed roll out packages gone?

    Sorry but I just don’t think we have enough in us to even compete in Death Valley and if I were I betting man, I would take LSU with the points. I think the game last weekend will just make them angry. I don’t think we have the type of players that respond to losses with anger but rather self loathing attitude. What I saw last weekend was a bunch of quitters (Cam played his butt off). I’m ok with losing and losing big if we compete and give it everything but I saw guys walking around, emotionless, no fire in their bellies, no sense of urgency. Pathetic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for a Bulldog victory but I’m not homer and I have no reason to believe it will be any different than the last 2 weekends. Disappointed.

  4. imabulldog Post author

    I hear ya Hail!

    I think we’ll use some roll out packages this week, to by Russell more time, especially due to Mingo and Montgomery on their DL.

    We have been lacking a ton of creativity. Time to mix it up! Or we’ll get kilt

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