After five straight quarters of anemic offense, LSU finally received a spark last Saturday night when backup quarterback Danny Etling entered in relief of starting quarterback Brandon Harris.

After five straight quarters of anemic offense, LSU finally received a spark last Saturday night when backup quarterback Danny Etling entered in relief of starting quarterback Brandon Harris.

In Harris’ two first-quarter drives, the Tiger offense could only generate six plays for 12 yards and zero first downs.

In the six plays, Harris threw four passes. He only completed one for eight yards. The three he missed were high—one coming very close to being picked off by a Jacksonville State defender.

High throws had plagued Harris in the disastrous opening-week upset loss to Wisconsin when he went 12-21 for just 131 yards with two interceptions. The offense was only able to generate 7 points.

Against the Gamecocks on Saturday night, the offensive woes continued until Etling came in to lead the Tiger offense to three straight touchdown drives.

He was proficient in the first half—completing six of eight passes for 100 yards with a touchdown.

However, in the second half, he cooled down considerably. Etling missed on all six passes and was picked off when he tried to go deep to Malachi Dupre. Though, he did run in LSU’s final score of the game.

As encouraging as the offensive performance was for the Tigers, there was still cause for concern.

Dupre’s struggles continued.

Against Wisconsin, he failed to bring down balls in multiple one-on-one jumpball battles as he only came away with three catches for 24 yards.

Against Jacksonville State, he dropped two passes. He ended the game without a catch.

On the bright side for LSU, the offensive line played much better. They only allowed one sack and paved the way for a 155-yard effort from backup running back Derrius Guice.

The offense is looking to show more improvement this week as they host their conference opener against 1-1 Mississippi State.

After an embarrassing loss to South Alabama in week one, the Bulldogs bounced back with an easy 27-14 victory over South Carolina last Saturday.

The Mississippi State defense is ranked 38th overall after two weeks of play.

After sitting out against Jacksonville State with a bruised ankle, Leonard Fournette will make his return to spearhead the Tiger rushing attack. Offensive lineman Josh Boutte will also be back after being suspended for last Saturday’s matchup.

Rushing yards will be hard to come by against the Bulldogs. The A.J. Jefferson-led front is ranked 12th against the run—only yielding 64 yards per game.

It’s in the passing game where Mississippi State’s defense has struggled. They only rank 89th in passing yards allowed.

Just as Etling gave a spark to the LSU offense in game two, quarterback Nick Fitzgerald gave the Bulldogs a huge boost in their victory over South Carolina last week.

Against the Gamecocks, Fitzgerald completed 19 of 32 passes for 178 yards and two scores, but it was on the ground where he did his greatest damage. He carried the ball 17 times for 195 yards. This include a 74-yard gallop.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Fitzgerald could be a tough matchup for an LSU defense that allowed Jacksonville State quarterback Eli Jenkins to rush for 82 yards—most of those yards coming on option-keepers.

At running back, Mississippi State has a big-time playmaker in Brandon Holloway. Holloway has breakaway speed and has been a great receiver out of the backfield for the Bulldog offense.

The LSU defense will have to tighten some things up after giving up a season-high 368 yards against Jacksonville State.

Missed tackles and bad gambles by Tiger defensive backs gave way to 248 yards through the air—including a 76-yard touchdown connection before halftime.

LSU will have to keep tabs on the Bulldogs’ top target Fred Ross. Ross has taken in 12 receptions throughout the first two games.