By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State had a glimmer of hope in trying to end its 13-game losing streak to LSU on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs led briefly in the second quarter and trailed 28-26 early in the third. But in the end, the sixth-ranked Tigers proved to be too formidable, scoring four touchdowns in the final quarter to win 59-26 in front of 57,113 at Davis Wade Stadium.
“I thought we did a great job battling for three quarters,” said MSU coach Dan Mullen. “We wore down a little bit there in the fourth quarter and didn’t finish. When you play top teams in this league you’ve got to finish every single play of the entire game and we didn’t.”
The two teams combined for 1,031 yards with LSU rolling up 563 as they improved to 5-1 and 2-1 in the SEC. Zach Mettenberger completed 25 of 29 passing for 340 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
“They won just about every battle out there on the edge,” Mullen said. “That’s as good as I’ve seen in a long, long time in college football.”
Odell Beckham Jr. hauled in nine passes for 179 yards and two scores while Jeremy Hill ran for 157 yards and two scores on 16 attempts.
LSU got things going on the opening drive marching 75 yards in 10-plays as Kenny Hilliard crossed the goal line on a 4-yard run.
The Bulldogs would answer back three plays later. Jameon Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield. A LaDarius Perkins 28-yard run would set up a 28-yard scoring scramble by Dak Prescott, who started the game at quarterback. However, Prescott’s two-point conversion pass fell incomplete.
The Tigers responded with a three-play drive of its own as Hill went up the gut 69 yards for the score to put LSU ahead 14-6.
Devon Bell booted a 35-yard field goal for MSU before the end of the first quarter.
On the first play of the second, Hilliard was at it again, ripping off a 34-yard touchdown to put LSU up 21-9.
Tyler Russell entered the game at quarterback on the first drive of the second quarter for the Bulldogs, orchestrating an eight play, 75-yard scoring drive. Russell ended the series with a 20-yard touchdown toss.
Russell would give State its only lead of the evening heaving a 59-yard strike to freshman De’Runnya Wilson going up 23-21. The touchdown was the first for Wilson and also gave Russell the school’s all-time passing record of 39.
But the lead would be short-lived as LSU worked the two-minute drill to perfection as Mettenberger hooked up with Beckham Jr. for a 14-yard touchdown giving the Tigers a 28-23 lead at halftime.
The two teams traded field goals in the third quarter but the fourth would be all LSU. The Tigers scored four touchdowns in the final quarter to win going away.
The Bulldogs finished with 468 yards led by Prescott’s 12 carry, 103 yard performance on the ground.
Russell completed 7 of 11 passing for 146 yards and two touchdowns while Lewis made seven grabs for 111 yards and a score.