No. 16 Mississippi St tries to keep rolling vs La-Lafayette
Louisiana-Lafayette (1-0) at No. 16 Mississippi State (2-0), 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network Alternate)
Line: Mississippi State by 32½.
Series record: Mississippi State leads 3-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Mississippi State hopes to keep rolling through its nonconference schedule before travelling to face Kentucky on Sept. 22. The Bulldogs would also like to get their passing game on track after a hit-and-miss first two weeks. Louisiana-Lafayette is trying to get a potentially program-altering win in coach Billy Napier’s first season.
Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald vs. Louisiana-Lafayette’s defense. Fitzgerald had a solid first game of the season against Kansas State, running for 159 yards and throwing for 154 yards in a 31-10 win over Kansas State. But the senior would like to improve on his 11 of 27 completion percentage.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Louisiana-Lafayette: QB Andre Nunez completed 19 of 22 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns against Grambling in the season opener, setting a school record with the 86.4 completion percentage.
Mississippi State: RB Aeris Williams ran for more than 1,000 yards last season, but didn’t play against Kansas State while Kylin Hill ran for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Coach Joe Moorhead says he expects Williams to have role going forward and it will be interesting to see how that develops against Louisiana-Lafayette.
FACTS & FIGURES
Fitzgerald has 2,645 career rushing yards, which is the second-most for a quarterback in SEC history. He’s 302 yards shy of passing former Florida star Tim Tebow for the top spot. ... Mississippi State has 25 tackles for a loss through two games this season. ... The Bulldogs have 19 plays of 20 yards or more, which is tied with Texas A&M for the most in the SEC and third nationally. ... Louisiana-Lafayette running back Trey Ragas ran for 142 yards and a touchdown against Grambling, averaging nearly 11 yards per carry. .. Mississippi State and Louisiana-Lafayette haven’t played in football since 1987. ... Mississippi State assistant coach Mark Hudspeth was the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2011-17.
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