LSU Begins Title Defense Against Mississippi State

The defending National Champions and currently #6 ranked LSU Tigers begin their season Saturday at 2:30 PM CST at home against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The game will air on CBS. This is head coach Ed Orgeron’s fourth full season with the Tigers. The Tigers lead the all-time series 75-35-3, including winning 18 of the last 20. The Tigers went 15-0 last year while the Bulldogs finished 6-7.

The Tigers only return two offensive starters, three defensive starters, and three on special teams. Those gone from the championship team are wide receivers Justin Jefferson (Vikings) and Ja’Marr Chase, who opted out of the season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Running back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Chiefs), Thaddeus Moss (Washington Football Team), and of course, Heisman Trophy winner and first overall draft pick quarterback Joe Burrow (Bengals) all have to be replaced.

On defense, the Tigers lost eight starters, including safety Kary Vincent Jr. (opted out of the 2020 season), defensive back Kristian Fulton (Titans), linebacker Jacob Phillips (Browns), safety Grant Delpit (Browns), linebacker Patrick Queen (Ravens), outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson (Jaguars), nose tackle Tyler Shelvin (opted out of the 2020 season) and defensive linemen Rashard Lawrence (Cardinals).

Returning this year are running backs Tyrion Davis-Price (64 car. 301 yards, six TDS), Chris Curry (38 car. 194 yards), and John Emery Jr. (39 car. 196 yards and four touchdowns). Myles Brennan went 24 of 30 passing for 353 yards with a touchdown and interception.

JaCoby Stevens had 92 tackles, 53 solo, and five interceptions for the Tigers last year along with nine sacks. Damone Clark had 50 tackles, 17 solo, with three interceptions, and four sacks.

For the Bulldogs, the Mike Leach era begins. The head coach was hired on Jan. 6, 2020. He’s won 139 games in 18 seasons as a head coach.

The Bulldogs return their leading passer, running back, and receiver from a year ago. Quarterback Garrett Shrader threw for 1,170 and eight touchdowns against five interceptions. He was second on the team in the running game. He had 587 yards on 113 attempts and six touchdowns.

Running back Kylin Hill carried 242 times for 1,350 yards and ten scores. Nick Gibson also contributed with 55 carries for 433 yards and six touchdowns for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs ran for 2,868 yards last year and 27 touchdowns.

Osirus Mitchell had 29 receptions for 430 yards and six touchdowns. Mitchell was one of 17 different receivers to catch a pass last year. Deddrick Thomas was tied for the team lead in receptions with 30.

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