In some respects, LSU on Saturday looked a lot like the team that impressed so many of us in the first few games of the season. Zach Mettenberger was 25-of-29 for 340 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Jeremy Hill ran for 157 yards and two more touchdowns on 16 carries. Odell Beckham Jr. grabbed nine passes for 179 yards, and Jarvis Landry added 96 yards on eight receptions. And, of course, there was the overall 33-point margin.
But there were still some troubling signs for LSU if the Tigers still plan to contend for the SEC West. They allowed 468 yards to Mississippi State, including 216 on the ground. The Bulldogs averaged almost seven yards a play. And Mississippi State pulled within two points early in the third quarter before LSU poured on 31 unanswered.
So it wasn't a flawless performance for the Tigers, but they avoided the upset -- and, as a result, kept the temperature of Dan Mullen's seat relatively high. The LSU-Mississippi State rivalry remains as lopsided in this century as it ever was, and the Tigers still need "only" to win out to win the division. But while Saturday's game gave us a few reasons to think they could do that, it also pointed to a few reasons they might not.