REWIND: LSU 29, Mississippi State 7

Thumbs up
– While he threw three interceptions, backup QB Tyler Russell showed good poise after coming in for a banged-up Chris Relf. Those interceptions were not entirely his fault, as the offensive line failed to stem LSU’s rush.
Defensively, the Bulldogs did a good job holding LSU to four first-half field goals. Two turnovers gave the Tigers some short fields to work with.
Thumbs down
– The five turnovers were killer, and coach Dan Mullen said his players were making some basic mistakes, especially on blocking assignments. On the flip side, MSU could not create turnovers; LSU lost one fumble, and that was late in the game.
Keys to victory in review
– Evaluating the keys to victory in Saturday’s GameDay edition:
1. Protect the quarterbacks. LSU managed only one sack, but that number is not indicative of how much pressure MSU quarterbacks were under all night. Relf’s first interception was a jump ball he threw just before being knocked to the ground, and Russell’s first pick was made by defensive lineman Drake Nevis in the Bulldogs’ backfield.
2. Hang on to the ball. The five turnovers cost MSU any shot at victory.
3. Contain Ridley. LSU tailback Stevan Ridley had a decent game, gaining 78 yards on 19 carries and scoring a touchdown.
MVP
– Linebacker K.J. Wright: The senior led all players with 12 tackles, eight of which came in the first quarter. He was a big reason LSU had trouble running east and west.
Bottom line
– MSU’s youth has never been more apparent than it was Saturday. Now, sitting at 1-2 overall and 0-2 in SEC play, the Bulldogs must rebound quickly if they hope to salvage the season.

Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal