The Mississippi State Bulldogs shocked the LSU Tigers with a rattling 44-34 victory to kick the season off right.
K.J. Costello is already paying dividends at quarterback for the Bulldogs. Although he was a little bit shaky in the first half, Costello had an historic day under center. The former Stanford Cardinal quarterback tossed 623 yards and five touchdowns, going 36-for-60 in a game that completely fit the mold for Mike Leach’s offense. Both Costello and Leach certainly made the most of their debuts with State, as they certainly grabbed plenty of attention and goodwill from the State fanbase.
Another player who made the most of the season opener was Kylin Hill. We already knew how good he was, but Hill played his ass off, accumulating nearly 200 all-purpose yards on the day. He got his best moves going as a pass-catcher, reeling in a game-high eight receptions for 158 yards. He rushed for 34 yards on seven tries, a 4.9 yards per carry clip, but certainly the threat of him as a receiver was the big story of the day. He’s already a dangerous runner, but if he can produce like this in space? Look the hell out.
Osirus Mitchell and JaVonta Payton joined Hill with 100+ receiving yard days. Mitchell hauled in a game-high 183-yard performance with seven receptions and two touchdowns, while Payton pulled in six catches for 122. In all, 10 different players got at least one reception on the day, which certainly is a drastic difference from the normal established in Starkville over the last... few decades probably.
As hopeful and as blissful a performance this was for Mississippi State, it was that disheartening and disastrous for LSU. While Myles Brennan threw for over 300 yards with three touchdowns, two going to Terrace Marshall Jr., the LSU QB struggled at times. Brennan was seeing ghosts a lot and had a lot of difficulty as the game wore on. There were times where there were flashes, and those mostly resulted in big plays and scores for the Fighting Tigers. But there were plenty of times where he struggled, and in a shootout against the Air Raid Bulldogs, that wound up being LSU’s undoing.
State will look to piece together two wins in a row to start the year next week when they face the Arkansas Razorbacks. LSU, meanwhile, will aim to get win #1 against the Vanderbilt Commodores.