After the Mississippi State Bulldogs took a 13-7 lead at halftime, it looked as though once again, the LSU Tigers’ slow start would come back to bite them. However, this time around, the Tigers had a dominant second half, especially in the fourth quarter outscoring the Bulldogs 21-0 in the final 15 minutes.
How the Tigers’ defense would match up against Mississippi State’s prolific aerial attack would be a major key in tonight’s football game and the Tigers answered the challenge. Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers came into this game averaging 381 yards passing, and the Tigers defense only gave up 214 passing yards through the air on 24 completions. Harold Perkins was wearing the number 40 jersey that was made famous by his predecessor Devin White and played like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker with five tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1.5 tackles for loss. Jay Ward came in at nickel and had a standout game as well with 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a game clinching interception. BJ Ojulari was hitting Rogers all night with 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and two more quarterback hurries. Mekhi Wingo made some big hits on two fourth down attempts as the Bulldogs only converted one of four fourth down attempts. It was a team effort defensively as the unit held its own while the Tigers’ offense was struggling to get anything going in the first half.
The Tigers’ offense would indeed wake up and when it did, the offense was rolling. The offense was stuck in neutral for the majority of the first half, but Jayden Daniels would lead a touchdown drive right before halftime finding Jaray Jenkins eight yards out on a 75 yard drive in order to make it a one score game at halftime. In the second half, it was much more of the same as both Mississippi State and LSU would trade possessions after both teams failed to pick up fourth downs. The first break for the Tigers came late in the third quarter when Slade Roy recovered a muffed Bulldogs punt inside the nine yard line. From that point on, it turned the switch for the Tigers offense.
Daniels would help give his team their first lead of the ball game at 17-16 when he found the end zone on a three yard touchdown run. The Tigers’ defense would get consecutive stops and the offense found its rhythm. On the second scoring drive, Jayden Daniels found Malik Nabers on four different occasions in money down situations including a big 34 yard connection on fourth down. Josh Williams would punch the ball into the end zone to give the Tigers some breathing room at 24-16. Then, the knockout punch was thrown by Armoni Goodwin, who galloped his way to the end zone from 47 yards out giving the Tigers a 15 point lead at 31-16 in the fourth quarter. The Tigers would run for 117 yards in the fourth quarter after only rushing for 89 yards in the previous three quarters. As it was meant to be, the Tigers’ defense seals the victory with a Jay Ward interception after being stellar all night long against a good offense. The Tigers would also out gain the Bulldogs 271 yards to 105 in the second half. In the fourth quarter, LSU accounted for 42% of its total yardage in the fourth quarter with 175 yards compared to Mississippi State’s 44 total yards during the final period.
In the first matchup between Brian Kelly and Mike Leach, it was Kelly that came out on top in the first SEC victory of his LSU career.
“Obviously, it was a great SEC game with two outstanding defenses. Ours was better in the second half. They had six possessions and punted it three times. It was a classic battle between two great defenses.”
“Then, in the second half, Jayden Daniels made a lot of big plays for us. Receivers stepped up. The backs stepped up and what was evident to me was our physical conditioning in the third and fourth quarter. We were able to control the line of scrimmage when everybody knew that we needed to run the football. We were able to close out the football game by running the ball. The guys never gave up when they were down in the game. We just want to be a better team in November. If we can incrementally keep working at it, then, this is going to be a pretty good football team.”LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly on Mississippi State victory.
The Tigers improve to 2-1 and 1-0 in the SEC. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs fall to 2-1 and 0-1 in SEC play. Next up, the Tigers will host New Mexico next Saturday at 6:30 PM
Check out this photo gallery from first half of action photographed by Billy Metcalf. Check out the entire gallery tomorrow.
Game Recap (Drive By Drive):
LSU won the toss and was aggressive again taking the football. On the second play of the game, Jayden Daniels connected with the Tigers’ number one receiver Kayshon Boutte for an 18 yard pickup. Then, Daniels showed his legs for the first time of the afternoon with a 12 yard run. After a false start, the Tigers’ drive would stall after three straight incomplete passes by Daniels thus ending the Tigers’ streak at eight consecutive scoring drives to start the game. Jay Bramblett would punt the ball 36 yards and the Mississippi State Bulldogs would start their first offensive possession.
On the Bulldogs’ first drive, the coaching staff decided to roll the dice on a fourth and one from the Bulldogs’ own 22 yard line. The gamble would pay off as the offense picks up the first down. Four plays later, it is the Bulldogs’ running game that gets going with a 37 yard touchdown run from Jo’quavious Marks to put Mississippi State on the scoreboard first. Mississippi State would march down the field 87 yards on nine plays taking close to five minutes off the clock. However, Ben Raybon would miss the extra point. Mississippi State leads LSU 6-0.
The Tigers were planning on going for a fourth and one from their own 29 yard line, but a third false start penalty by the Tigers’ center Charles Turner changed the team’s mind as Jay Bramblett punts the football right back to the Bulldogs. On the Bulldogs’ punt return, Zavion Thomas returned the football 22 yards and set his team up with great position, but Emery Jones showed his freakish athletic ability for a big man and made the tackle one on one against the speedy Thomas. Mississippi State would start its second drive in Tigers territory at the 49 yard line.
Jay Ward makes an incredible tackle on first down for no gain. Then, the Tigers make their biggest defensive play of the ball game to that point when BJ Ojulari came from behind and sacked Will Rogers for a nine yard loss. After an 18 yard completion from Will Rogers to Rufus Harvey, the Bulldogs would then attempt another fourth down. This time, the fourth and one would be unsuccessful as the Tigers get a turnover on downs. Major Burns and Mekhi Wingo were on the stop, but Burns would end up being down on the field after that play.
The Tigers would not capitalize on the big defensive stop and would punt the ball right back to the Bulldogs. It was Bramblett’s third punt of the first quarter. His 55 yard punt would bounce into the end zone and the Bulldogs would start their third drive of the game at their own 20 yard line.
After the Bulldogs would line up for another fourth and one gamble, the first quarter clock would run out as at the end of the first 15 minutes of play, Mississippi State would lead LSU 6-0.
The Tigers would get a second consecutive fourth down and one stop, and once again, it was Mekhi Wingo that made the play along with some help from Mike Jones Jr. The Tigers would take over inside the Bulldogs’ 30 yard line, but once again, the Tigers would not capitalize as Jayden Daniels fumbles on the quarterback read. Mississippi State’s Tyrus Wheat would recover the fumble and give the ball back to Mississippi State on LSU’s first turnover of the game.
The LSU defensive line steps up again as on the fourth play of the drive, Saivion Jones causes a fumble on quarterback Will Rogers, but the Bulldogs would fall back on the football. Archer Trafford would punt for the first time and Greg Clayton makes the mistake of returning the football from the team’s own three yard line and gets tackled immediately.
The Tigers could not muster a first down again and would have to punt again. LSU’s offense did not pick up a first down since the first drive of the game up to this part of the game. Jay Bramblett would continue his busy night with his fourth punt of the night. This one would travel 47 yards as the Bulldogs would call a fair catch. Mississippi State starts their next drive from the team’s own 41 yard line.
After Mississippi State picked up a first down, the Tigers’ flying defense made things difficult for the Bulldogs’ offense. After West Weeks and Jay Ward makes a play behind the line of scrimmage, Harold Perkins comes up the middle on a blitz and sacks Will Rogers for a ten yard loss. This would be the first sack of the five star freshman’s career at LSU. That play would force the Bulldogs to punt again for the second straight time in this unexpected defensive struggle.
LSU picks up its first first down since the opening drive with a ten yard swing pass from Daniels to John Emery Jr. Daniels continues to look uncomfortable as he is sacked by Wheat. Bramblett continues his busiest night as a Tiger with a fifth punt of the first half, but he also made the tackle on Zavion Thomas, who added another 20 yard plus return. Mississippi State starts another drive in Tiger territory at the 48 yard line.
The Bulldogs gain another big gainer on a running play with Dillon Johnson running down the sideline for 35 yards. Two plays later, Rogers takes a shot to Rara Thomas in the end zone and Thomas comes down with the touchdown catch as Colby Richardson was on the coverage. After the Tigers were holding their own defensively, the Tigers finally bent defensively. Will Rogers throws a touchdown strike from 13 yards away connecting with Rara Thomas. Thomas came away with a big grab with Colby Richardson on the coverage. It was a three play, 54 yard scoring drive that took just under a minute off the clock. Extra point is good. Mississippi State extends its lead to 13 points at 13-0.
Jayden Daniels tries to get his rhythm back by completing a couple of short passes and picking up 50 yards on three scramble plays. He would then use his arm to find Jaray Jenkins from eight yards out to put the Tigers on the scoreboard. By far, it was the Tigers’ most efficient drive of the night to this point scoring on a seven play, 75 yard drive. The Tigers only had 57 total yards prior. Mississippi State still leads LSU 13-7 with 46 seconds left to go until halftime.
Mississippi State starts the drive attacking as Rogers hits Ducking for a 16 yard completion. The Tigers would hold again as the Bulldogs would punt the ball back to the Tigers with 18 seconds left to go until halftime. The Tigers would then take a knee and run out the rest of the half.
The LSU Tigers defense gets a stop after Mississippi State picks up only one 1st down. Rara Thomas drops a pass on third down and as a result, the Bulldogs have to punt on the opening drive of the third quarter.
Jayden Daniels starts the drive with a 14 yard completion to Goodwin. Two plays later, Daniels throws another short pass to Brian Thomas Jr., but Thomas makes some big yards after the catch and gets a 15 yard face mask penalty added to the play. Daniels then hits Kayshon Boutte to move the sticks again for 11 yards. After the completion, Daniels misses three passes with two of them intended for Mason Taylor and a third pass that could have been easily a touchdown to Malik Nabers, but Daniels could not see it. The Tigers would add points to the scoreboard as Damian Ramos connects on a 35 yard field goal to make it a three point game. It was a nine play, 69 yard scoring drive for the Tigers. Mississippi State leads LSU 13-10.
The Bulldogs convert on two third downs on the ensuing drive first on a 24 yard reception by Thomas and then a 14 yard catch by Lideatrick Griffin. The third attempt would be the charm for the Tigers defense as BJ Ojulari and Harold Perkins meet in the backfield to sack Rogers. With the help of those two big third down conversions, the Bulldogs convert on a 45 yard field goal attempt from Ben Rayborn. Mississippi State extends its lead to six at 16-10.
After completing a 15 yard pass to Brian Thomas Jr., Daniels would then get sacked by Nathaniel Watson for a six yard loss. The Tigers would then pick up 12 yards on a completion to Mason Taylor. This allowed Brian Kelly to decide to go for it on fourth down. However, the gamble would fail as Daniels overshoots Kayshon Boutte. The Bulldogs would take over at their own 49 yard line after the turnover on downs.
The Tigers would get another fourth down stop as Rogers throws an incompletion as the pass was intended for Austin Williams. LSU gets the ball back at their own 38 yard line. Both teams have combined to be only 1 for 5 on fourth down attempts.
After getting 12 yards on a completion from Daniels to Jenkins, LSU would have to punt, but the Tigers get a huge break when Austin Williams’ muffs the punt for the Bulldogs. LSU’s long snapper Slade Roy would recover the fumble for the Tigers inside the Bulldogs’ ten yard line.
After two plays, the Tigers would run out the rest of the third quarter with 15 more minutes left to play in the game. Mississippi State enters the final stanza with a 16-10 lead.
After Jayden Daniels scrambles to get seven yards inside the three yard line, Daniels uses his legs on third down to score the touchdown from the three yard line as he kept his balance after being hit at the three yard line. Ramos’ kick is good and LSU grabs its first lead of the football game. After the play, Mississippi State had a 15 yard personal foul penalty, which would be assessed 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.
The Tigers’ defense gets some help with the crowd noise in Tiger Stadium and forces a three and out. LSU starts its next drive at their own 15 yard line. On a big third down, Daniels rolls to his right and fires a completion to Nabers in order to move the chains. Two plays later, John Emery Jr. gets a big hole from his offensive line and picks up nine yards. Daniels finds Nabers two more times on third down as Nabers has become his go to target on the money down. On the fourth third down of the drive after two consecutive incompletions, Daniels throws a dump off to Josh Williams, who get the Tigers close to a first down. At the Bulldogs’ 35 yard line, Kelly would have another big decision to make with a fourth and three decision. The Tigers roll the dice on a gutsy call as Daniels throws a 34 yard completion to Malik Nabers. Four times on the drive, Daniels has found Nabers when it mattered most.
The following play, Josh Williams bursts up the middle for the touchdown. The Tigers score for the second straight time on a 14 play, 85 yard drive. LSU leads Mississippi State 24-16.
Mississippi State would have a big 88 yard kick return from Griffin, but the big return was wiped off due to a Bulldogs’ holding penalty. As a result, the Bulldogs start the drive at their own 17 yard line. The Tigers’ crowd was really into it and the Mississippi State offense could not get a completion as once again, the Bulldogs go three and out. After Trafford’s 41 yard punt, the Tigers would start the next drive at their own 41 yard line. Daniels picks up another key third down this time with his legs on a ten yard run to move the chains. Then, the biggest play of the night followed as Armoni Goodwin sneaks through the hole and emerges past Mississippi State defenders where he outruns them the rest of the way from 47 yards. The Tigers have the biggest lead of the football game now at 31-16. The Tigers have now scored 21 unanswered points on three consecutive drives.
After the Bulldogs were driving on a five play, 38 yard drive, Jay Ward adds to his big night by intercepting Will Rogers giving the Tigers the football with three minutes left to play. The Tigers would run the rest of the clock out and secure the victory.
Final Score: LSU 31 Mississippi State 16
Offensive Cumulative Stats:
|NET TOTAL YARDS||289||416|
|NET RUSHING YARDS||75||206|
|Average Per Rush||3.4||5.4|
|NET PASSING YARDS||214||210|
|Avg Per Completion||8.9||9.5|
|Drops (%)||5 (12%)||1 (03%)|
|TOTAL 1ST DOWNS||15||20|
|Rushing 1st Downs||6||8|
|Passing 1st Downs||9||11|
|Penalty 1st Downs||0||1|
Offense Efficiency Comparison:
|RED ZONE ATTEMPTS||1-1||4-4|
|Red Zone Points||7||24|
|RZ TDs Rush-Pass||0-1||2-1|
|RZ FG Made-Att||0-0||1-1|
|Pts Off Turns||0||0|
Special Teams Comparison:
|Tackles for Loss||4||8|
LSU Field Goals:
|TOTAL||1-1||LONG OF 35|
LSU All Purpose Yards:
|3||G.Brooks Jr. (S)||4||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|6||M.Jones Jr. (LB)||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|30||G.Penn III (LB)||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
LSU Punt Returns:
LSU Kick Returns:
LSU Team Stats By Quarter:
LSU Scoring Summary:
|2||00:46||TD||PASS||J.Jenkins 8 yd reception thrown by J.Daniels|
PAT kick by D.Ramos (GOOD)
|3||10:56||FG||D.Ramos 35 yd Field Goal||9/69/2:33||10-13|
|4||14:11||TD||RUSH||J.Daniels 3 yd rush|
PAT kick by D.Ramos (GOOD)
|4||06:53||TD||RUSH||J.Williams 7 yd rush|
PAT kick by D.Ramos (GOOD)
|4||04:50||TD||RUSH||A.Goodwin 47 yd rush|
PAT kick by D.Ramos (GOOD)
Mississippi St. Passing:
Mississippi St. Receiving:
Mississippi St. Rushing:
Mississippi St. Punting:
Mississippi St. Field Goals:
|TOTAL||1-1||LONG OF 45|
Mississippi St. All Purpose Yards
Mississippi St. Defense:
Mississippi St. Punt Returns:
Mississippi St. Kick Returns:
Mississippi St. Team Stats By Quarter:
Mississippi St. Scoring Summary:
|1||07:30||TD||RUSH||J.Marks 37 yd rush|
PAT kick by B.Raybon (FAIL)
|2||02:14||TD||PASS||R.Thomas 13 yd reception thrown by W.Rogers|
PAT kick by B.Raybon (GOOD)
|3||06:31||FG||B.Raybon 45 yd Field Goal||10/34/4:19||10-16|
Brian Kelly Postgame Press Conference:
Quotes From LSU Players:
“Being versatile and being able to move between both the safety and nickel position. More free at the nickel position and fits in the run game which played a big impact tonight, that is where I like to play.”On tonight’s performance and how things are working out for him
“I just saw the ball in the air and I knew I had to have a run for tonight because I missed the one where I had a PBU.”On the interception
“Oh yes, I’m good now, I was just hurting in that moment.”On the injury during the game
“We came out with a mindset that we were going to do our job as a defense and lighten the offense. We know that they were going to pass the ball every play, so our mentality coming into the game was to lock them down and bring the energy for the offense and give them the ball so that they can do their job.”On how the moment felt due to previous injury…
“Sometimes it takes someone hitting you in the mouth to wake you up, that’s what we did. We got some momentum last week and brought that momentum in to this week and that’s what we needed.”On an SEC win after a slow start to the season…
“It feels great to get a dub for the team and for this new staff. Our first SEC win as a new team in the West. It’s a blessing and we will just keep this rolling going into next week.”On the win today as opposed to the loss vs. Mississippi State two years ago…