Bulldogs tackle their nemesis from bayou

Tyler Russell is expected to start at quarterback for MSU today after missing the last three games with a concussion. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Tyler Russell is expected to start at quarterback for MSU today after missing the last three games with a concussion. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State has certainly had its struggles against LSU over the last three decades.

The Bulldogs have just three wins in the last 28 years against the Tigers and have lost 13 straight in the series. But MSU will have an opportunity to end that streak tonight in a 6 p.m. matchup at Davis Wade Stadium on ESPN.

MSU coach Dan Mullen believes his roster made of mostly underclassmen just might be naïve enough to not be affected by the negative historical trend against the 4-1 Tigers.

“They only know that last year they beat us down at their place,” Mullen said. “That’s the extent of what most of our team knows. They don’t remember the 4th-and-goal stop four years ago or any of that stuff. They just look at they beat us last year and find a way to correct that and get a win this year.”

State pulled to within 20-17 early in the second half last season but the Tigers responded with 17 points to close out the remainder of the game in Baton Rouge for the victory. LSU had 392 yards of offense in the game as quarterback Zach Mettenberger hit on 19 of 30 passing for 273 yards and two touchdowns

Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell threw for a career-best 295 yards in that contest against an LSU defense ranked No. 2 in the nation against the pass. He also had the highest completion percentage against the Tigers since 2003.

Russell returns at QB

Mullen announced that Russell will be back as the starting signal caller returning from a Week 1 concussion. It has been 35 days since the fifth-year senior has seen game action.

Sophomore Dak Prescott has filled in quite well in Russell’s absence. Prescott leads the team with 709 yards through the air and 215 yards on the ground as well as nine total touchdowns.

“We’ve had a pretty good week of practice with both guys,” Mullen said. “But (starting Russell) is still the plan and we’ll see how it goes.”

The Bulldogs (2-2, 0-1) enjoyed a bye following a 62-7 win over Troy on Sept. 21 and enter the contest averaging 463.8 yards and 34 points per game. State also sports the SEC’s No. 2 defense allowing just 310 yards per outing.

Les Miles’ Tigers are coming off their first loss, falling in a shootout 44-41 to Georgia between the hedges last weekend.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com