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Stat Watch: Mississippi State

The stats this week take a look at Mississippi State.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Louisiana Tech Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

After a brief hiatus, stat watch is back this week to take a look at the Mississippi State Bulldogs, or more affectionately (maybe?), CLANGA. Most people expect this to be LSU’s first real test of the season so far, and the advanced stats seem to agree. Let’s take a look at them. First, since it’s still early in the year, we’ll look at how the Bulldogs fared last season

Last Season: A note on these stats: The offensive and defensive S&P+ marks are calculated as adjusted scoring averages and for the situational ratings, above 100 is good and below 100 is bad. Links to an explanation on the various stats here:

  • S&P+ (Percentile): 58.4% (56th in FBS)
  • Offensive S&P+: 34.7 (32nd in FBS)
  • Offensive Run S&P+: 127.0 (7th in FBS)
  • Offensive Pass S&P+: 103.7 (58th in FBS)
  • Defensive S&P+: 30.0 (73rd in FBS)
  • Defensive Run S&P+: 102.2 (56th in FBS)
  • Defensive Pass S&P+: 90.3 (103st in FBS)
  • FEI: -0.19 (69th in FBS)
  • F/+: 0.9% (63rd in FBS)
  • Preseason S&P+ rankings: 7.9 (33rd in FBS)

This Season:

  • S&P+ (Percentile): 82.3% (23rd in FBS)
  • Offensive S&P+: 37.6 (17th in FBS)
  • Defensive S&P+: 26.4 (47th in FBS)
  • FEI: 0.055 (38th in FBS)
  • F/+: 28.3% (31st in FBS)

The stats for this year are still incorporating stats from last year and so far do not present us a full picture or a lot of specifics. But from what they’ve seen, they do like Mississippi State. A great offense led by Nick Fitzgerald, and an improved defense from last season. Last season’s Bulldogs team, despite being largely poor as the stats show us, still ran the ball phenomenally well and had a pretty good offense. That’s going to be the test for LSU on Saturday. Stop Fitzgerald in the run game and therefore stop the Bulldogs offense from turning this into a home field shootout. If they can do that, the Tigers should be able to run it and throw it downfield well enough to win.