Through three quarters, Mississippi State went blow for blow with 10th-ranked LSU. The Bulldogs offense rolled up 468 yards and punted only once the entire evening.
Dan Mullen proved once again he can manage multiple quarterbacks successfully. Dak Prescott led the team with 103 yards and a touchdown on the ground while Tyler Russell threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bulldogs defense created pressure on Zach Mettenberger, sacking him three times and also notched eight tackles for loss. Preston Smith had a pair of sacks and Chris Jones had two stops behind the line of scrimmage including a sack.
Mettenberger was able to complete passes at will to wide open receivers all night. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry torched MSU’s secondary with a combined 17 catches for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bulldogs also surrendered six rushing touchdowns, the most allowed since 2003.
Keys to victory
(Updating the game keys from Saturday’s GameDay preview)
1. Get Russell going early
Russell did not start the game as previously anticipated and was welcomed by a sack on his first snap in the second quarter. However, Russell responded by leading the Bulldogs on two 70-plus yard scoring drives on his first two series.
2. Use the Dak attack
Prescott started the game and used his scrambling ability on the game’s first drive turning a broken play into a 28-yard touchdown run. He led the team’s ground game but struggled through the air completing only 9 of 20 passing for 106 yards and an interception.
3. Don’t let Landry get loose
Last year it was Jarvis Landry who abused the Mississippi State secondary with 10 catches for 156 yards. Although Landry made eight grabs for 96 yards on Saturday night, it was Beckham Jr. who showed out hauling in nine passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
WR Jameon Lewis. Lewis finished with 201 all-purpose yards and a touchdown against his father’s alma mater. The junior made seven catches for 111 yards and a score to lead the Bulldogs receiving corps.
Although MSU played the Tigers tight for three quarters, allowing four touchdowns in the final quarter eliminated any possibility of even a moral victory.