Pictured: Quinndary Weatherspoon
Source: Scott Halleran / Getty Image North America

Preview: Louisiana State at Mississippi State

After having its 10-game winning streak and perfect record in the Southeastern Conference halted, No. 22 Louisiana State looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the second time this season when it visits No. 21 Mississippi State on Wednesday night. The Tigers dropped a one-point decision to Arkansas to deny their bid for their first 8-0 start in SEC play since 1981.

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LSU committed a season-high 21 turnovers in Saturday’s 90-89 setback and coach Will Wade knows his team must play better at Mississippi State, one of three road games in the next four. “They’re a very, very good team and I know the atmosphere will be good Wednesday night,” Wade said. “It will be probably the toughest road game we’ve had to this point. We’re going to need to play very, very, very well.” The Bulldogs went 3-2 during a five-game stretch in which they played four times on the road after winning at Mississippi 81-75 behind 27 points from Quinndary Weatherspoon. Mississippi State owns a 10-1 record at home but will face consecutive rugged tests against LSU and No. 5 Kentucky on Saturday.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2

ABOUT LSU (17-4, 7-1 SEC): Sophomore Tremont Waters, who leads the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and pumped in a season-high 36 in a win over Texas A&M on Jan. 30, was among 10 players nominated for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard. Waters is averaging 6.0 assists, handing out at least 10 on four occasions, and has registered an SEC-leading 3.0 steals per game. Freshman sensation Naz Reid, projected to be a high pick in this year’s NBA Draft, snapped out of a two-game shooting slump with his second double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds versus the Razorbacks.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (16-5, 4-4): Reggie Perry is coming on strong in his first season with the Bulldogs, earning SEC freshman of the week honors after scoring 18 points at Alabama and following it up with a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds at Ole Miss. “My confidence has been up pretty much since we started (the SEC schedule),” Perry said after Saturday’s game. “My teammates have done a good job of getting me in the right positions and keeping me motivated.” Leading scorer Weatherspoon averaged 20.8 points over the past five games on 53.1 percent shooting (34 of 64).

TIP-INS

1. Mississippi State has won 14 in a row when Weatherspoon scores 20 points.

2. Waters has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games.

3. Bulldogs G Lamar Peters, averaging 12.9 points, scored 24 against LSU in last season’s SEC tournament.

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Fanpicks.com College Football Bowl Game Preview

Belk Bowl

Mississippi State vs. North Carolina State

The Belk Bowl will feature another exciting game between Mississippi State and North Carolina State.  Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy sports site is proud to provide you with the following bowl preview in which we predict will be taken by Mississippi State in a close 30 – 27 final score.  Play the best fantasy college football contests only at Fanpicks.com

A pair of potent offenses and dual-threat quarterbacks square off when Mississippi State takes on North Carolina State in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C. Both teams average more than 400 total yards and 33 points per game, and their talented quarterbacks are the catalysts. Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott has passed for 3,413 yards with 25 touchdowns and four interceptions while rushing for 541 yards and 10 more scores; N.C. State’s Jacoby Brissett has rolled up 2,448 passing yards with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions while adding 303 yards and five TDs on the ground.

N.C. State should enjoy a de facto home-field advantage. The Wolfpack are playing a short distance from home and have 15 players from the Charlotte area, including TE/FB Jaylen Samuels (315 rushing yards, 7 TDs; 64 receptions, 599 yards, 7 TDs). It will be the third time the Wolfpack have played in the bowl, where they defeated Louisville 31-24 in 2011 and beat South Florida 14-0 in the 2005 game, then known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Both coaches have enjoyed success in bowl games. Dan Mullen has Mississippi State in its sixth bowl in seven years and has posted a 3-2 record, though the Bulldogs have lost two of their last three bowls – including a 49-34 loss to Georgia Tech in last year’s Orange Bowl. N.C. State’s Dave Doeren is 2-0 in bowl games, including a 34-27 win over UCF in last year’s St. Petersburg Bowl – his first postseason trip with the Wolfpack.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE Season Overview (7-5, 3-5 ACC): The Wolfpack rolled through a weak non-conference schedule and took care of the bottom tier of the ACC, but they lack a signature win. Their impressive offensive totals are skewed somewhat by rolling up big numbers against weak competition, but they did put up 514 total yards against North Carolina and 389 versus top-ranked Clemson and are at their best when the ground game led by Matt Dayes (865 yards, 12 TDs) is working. The defense also was impressive against the weaker teams on the schedule but was exposed by Clemson (623 total yards), Florida State (479) and North Carolina (553).

MISSISSIPPI STATE Season Overview (8-4, 4-4 SEC): While Prescott is the engine, the Bulldogs are far from a one-man team, as Fred Ross (81 catches, 933 yards, 4 TDs) and De’Runnya Wilson (55 catches, 822 yards, 9 TDs) lead a talented receiving corps. Turnovers were a major problem late in the season, though, as Mississippi State had nine giveaways over its final four games, including at least two in each contest. The defense had its share of struggles against top competition, especially against the run, as five opponents rolled up more than 200 rushing yards against the Bulldogs with another finishing just six yards shy of that mark.

 

Posted in CFB