LSU only found the end zone once and was limited to four field goals. The Bulldogs held the Tigers to 4 of 12 on third downs, and the defense was the reason State still had a chance entering the fourth quarter.
Other than that, there weren't many positives for MSU, although coach Dan Mullen praised the effort of the entire team.
LSU's defense denied State at every turn. The strong running game went nowhere, as tailback Vick Ballard and quarterback Chris Relf rushed for a combined 48 yards - they totaled 241 the previous game against Auburn. The Tigers took away the deep ball, and the one time Relf tested that secondary deep, he was intercepted by Morris Claiborne.
While MSU's defense kept the game close until the fourth quarter, LSU controlled the clock with a punishing running game and sharp decision-making by QB Jarrett Lee.
Keys to victory
Evaluating the keys to victory in Thursday's GameDay section:
1. Tackle, tackle, tackle. MSU's defense appeared to improve some in this category Thursday, but it had a tough time with LSU running backs Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, neither of whom went down on first contact very often.
2. Cover better. MSU fared slightly better in kickoff coverage than it did against Auburn, allowing LSU 71 yards on three returns for a 23.7-yard average. Punt coverage was outstanding, as two LSU returns netted minus-8 yards.
3. Force LSU to drive. Part of the Tigers' ability to score points this season has been driven by good field position. The points didn't come so easily against MSU, with the lone touchdown drive covering 80 yards. LSU's first score of the game, a 21-yard field goal, came at the end of a 16-play, 77-yard drive.
LSU's average starting field position was its own 26-yard line, and that number was skewed a bit by a second Claiborne interception at MSU's 19 late in the game.
It's hard to pick one out, but kicker Derek DePasquale was the only player to put points on the board for MSU. He hit field goals of 26 and 42 yards. The senior has made 5 of 6 this year.
LSU was clearly the superior team, and this loss will drop MSU out of the rankings after a nine-week run stretching to last season. At 0-2 in the SEC, there is little wiggle room for State if it hopes to finish higher than fifth in the Western Division