joe moorhead arkansas 19

Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead held LSU below its season average and hopes to do the same to Alabama this weekend. 

STARKVILLE LSU took control of the SEC Western Division standings this past Saturday with its 46-41 victory at Alabama in what many considered the “game of the year.”

The Crimson Tide fell to No. 4 in the polls following their first loss of the season and now travel to Starkville this week to take on Mississippi State. The Bulldogs believe that they’ll face an angry Alabama team that’s hellbent on getting back into the win column.

“I’m guessing based on their coaching staff and their culture that they’re going to come in with a singleness of purpose and look to bounce back strong,” said MSU coach Joe Moorhead. “We’re not anticipating any lingering affect or any kind of hangover where they’ve got their chins on their chest. We’re expecting their best and they’re going to get our best as well.”

MSU held LSU to its lowest offensive output to date in a 36-13 loss in Starkville on Oct. 18. The Tigers had just 86 rushing yards and finished with 413 total yards on the day, which is 125 yards below their season average.

Alabama owns the SEC’s second most explosive offense averaging 510.4 yards and the league’s top scoring at 47.8 points.

“LSU and Alabama are probably a little bit different schematically,” Moorhead said. “You see some different formations and concepts than LSU ran. But ultimately at the end of the day it’s about tackling, covering guys and being physical at the line of scrimmage so if we’re able to do some of the things we were able to do in the first half against LSU, who is one of the top offenses in the country, then that’ll give us an opportunity.”

JONES BACK IN ACTION

True freshman cornerback Jarrian Jones is expected to return to the secondary this week after missing the Arkansas game with an upper body injury.

Jones has played in eight games and earned one start this season with five tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

“Through the bye week I think we did a good job and talked to the guys about rehabbing physically and recharging mentally,” Moorhead said. “Aside from (Cameron) Young who will be out for the year, the rest of the guys with bumps, bruises and were nicked up heading into Week 9, we’re anticipating getting those guys back including Jarrian. From a health standpoint, we’re better than we were heading out of the (Arkansas) game.”

RECRUITING TRAIL

State took advantage of last week’s open date from a recruiting standpoint.

Moorhead and 10 assistant coaches blazed the recruiting trails on Thursday and Friday hitting up a total of 89 schools and attending 15 games across the country.

The Bulldogs’ 2020 class is currently rated No. 22 nationally by 247Sports.com.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com

Twitter: @loganlowery

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