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Mississippi State offensive lineman Grant Jackson (52) reaches in vain as LSU wide receiver Trey Palmer (33) runs a punt back for good yardage during the first half at Davis Wade Stadium Saturday Sept. 25, 2021, in Starkville, Miss.

Final - LSU 28, Mississippi State 25. 

Third quarter update: LSU QB Max Johnson connected with Kayshon Boutte and Trey Palmer on a couple of 50-plus yardage touchdowns to give the Tigers a 21-3 lead. MSU responded with a 29-yard touchdown toss by Will Rogers. After 3Q - LSU 21, Mississippi State 10

Halftime update: LSU heads into the locker room with a 7-3 advantage over the Bulldogs after a strong first-half performance on defense. After 2Q - LSU 7, Mississippi State 3

First quarter update: LSU has forced a pair of Mississippi State turnovers, allowing the Tigers to jump out to an early lead. Max Johnson's 11-yard TD pass to Kayshon Boutte gives the Tigers a 7-0 lead at the 9:04 mark of the first quarter. After 1Q - LSU 7, Mississippi State 0. 

The LSU offense may have found its footing at the right time as the Tigers prepare to open SEC play on Saturday with an 11 a.m. kickoff against Mississippi State in Starkville.

LSU (2-1) put together a 35-point first half on its way to a 49-21 victory over a Central Michigan squad that put a scare into Missouri in a season-opening 34-24 loss.

This week, the competition takes a significant leap forward when LSU travels to Mississippi State planning to avoid a second consecutive loss to Mike Leach’s Bulldogs. A year ago, MSU stunned LSU 44-34 in Baton Rouge. 

MSU is coming off a controversial 31-29 loss to Memphis that involved multiple mistakes by officials that the SEC later admitted to. 

Prior to the loss at Memphis, the Bulldogs (2-1) picked up a pair of solid wins over Louisiana Tech and North Carolina State. 

While Leach’s squads at Washington State and Texas Tech were rarely known for defense, this year’s Mississippi State squad has been competent on that side of the ball. The 24-10 win over N.C. State on Sept. 11 is a good example of a Leach-coached squad winning with defense. The Wolfpack were held to 335 yards total, including just 32 on the ground. 

While LSU’s passing attack seemed to get rolling against CMU, it remains to be seen if the Tigers can put together a consistent rushing game. LSU managed just 84 yards on 24 carries against the Chippewas.

While LSU gave fans some hope with its play against CMU, Ed Orgeron’s status as a coach on the hot seat remains unchanged. This week’s game may not be a must-win for Orgeron, but it feels pretty close.

Week 3: LSU vs. Mississippi State

When: Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11 a.m.

Where: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Mississippi

The line: LSU (-2 1/2) at Mississippi State

Series record: 75-36-3, LSU leads

Mississippi State's record: 2-1

LSU’s record: 2-1


The game is available to watch on ESPN and the WATCH ESPN app with a cable subscription to a package that includes ESPN. 

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85.7: The average yards per rush for the LSU offense.

21.1: The average yards per reception by LSU receiver Deion Smith.

22: The number of receptions made by MSU running back Jo’quavious Marks.

623: The number of passing yards last season vs. LSU by MSU QB K.J. Costello.

863: The number of passing yards by LSU QB Max Johnson this season.


11 a.m. - Georgia at Vanderbilt (SECN)

11 a.m. - Missouri at Boston College (ESPN2)

2:30 p.m. - Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (at Arlington, Texas) (CBS)

3 p.m. - Georgia State at Auburn (SEC Network)

6 p.m. - Tennessee at Florida (ESPN)

6 p.m. - Kentucky at South Carolina (ESPN2)

6:30 p.m. - Southern Miss at Alabama (SEC Network)

Rabalais: After a rough start to 2021, LSU makes strides against Central Michigan

Mississippi State is next up for LSU football; learn more about the Bulldogs' offense, defense

Film review: How LSU's offense 'took the next step' in win over Central Michigan

Rabalais: A year after a stunning upset, Miss. State to set tone for LSU's season again


Email Patrick Magee at or follow him on Twitter, @Patrick_Magee.