LAFAYETTE (KATC) — No current Ragin’ Cajuns football player was alive the last time Louisiana and Mississippi State played in 1987. Mississippi State head coach Joe Morehead was barely a teenager, Billy Napier was 8. The two will meet for the fourth time Saturday, MSU has won the three previous games.
While the Cajuns were on an early season bye over the weekend, Mississippi State beat Kansas State 31-10 on the road, moving to 2-0 on the season. Sophomore running back Kylin Hill ran for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
Louisiana will have the benefit of two weeks to prepare and a lack of game footage for the Bulldogs to study. But as a SEC power, the Bulldogs are considered a 30-plus point favorite according to Las Vegas.
It’s no doubt that the Cajuns are entering their toughest stretch in 2018. Bookending their Sun Belt opener are two SEC road match-ups with MSU and Alabama. But it’s not entirely unfamiliar territory. The Cajuns went on the road to Ole Miss and Texas A&M a season ago, and head coach Billy Napier spent five seasons coaching in the conference. While at Alabama, the Napier and the Crimson Tide went 5-0 against MSU.
“When the music is playing and the lights are flashing and you’re walking down the isle, you want to be ready to compete,” Napier said Monday at his weekly press conference. “But the work is done way before then, and we need to do the work. Our routine this week will be self discipline of our players, the comprehension of their strategy and we need to take daily action to learn, improve and compete.”
Mississippi State lost it’s last game against a Sun Belt team, the 2016 season opener to South Alabama.