STARKVILLE, Miss. — LSU’s explosive and productive offense, which has put up points and yards at a dizzying rate through the first six games of the season, wasn’t itself in the first 1½ quarters of Saturday’s game with Mississippi State.
It took the second-ranked Tigers nearly 25 minutes to score their first touchdown in an eventual 36-13 beating of the Bulldogs in Davis Wade Stadium with the score coming on Joe Burrow’s 60-yard TD strike to Racey McMath.
The first touchdown for LSU, which had 40 offensive touchdowns in a 6-0 start, came after it was stymied three times from the State 3, 5 and 7 on its first three possessions.
LSU, which scored touchdowns on 29 of 34 red-zone possessions going into Saturday’s game, suddenly came up dry and had to settle for three Cade York chip-shot field goals.
To be sure, it was unsettling for coach Ed Orgeron.
“I didn’t like it … I can tell you that,” he said. “I didn’t like it for sure. If it had been fourth-and-1 or fourth-and-2, maybe we would have gone for it.
“But we weren’t clicking on offense, so we settled for field goals. That’s not like us.”
Burrow, who wound up throwing four TDs that eventually gave LSU a 36-7 lead in the third quarter, said the usually-energetic Tigers were a little sluggish to start the game.
“We just started off slow,” he said after setting a school single-season record with 29 touchdown passes. “We were moving the ball, we didn’t execute the way we have been in the red zone.
“I felt a little less energy during the game, so that probably had to do with some of it.”
“We’re always frustrated when things don’t go our way,” said Ja’Marr Chase, whose 8-yard TD just before halftime gave LSU a 22-7 lead. “It’s about how you bounce back after something like that, so it’s good on our part we did that.”
Burrow threw a 37-yard TD pass to Derrick Dillon and an 8-yarder to Justin Jefferson in the third quarter to finally give the Tigers some separation.
While it was disappointing and frustrating, Orgeron said everyone remained calm on the sideline after York gave LSU a 9-0 lead.
“Yeah, there was frustration for everybody, but we didn’t panic,” Orgeron said. “The difference was by the time our defense stood up and played well, the offense knew they were going to get it (eventually).”