It was quiet in the first half, with only one touchdown coming from LSU capitalizing on a short field after a Mississippi State turnover.
There was some more action in the second half which included some big plays from the LSU offense and a late run from Mississippi State. LSU was able to hold on to secure a 28-25 win.
LSU Patient on Defense
For most of the day on Saturday, the LSU defense controlled the game. Last year, the Mississippi State offense did everything they wanted against LSU. That wasn’t the case in this game.
LSU only brought three most of the day which allowed Mississippi State to dink and dunk. LSU defenders flew to the ball which prevented the Bulldogs from finding any big plays the first few quarters.
Late in the third and in the fourth, things started to flow for Mike Leach’s offense. Some blown coverages by the LSU defense let Mississippi State back into the game where they eventually cut LSU’s lead to just three.
The game was put away after LSU recovered a Bulldog onside kick in the waning minutes.
LSU’s Explosive Second Half Plays
LSU’s offense was struggling in the first half. Max Johnson was missing throws and the offensive line was failing to protect their QB.
In the second half, things started to change. On three occasions, Johnson found Kayshon Boutte, Trey Palmer, and Kole Taylor for long touchdowns.
For Boutte, it was his second touchdown on the day which brought his season total to eight.
It was not perfect. The offensive line still struggled and a couple of the scores may have had more to do with Bulldog errors than they did LSU drawing up and executing the perfect play, but nonetheless, LSU found ways to break out of its offensive lull.
Johnson had four touchdown passes on the day, giving him a combined nine in his last two games.
Mississippi State Mistakes
Mississippi State had some crucial mistakes in this game that made things a lot more challenging than they needed to be.
In the first half, Mississippi State had a few turnovers while they were driving in LSU territory. When they found their way into the red zone again, it ended in a missed field goal. State pass-catchers also had a few big drops throughout the game.
On defense, Mississippi State blew a coverage that resulted in Max Johnson finding Trey Palmer for a 55-yard touchdown. Later, two Mississippi State defenders collided which sent LSU tight end Kole Taylor into the open field to find the end zone.
On the drive where Taylor scored, LSU only had possession due to Mississippi State committing a personal foul on a punt where they would have gotten the ball back with some momentum.