1. It's been a bit of an up-and-down year for State so far this season. Tough losses to Oklahoma State and Auburn, along with the requisite cupcake blowouts of Troy and Alcorn State. What's your feel for this team after five weeks?
I feel like we have had the players to beat both Oklahoma State and Auburn but coaching and execution cost us the game. Certainly the Auburn game stings the most because MSU outplayed them on the road but there was some really poor coaching decisions that cost us the game. The cupcake games against Troy and Alcorn were nice blowouts, the Troy game especially was nice - no one expected us to stomp them like that.
The defense has looked really good to this point. The offense has gotten better each week with Dak Prescott.
2. Is it the Dak Prescott Show from now on, or might we see the return of Tyler Russell?
Dan Mullen says it will be Russell but most of the fanbase wants Dak. I hope it's Dak, at least in this game because I don't think we can run the ball against elite teams with Russell in the game - we aren't creative and our offensive line isn't good enough to plow through.
3. Russell put up some pretty nice numbers in 2012 with the help of some veteran receivers that have since departed. How are the 2013 Bulldog wideouts looking?
So far I would say about the same as the ones last year with a higher ceiling in the future. They have performed pretty well, and guys like Robert Johnson and Jameon Lewis have stepped up as was hoped for them. There are some young guys with some really good height that are still trying to emerge, but I don't know that they will make an impact this weekend.
4. We all know the history of this series and the LSU streak. How much does this game mean to Dan Mullen's program right now?
A win would totally re-energize the fan base and really give legitimacy to Mullen's tenure among State fans and I think the regional/national media as well.
A loss will do one of two things depending on who starts. If Russell starts Mullen's seat will start to get real hot. If Prescott starts I think it's just 'oh well it's LSU'
5. Would you call this a "must-win" situation?
Not at all. If we were a legit contender for the West then it would be, but we aren't. The Arkansas and Ole Miss games are must wins to get to 6, but this game among others have been penciled in as an L since the schedule came out, so I'm not going to be upset if we lose. I'll just be upset if Mullen does something stupid to hurt what little chance we have.
6. Finally, care to offer a prediction for Saturday night?
For State to win we will have to do at least 4 of 5 of the following:
1. Play Prescott 98% of the offensive snaps
2. Don't turn the ball over
3. Move the ball on the ground
4. Contain LSU's running game
5. Contain the big play receivers by coverage or pressure Mettenberger.
I think there is a 15-20% chance this happens, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say it does. Dawgs 28, Tigahs 24.