After a blowout loss against Florida State and defeating an outmatched opponent in Grambling last week, there were a lot of eyes on LSU for this early morning kickoff against Mississippi State to see what kind of strides they made since then against a SEC opponent.
Daniels was masterful and had arguably the best passing performance of his LSU career as he started the game on fire completing his first 13 passes. The Tigers senior quarterback remained hot throughout as he finished completing 30 of 34 passes for 361 yards and two touchdowns (88%) while also leading the team in rushing with 15 carries for 64 yards and two more touchdowns.
While Daniels was fantastic, Malik Nabers had a career game and was the biggest performer today. After temporarily leaving the game early with a shoulder injury, Nabers came back in the ballgame and was unstoppable. In the first half alone, Nabers was top five in school history when it comes to receiving yards in a first half as he had 10 catches for 188 yards and two touchdowns.
After it was all said and done, the one-time Mississippi State commit finished the game with 13 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns.
“Daniels and Nabers hooked up to the level that we all wanted to see. We saw that tonight and that was certainly fun.”
“A lot of these calls are predicated on the defensive structure. If they are playing off, maybe that’s a hitch, but they challenged our receivers today. Jayden was up to the task. We know our receivers can run. Many times, we are not put into press situations and a lot of times, those hitches converted into gos. Today, they wanted to take away the short passing game. It presented us higher risk, but certainly a bigger reward in pushing the ball down the field.”LSU HC Brian Kelly on Jayden Daniels and Malik Nabers’ dynamic performance
The running game was also effective as Logan Diggs gained 41 yards on nine carries. Josh Williams added a touchdown run and Kaleb Jackson made his best Leonard Fournette impression when he bulldozed over a Mississippi State defender in the second half.
With the star power on offense, it was not a total surprise that the Tigers offense would be scoring points, but what was a surprise was how the LSU defense shut down the Mississippi State offense without two of their starters being available in Omar Speights and Greg Brooks.
“Omar was out with the hip flexor, and we just found out that Greg Brooks had a medical emergency so our thoughts and prayers go out to him. That was tough on the guys and tough on all of us. We had to band together and play a lot of young guys. Whit Weeks started in Omar’s place and Ryan Yaites started in our nickel package. A lot of young guys are getting some work and doing a good job.”LSU HC Brian Kelly on new guys filling in on defense
Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers only finished completing 11 of 28 passes for 103 yards. The Tigers pass rush was frequent throughout the entire game as Rogers was sacked four times by Harold Perkins Jr., Major Burns, Saivion Jones, and Mekhi Wingo. The Bulldogs veteran quarterback was taking hits all game adding four more quarterback hurries.
“If you look at the quarterbacks that we have played this year, they are pretty athletic quarterbacks, but if you are a pocket quarterback, we are going to get to you. If you are a play action team that doesn’t get the ball out in two seconds, we are going to get some pressure. We got some good guys up front in Smith, Wingo, Womack, and of course, 4 (Harold Perkins) gets pressure all the time. The ball got out quickly with the first two opponents and today, if you take any time, we are going to get to you.”LSU HC Brian Kelly on successful pass rush today
Overall, the Bulldogs had 201 total yards and 52 yards of those yards came on one play. Leading the defense was Whit Weeks, who in his first start filling in for Speights, had eight tackles and a quarterback hurry.
“Whit can run. He can go from sideline to sideline. If he sees an open gap, he is going to take it. He recognizes and is athletic. He can run sideline to sideline. He maybe doesn’t have the experience that Omar has, and Greg Penn is a settling player out there. He knows the defense. He is assignment correct and gets guys line up. Guys feel comfortable with him out there.”LSU HC Brian Kelly on linebackers filling in for Omar Speights
After having a slow start to the season, Harold Perkins Jr. showed flashes of his freshman form filling the stat sheet with four tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, and a pass breakup.
The domination on both sides of the football in the first half was astonishing as LSU not only took a 24-7 lead, but outgained Mississippi State 310 yards to 79.
The Tigers used that nearly perfect first half and cruised into the second half to a 41-14 victory. For head coach Brian Kelly, this win was important as it validates themselves that they can be the type of team they are capable of being.
“What I thought that our team needed to do was play four quarters against a SEC opponent and play the right way. We knew we had a better, talented team than Grambling. We respect our opponent, but we needed this game. It wasn’t the need of confidence. It was the need to validate who we were. The guys feel good about themselves because they knew what they have, but they needed to go out there and prove it based on the bad taste in their mouth and the way they played against Florida State.”LSU HC Brian Kelly on the validation the win against Mississippi State means
The victory gives the #14 ranked LSU Tigers their first SEC victory of the season as the team will head back home where they will host the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday.
Offensive Cumulative Stats
|NET TOTAL YARDS||530||201|
|NET RUSHING YARDS||163||94|
|Average Per Rush||4.2||4.5|
|NET PASSING YARDS||367||107|
|Avg Per Completion||11.8||8.9|
|Drops (%)||0 (00%)||0 (00%)|
|TOTAL 1ST DOWNS||27||10|
|Rushing 1st Downs||9||4|
|Passing 1st Downs||15||6|
|Penalty 1st Downs||3||0|
Offense Efficiency Comparison:
|RED ZONE ATTEMPTS||4-4||2-2|
|Red Zone Points||24||14|
|RZ TDs Rush-Pass||3-0||1-1|
|RZ FG Made-Att||1-1||0-0|
|Pts Off Turns||0||0|
Special Teams Comparison:
|Tackles for Loss||7||6|
LSU Field Goals:
|TOTAL||2-2||LONG OF 41|
LSU All Purpose Yards:
|4||H.Perkins Jr. (LB)||4||2||1||2||0||1||0||0|
|30||G.Penn III (LB)||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
LSU Punt Returns:
LSU Kick Returns:
LSU Team Stats By Quarter:
LSU Scoring Summary:
|1||06:36||FG||D.Ramos 22 yd Field Goal||14/77/7:12||0-3|
|1||03:38||TD||PASS||M.Nabers 26 yd reception thrown by J.Daniels (PAT KICK by D.Ramos GOOD)||4/70/1:50||0-10|
|2||14:11||TD||PASS||M.Nabers 33 yd reception thrown by J.Daniels (PAT KICK by D.Ramos GOOD)||8/63/3:15||0-17|
|2||03:24||TD||RUSH||J.Williams 1 yd rush (PAT KICK by D.Ramos GOOD)||6/66/2:45||0-24|
|3||10:41||FG||D.Ramos 41 yd Field Goal||11/53/4:19||7-27|
|3||03:27||TD||RUSH||J.Daniels 5 yd rush (PAT KICK by D.Ramos GOOD)||5/63/2:31||7-34|
|4||12:11||TD||RUSH||J.Daniels 1 yd rush (PAT KICK by D.Ramos GOOD)||12/75/5:08||7-41|
Mississippi St. Passing:
Mississippi St. Receiving:
Mississippi St. Rushing:
Mississippi St. Punting:
Mississippi St. Field Goals
|TOTAL||0-0||LONG OF 0|
Mississippi St. All Purpose Yards
Mississippi St. Defense
|7||S.Preston Jr. (S)||6||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Mississippi St. Punt Returns:
Mississippi St. Kick Returns:
Mississippi St. Team Stats By Quarter:
Mississippi St. Scoring Summary
|2||00:50||TD||RUSH||L.Griffin 9 yd rush (PAT KICK by K.Ferrie GOOD)||6/72/2:27||7-24|
|4||04:26||TD||PASS||A.Harmon 4 yd reception thrown by M.Wright (PAT KICK by K.Ferrie GOOD)||10/58/4:19||14-41|