Scouting the 2021 LA Tech football foes: Mississippi State

With the start of football season around the corner, here is the first of a series of season previews on the Louisiana Tech opponents for the upcoming season. Tech will open in Starkville on Saturday, Sept. 4. Game time is 3 p.m. from Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field.

2020 Record: 4-7 (3-7 in SEC play)

Bowl: Defeated Tulsa 28-26 in the Armed Forces Bowl (Ft. Worth, Texas)

Head Coach: Mike Leach (2nd season)

All-time Series: MSU leads 11-3

Tech Connections:

Coach Tony Hughes (Associate Head Coach) – Hughes spent two years in Ruston as part of Jack Bicknell’s staff in 2003 (DB) and 2004 (OLB) before departing for Ole Miss. He begins his second season in Starkville.

QB Jack Abraham – Yes, Tech fans. Believe it or not, the Bulldogs may see Abraham once again … with his fourth team of his college career. After red-shirting at LA Tech in 2016, Abraham played one year at Northwest Mississippi Community College before spending the past three seasons at Southern Miss. Tech faced Abraham three times, going 1-2 against the former Tech Bulldog.

MSU Outlook: There is a lot of excitement in Starkville following the Bulldogs run to a baseball national championships in Omaha, but now all eyes turn to the gridiron and year No. 2 in the Mike Leach era. The pass-happy head coach saw his Bulldogs average more than 50 pass attempts last season. After an impressive 44-34 win over LSU to open the year, MSU didn’t score more than 24 points again until a 51-32 win over Missouri in Week No. 10. QB Will Rogers returns after tag teaming the positon with K.J. Costello (now gone) in 2020, and should be pushed this year by Abraham and incoming four-star freshman Sawyer Roberson. Defensively, the Bulldogs weren’t a complete catastrophe last year, allowing 28.1 points per game and 389 yards a game. Leading tackler LB Errol Thompson (96 tackles) signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons, but LB Aaron Brule (76 tackles) and CB Martin Emerson (72 tackles) both return.

What They Are Saying: Mike Leach on Jack Abraham following spring game — “I thought he came out and played tight initially. Then, I thought he got better as he began to relax a little bit. We were just up and down as far as who was where when. That happens. A portion of it has to do with the fact that we split the squad in half, so there’s a lot of guys who weren’t as synchronized as far as working beside one another. What it does is give you a chance to make it competitive, but it also makes it sloppy. It was less competitive than I’d hoped. It was every bit of sloppy as I thought it might be.”

Tickets for State Game: Call the Mississippi State ticket office at 662-325-2600.

Season Tickets: LA Tech fans can purchase season tickets for the 2021 year by calling 318-257-3631 or going to The Bulldogs host six home games this year, including a marquee non-conference match-up against SMU.

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