LSU says it will be a game-time decision Saturday night whether running back Leonard Fournette will be able to play against Missouri. (LSU)

There are a lot of unknowns for the Missouri Tigers going into Saturday night’s game at LSU.

For starters, this will be the first trip ever for the Tigers into Death Valley, the nickname given to the 102,000-seat facility in Baton Rouge, La., where the home team has gone 44-5 since the start of the 2009 season.

It also will be the first game for LSU since it fired head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Sunday, following a loss to Auburn, leaving questions about possible adjustments that might be coming from the interim coaching staff and how the players will react to those changes.

Game time is 6:30 p.m., and the game will be televised by the SEC Network.

Perhaps the biggest unknown, at least in terms of its effect on the game's outcome, won't be determined until just before the game begins - whether LSU All-America running back Leonard Fournette will be able to play.

Fournette, a pre-season candidate to win the Heisman Trophy, did not practice this week because of a left ankle injury.

Fournette leads the SEC with an average of 128 rushing yards a game, despite being hampered by the injury in games at Wisconsin and Auburn. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in 18 of his 28 games during his career.

“When Fournette gets rolling, not much is going to stop him,” Missouri linebacker Michael Scherer told reporters this week. “It’s important not to let him get a head of steam.”

Added Missouri defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross, “He’s very physical. He wins what I call the one-on-ones. Not one guy brings him down on the first tackle in space, in the hole. We’ve got to do a great job of surrounding the ball and overpopulate him.”

In their first four games, Missouri has allowed an average of 131 rushing yards a game and has allowed five running touchdowns.

The best running back the Tigers have faced so far this season, Nick Chubb of Georgia, gained just 63 yards on 19 carries in Missouri’s one point loss to the Bulldogs two weeks ago.

Since 2012, Missouri has a 1-6 record in SEC play when it allows a running back to rush for more than 100 yards.

“I think that it presents a great opportunity for our defense to line up and see what we can do and it’s also a tremendous challenge on playing with tremendous gap integrity and playing 11 guys,” said Missouri coach Barry Odom. “If you get an opportunity to tackle the guy, you better have your mind right because he’s going to have his right, I guarantee it.”

If Fournette can’t play, LSU will rely on backup Derrius Guice, a sophomore, who has averaged 60 yards a game in limited chances this season.

LSU, like Missouri, is 2-2, but its two losses have come by a combined seven points to Wisconsin and Auburn. Missouri’s wins have come against Eastern Michigan and Delaware State.

The two teams have only met once, in the 1978 Liberty Bowl, when Missouri won 20-15.