By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Les Miles has not lost much during his tenure at LSU.
In nine years on the bayou, Miles has lost just 22 times and has had the uncanny ability to bounce back the following week. “The Hat” is 20-1 following a defeat losing back-to-back games to Ole Miss and Arkansas in 2008.
LSU is coming off a 44-41 emotional road loss at Georgia last weekend. Miles gave his team 48 hours to reflect then turned his focus to traveling to Mississippi State Saturday at 6 p.m.
“I insist that we do that,” Miles said. “It’s certainly best for us.”
Miles is 8-0 all-time against the Bulldogs and LSU has won 13 straight in the series. But Miles will not let his squad neglect the task at hand this weekend.
“There’s not a chance that we’ll be looking ahead,” Miles said. “This is a program, like most college programs, when they get to the end of the week, they really need to have victory. The work they put in is so significant, this will not be a difficult week for us to get our eyes open to how quality the opponent is.”
MSU gave the Tigers all they could handle during Dan Mullen’s first season in Starkville in 2009. LSU rallied with a late goal line stand in the fourth quarter after the Bulldogs had 1st-and-goal from the 2-yard line preserving a 30-26 victory.
Russell under center
The Bulldogs are expected to start senior Tyler Russell at quarterback on Saturday. Russell has been out with a concussion since week 1. Sophomore Dak Prescott has filled in well going 2-1 and is the team’s leading rusher, passer and scorer with nine total touchdowns.
“Dak Prescott is a very capable runner and on play-action and a playmaker in his own right,” Miles said. “Then Tyler Russell is a very capable passer and is a big-time playmaker that way. We’re recognizing the potential of the two offenses that can be played. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tyler Russell did some of the things that Dak did just as a change-up. We’re preparing for both.”
State’s defense has caught Miles’ attention allowing just 310 yards and 14.8 points per game.
“They have a big, capable defensive front,” Miles said. “They’re number one in the SEC in turnover margin, number two in total defense. So we recognize that going there and playing another very, very quality SEC opponent will be a challenge to us, but look forward to it.”