Saturday I will celebrate my 32nd birthday by covering the LSU-Mississippi State game.
During my lifetime the Bulldogs have only beaten LSU seven times and four of those came in the first four years I was on the earth.
The Tigers have won 13 straight in the series and 25 of the last 28 games. MSU has not won since Rod Gibson scored on a 1-yard run with 1:39 remaining for a 17-16 victory in Starkville on Oct. 23, 1999.
I remember that day very well as I found out I would become a father for the first time just hours before kickoff. That means that the Bulldogs have not won against LSU during my daughter’s lifetime.
Sure, State has come close on several occasions taking the Tigers into overtime in 2000 before losing 45-38 in Baton Rouge.
Then of course there’s the LSU goal line stand during Dan Mullen’s first season in 2009. That particular game I stood on the sideline and watched the Bulldogs fail on four straight plays after getting 1st-and-goal from the 2-yard line in a 30-26 defeat.
Two Anthony Dixon runs netted 1-yard and a third down jump pass by Tyson Lee to a wide open Marcus Green was swatted away at the last second by Chad Jones. Facing 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Mullen called a read option play. Instead of handing off to Dixon, the school’s all-time rushing leader, who had a clear path to walk into the end zone, Lee decided to keep the ball and was stacked up inches shy of the goal line.
That 2009 loss was during Mullen’s initial SEC home game. A win would have sent the Bulldogs bowling that season.
This weekend’s matchup with the Tigers is also the first conference home game for Mississippi State. With a tough schedule still ahead and a 2-2 record thus far, the Bulldogs could very well need a win Saturday to continue their bowl streak.
Some believe MSU could pull the upset over the sixth-ranked Tigers still downtrodden over a heartbreaking 44-41 loss to Georgia last week.
It is possible but history and statistics say otherwise. LSU leads the overall series 70-33-3 and are 20-1 in games following a loss under Les Miles. In nine years the Tigers have lost back-to-back games just once in 2008 falling to Ole Miss and Arkansas on consecutive weeks.
Logan Lowery (logan.lowery@ journalinc.com) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal.