LSU set to spend a night in Starkville to open SEC play

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Chatanooga at LSU 2017
The LSU defense will face a much stiffer challenge at Mississippi State than their first two games on 2017 provided (Photo: Terrill Weil).

The LSU Tigers begin conference play Saturday night in Starkville against Mississippi State. Don’t worry. The expected Starkville comment will appear at the end of this column.

The Bulldogs have not defeated LSU in Starkville since 1999 when they won 17-16 over a Gerry DiNardo-coached team on its way to a miserable season. The teams both come into this year’s game both at 2-0. Both have had moments which were impressive and mistakes that have to be cleaned up.

LSU’s issues start with penalties and the field goal kicking.

There were 10 penalties assessed against the Tigers in the first half against Chattanooga last week. Head coach Ed Orgeron had some strong comments about that for him squad during halftime. Only one penalty was assessed in the second half. I expect that to be cleaned up for the Mississippi State game.

After a week of competition for the field goal spot, Orgeron announced Thursday evening that Jack Gonsoulin has won the job once again. Neither Gonsoulin now Connor Culp has shown yet what LSU needs consistency-wise from the place kicker.

The penalties and missed field goals can be overcome against the likes of Chattanooga, but I am not so sure that would work against Mississippi State.

LSU will run the football to setup the pass on offense while the defense will be tested by quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and the play calling of Dan Mullen.

Speaking of Mullen, the Bulldogs coach is a very good play caller who has coached may outstanding college quarterbacks. He is on record as saying the Fitzgerald is “the fastest” quarterback he has coached. At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Fitzgerald is a special athlete, and his coach’s comment says a lot especially since Mullen has worked with the likes of Alex Smith, Cam Newton, Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott.

I think this will be a close game with LSU pulling away in the fourth quarter. I will go with LSU 40, Mississippi State 17.

Many years ago while on the radio in Baton Rouge, I made a statement on the air during my show. A local author, Chris Warner, called me later that day and asked me if he could use my “quote” in a book of SEC quotes he was writing. I said, “Sure. What was the quote?”

While talking about the location of Mississippi State, I said, “One day, last week, I spent a month in Starkville.” HA! He put it in the book and I still have people telling me about it. It was not really planned. I was just relaying my thoughts from a real-life experience. Oh well, just add that to the endless list of Starkville quotes. Skip Bertman could write his own book of them.

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Tommy Krysan

Sports Columnist/Broadcaster

Tommy Krysan has over 30 years of experience as a sportscaster in radio and television. He has been a columnist for Crescent City Sports since its inception. In 2019, he launched his “Talkin Sports with TK” podcast, available on all major platforms. Tommy loves baseball and all sports. He loves to cook, listen to music, play golf and have fun….

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