Roy Walker once had his framed LSU football jersey hanging in his office.
He’ll replace it soon enough with the jersey of his son, Mississippi State receiver Jameon Lewis.
Walker, the principal at Baton Rouge’s Belaire High, plans to put his son’s framed jersey on his office wall soon. Good timing.
No. 8 LSU (3-0) hosts Mississippi State (3-0) on Saturday in both teams’ Southeastern Conference opener. The teams kick off at 6:06 p.m. on ESPN.
“Other than this week,” Walker said, “I bleed purple and gold.”
Walker, a strong safety at LSU in 1994-95, will be cheering on the Bulldogs on Saturday. Lewis is State’s leading receiver and a dangerous return man. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior had seven catches for 111 yards in LSU’s 59-26 win in Starkville last year.
“He’s anxious to come to town,” said Walker, who’s spoken to his son twice this week. “I tell him, ‘Son, when LSU played Mississippi State, we used to mark that as a win.’ ”
LSU has beaten the Bulldogs 14 straight years, but Lewis doesn’t need much motivation. Walker said he has a “chip on his shoulder” and a “personal vendetta” against the Tigers because they never showed interest in him during the recruiting process.
“LSU never took a look at him,” Walker said.
Though he grew up with his mother in Tylertown, Mississippi, Lewis is familiar with Baton Rouge. He camped at LSU during the summers and began training with his father in Baton Rouge as a sophomore in high school.
Walker will be in the stands in maroon with a gaggle of other usual-Tigers fans.
“He’ll have a nice cheering section,” Clark said.
Every summer after his eighth-grade year, LSU cornerback Jalen Collins traveled the 90 minutes from his hometown in north Mississippi to Starkville to participate in Mississippi State’s football camp.
Yet Collins never received a scholarship offer from the Bulldogs. He committed and signed with LSU, an outcome that might have changed had State coach Dan Mullen offered him a scholarship.
“I mean, it might have,” Collins said. “It didn’t happen, so I can’t really say.”
Collins is one of three Mississippi native on LSU’s roster, joining tight end Travis Dickson and freshman defensive back Devin Voorhies.
Most. Games. Ever.
The Tigers and Bulldogs meet Saturday for the 108th time in a series that dates to 1896. LSU has played and beaten Mississippi State more times in football than any other opponent. LSU has a dominant 71-33-3 lead in the series.
The Tigers have beaten the Bulldogs 14 straight times dating to a 17-16 loss in 1999 at Starkville and have won 21 of 22 overall dating to State’s last win in Tiger Stadium, a 28-19 victory in 1991.
Tenth-year LSU coach Les Miles goes for his 99th career win at LSU on Saturday, which would tie him with former Auburn coach Pat Dye (1981-92) and Houston Nutt (Arkansas 1998-2007, Ole Miss 2008-11) for 18th among winningest coaches at Southeastern Conference schools.
Miles is 98-24 overall at LSU, his .803 winning percentage ranking fifth in SEC annals.
Left tackle La’el Collins is one of 30 FBS players nationwide selected as a candidate for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award, the school announced. The award is eligible to seniors who have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season and then are voted on by media, coaches and fans. … Mullen is 39-28 overall for a winning percentage of .582, but he’s only 16-24 (.400) in SEC games. Mullen is 7-20 against SEC West teams — 0-5 vs. LSU, 0-5 vs. Alabama, 1-4 vs. Auburn, 2-3 vs. Arkansas, 4-1 vs. Ole Miss and 0-2 vs. Texas A&M. … LSU is asking fans to wear gold for Saturday’s game.
Advocate staff writers Ross Dellenger, Sheldon Mickles and Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.