- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

MISSISSIPPI STATE (3-0) at No. 8 LSU (3-0), 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Line: LSU by 9 1/2.

Series Record: LSU leads 71-33-3.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The game marks the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. The winner will remain not only undefeated, but get an early jump on the race to win the ultra-competitive SEC West. The Tigers would remain firmly in the Top 10 with a win, while an upset would likely vault the Bulldogs into the Top 25.

KEY MATCHUP

Dynamic Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott vs. LSU’s suffocating defense. A dual-threat QB, Prescott is averaging 323 yards from scrimmage - 232 passing and 91 rushing. He has passed for nine TDs, run for two and even caught a TD pass. LSU has shut out two straight opponents and is allowing just 205.7 total yards, 94.3 yards passing and 8.3 points per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mississippi State: RB Josh Robinson is the Bulldogs’ leading rusher, averaging 96 yards per game. He has scored three TDs. DL Preston Smith, who is 6-foot-4, 277 pounds, has two sacks, two interceptions and a blocked kick in MSU’s first three games.

LSU: WR Travin Dural has caught 12 passes for 370 yards and four TDs, averaging an SEC-high 30.8 yards per catch.

FACTS & FIGURES

LSU has won 14 straight over Mississippi State and 21 of the last 22 against the Bulldogs. … Mississippi State’s last win over LSU came in 1999 in Starkville by a score of 17-16. Its last win in Tiger Stadium came in 1991, 28-19. … MSU has piled up more than 500 yards of total offense in each of its last four games, starting with the 2013 Liberty Bowl. That represents the longest streak of 500-yard games in school history. .. Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, now in his sixth season with the Bulldogs, is seeking his 40th victory. His 39 victories rank third all-time at MSU. … LSU’s defense has gone 31 straight possessions without allowing a point. The streak spans nearly 10 quarters, beginning with Wisconsin’s second possession of the second half in the season-opener. … True freshmen have accounted for seven of LSU’s 15 TDs so far. … Now in his 10th season at LSU, coach Les Miles is seeking his 99th victory with the Tigers.

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