HOW THEY SCORED
Score by quarters
Mississippi St. 7 ?3 7 0 — 17
LSU 3 17 10 7 — 37
MSU: Marcus Green 9 pass from Dak Prescott at 6:41 (Devon Bell kick). DRIVE: 10 plays, 74 yards, 4:43. KEY PLAYS: Chris Smith 20 pass from Tyler Russell gives MSU a first down at its 46. On third-and-5, Robert Johnson 14 pass from Russell moves the ball to the LSU 35. Chad Bumphis 12 pass from Russell puts the ball at the LSU 22. Arceto Clark 14 pass from Russell helps MSU overcome a false start penalty. MSU 7, LSU 0.
LSU: Drew Alleman 28 field goal at 0:11. DRIVE: 12-48-6:21. KEY PLAYS: Russell Shepard 11 run gets the initial first down. On third-and-4, Jarvis Landry 6 pass from Zach Mettenberger. On third-and-2, Jeremy Hill 4 run. On third-and-2 at the MSU 12, Kenny Hilliard is stopped for 1 yards. MSU 7, LSU 3.
LSU: Alleman 26 field goal at 7:59. DRIVE: 12-67-5:22. KEY PLAYS: Jarvis Landry 25 pass from Zach Mettenberger gets the drive started. On third-and-1, Spencer Ware 2 rush. On third-and-4, Landry 10 pass from Mettenberger. On third-and-7, Mettenberger’s pass to Landry is incomplete, leading to the field goal. MSU 7, LSU 6.
LSU: Jarvis Landry 19 pass from Zach Mettenberger at 5:31 (Alleman kick). Drive: 3-21-1:38. KEY PLAYS: Lamin Barrow recovers fumble by Derrick Milton, giving LSU the ball at the MSU 21. LSU 13, MSU 7.
MSU: Bell 47 field goal at 0:48. DRIVE: 9-45-4:43. KEY PLAYS: Russell 16 run gets the drive under way. Bumphis 17 pass from Russell gives MSU a first down at the LSU 31. On third-and-9, Russell’s pass to Clark is incomplete, leading to the field goal. LSU 13, MSU 10.
LSU: Spencer Ware 20 pass from Mettenberger at 0:13 (Alleman kick). DRIVE: 4-71-0:35. KEY PLAYS: Landry 15 pass from Mettenberger gets the drive started. James Wright 36 pass from Mettenberger moves the ball to the MSU 20. LSU 20, MSU 10.
MSU: Bumpis 29 pass from Russell at 12:52 (Bell kick). DRIVE: 1-29-0:14. KEY PLAY: Dee Arrington receovers Odell Beckham Jr.’s fumble at the LSU 29. LSU 20, MSU 17.
LSU: Alleman 41 field goal at 8:29. DRIVE: 10-45-4:13. KEY PLAYS: Beckham 16 pass from Mettenberger moves the ball to midfield. Kenny Hilliard 12 run moves the ball to the MSU 37. Ware 12 pass from Mettenberger moves it to the 25. On third-and-9, Darius Slay breaks up Mettenberger’s pass to Kadron Boone in the end zone, leading to the field goal. LSU 23, MSU 17.
LSU: J.C. Copeland 1 run at 0:11 (Alleman kick). DRIVE: 11-80-4:25. KEY PLAYS: Beckham 22 pass and 8 pass from Mettenberger gets the drive rolling. On third-and-7 Landry 9 pass from Mettenberger. Michael Ford 27 pass from Mettenberger brings the ball to the 4. LSU 30, MSU 17.
LSU: Craig Loston 100 interception return at 1:13 (Alleman kick). DRIVE: None. KEY PLAY: The interception. LSU 37, MSU 17.
FINAL SCORE: LSU 30, MSU 17.
RECORDS: LSU 8-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference. MSU 7-3, 3-3.
IT WAS NOT A MIRAGE
ä Remember when LSU discovered it passing game in a 21-17 loss to No. 1 Alabama last Saturday? The same passing game returned against No. 22 Mississippi State. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger completed 19 of 30 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Jarvis Landry had nine catches for 109 yards and one TD. Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had four catches for 55 yards. Six players had catches.
ä After weeks of stressing about the importance of penalties, LSU finally did something about it on Saturday. The Tigers only had two penalties for 20 yards, their lowest output of the season. LSU also went without a penalty in the first half, which was first time that has happened this season.
ä The Tigers have defeated the Bulldogs in 20 of their last 21 games, including 13 in a row.
GETTING TO RUSSELL
ä Mississippi State came into the game second in the Southeastern Conference in fewest sacks allowed at eight. But LSU sacked Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell twice on Saturday. Russell completed 26 of 38 passes for 295 yards, one TD and one interception. LSU did a good job of pressuring him.
“Motivation key for #LSU tonight. Someone needs to tell the team it’s still mathematically alive in the #SEC West.”
@ScottRabalais. Scott Rabalais is a sportswriter
for The Advocate.
“Like this getting @LSUShep10 involved in the game involved in the game.”
@TToliver80. Terrence L. Tolliver is a former LSU receiver.
“Wow! Mettenberger is here to stay! #GreatFinish #GeauxTigers”
@TBob 53. T-Bob Hebert, former LSU player.
“There is a major, MAJOR, nationwide epidemic of bad 2 minute defense in college football right now.”
@DerekPonamsky. Ponamsky is the publisher of BayouBengalsInsider.com
“Spencer Ware incredible touchdown catch and throw from Mett. Wow. That’s Ware’s second career receiving TD. Had one last year at Tennessee”
@LSUBillMartin. Bill Martin is an Associate Sports Information Director at LSU.
“LSU drops their business card... 10 play drive capped by a field goal. Tigers up 23-17 shaky.”
@MichaelCauble. Cauble is the sports director at WBRZ.
“#LSU is ranked 7th and trying to hang on vs. SEC rival ranked 21st, but probably only 45,000 left in stadium. Is the traffic that bad?”
@s_hotard. Scott Hotard is a sportswriter at The Advocate.
“Les Miles gets a nice birthday present from his team – an #LSU 37-17 win over #Mississippi St. Bounce back win for the Tigers.”
“Texas A&M’s 29-24 upset of Alabama hurts #LSU’s BCS chances, enhances their likelihood of a Cotton Bowl trip.”
ä PENALTIES: After weeks of saying how they were going to cut down on penalties in their games, LSU finally did it on Saturday. The Tigers were only penalized twice for 20 yards and were not penalized in the first half. Playing good, disciplined football made a difference.
ä JARVIS LANDRY: Landry, a 6-foot-1. 195-pound sophomore from Lutcher, has been a different player the last two weeks. He is catching balls, creating separation from defenders on his routes and becoming a big-play threat. He had nine catches for 109 yards and one touchdown. He played like a receiver that opposing defenses will have to account for.
ä DREW ALLEMAN: Alleman, who was 16 of 18 last year, had a bounce-back game after two misses in the 21-17 loss to No. 1 Alabama the previous week. He was 13 of 20 on field goals this season entering the Mississippi State game. But on a cool night with the winds swirling, he made kicks of 28, 26 and 41 yards.
ä RED-ZONE OFFENSE: LSU reached the red zone six times and kicked three field goals. LSU needs to score touchdowns on over 75 percent of its red-zone chances. If the Tigers could have replaced two field goals with two touchdowns the game would have been 45-17. Good teams don’t get half TDs and half field goals.
ä PASS DEFENSE: This was the second week in a row that an opposing quarterback torched the LSU secondary. Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell was 26 of 38 for 295 yards, one touchdown and one interception. LSU’s prevent defense needs work, because when the Tigers use it teams are able to march up and down the field with ease. LSU also was caught in some mismatches in one-on-one coverage. When LSU plays attacking defense it is as good as any team in the country. It has to keep on playing that way.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
13 Number of consecutive wins for LSU over Mississippi State. The Tigers have won 20 of 21 against the Bulldogs since 1992.
19-1 LSU’s record under Les Miles after a loss. LSU fell to No. 1 Alabama last week 21-17.e_SClB100 Number of yards on Craig Loston’s pick six, tying the school record set by White Graves in 1964 and tied by Greg Jackson in 1988.
THREE AND OUT
What we learned
Mississippi State may have closed the gap on LSU under Dan Mullen, but for the 13th straight time and 20th time in the last 21 years the Tigers were good enough to beat the Bulldogs. State has yet to beat LSU or Alabama under Mullen, a combined 0-8 against the SEC West’s top two teams.
One game may be an anomaly. Two is a trend. This was the second straight strong performance by LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger and the LSU receiver corps. Mettenberger threw for 273 yards on 19 of 30 passing. In his last two games, Mettenberger has completed 43 of 65 passes for 571 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Tigers could have fallen as an upset victim to a capable Mississippi State team, but picked themselves up after a last-minute loss to Alabama a week earlier to get back in the win column. It may or may not put LSU in a BCS bowl, but LSU remains in the picture as a relevant national team.