Kenny Hilliard runs for one of his three touchdowns.
Hilliard dives for another score against Mississippi State.
Jeremy Hill breaks loose for a 69-yard touchdown run.
Zach Mettenberger eyes the field before throwing a strike for a big gain.
Odell Beckham Jr. goes over a defender to score a touchdown.
STARKVILLE, MS (WAFB) -
In the aftermath
of a rocky first half, No. 10 LSU opened the throttle against Mississippi State
in the second half and drove the Tigers (5-1, 2-1 SEC) to a 59-26 win over the
Bulldogs (2-3, 0-2 SEC).
If you were
looking for improvement in the LSU defense, you were no doubt disappointed.
Instead of the blown assignments seen against the Bulldogs of Georgia, there
was sloppy tackling against the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. And, there was
not one sign of the Tigers having found a leader or an instinctive big
first half, Mississippi State piled up 23 points, just one off of the 24
Georgia had at the break the week before. The defense gave up an alarming
average of nine yards every snap.
to make a determination that you are willing to do hard things for the length
and time of the game to win it," said head coach Les Miles.
re-emerging running game was not really a surprise because of the competition
and LSU's re-commitment, including Kenny Hilliard's three touchdowns, more than
the junior from Patterson had in his previous 14 games combined, and the
homerun blow provided by running back Jeremy Hill's 69-yard strike when the
home team was threatening to hand Miles back-to-back losses for only the second
time since he arrived at LSU.
got it going," said Hill. "And, I was so happy we got out momentum back that we
had in a few other games this season."
say anything many people weren't thinking, at least for most of the game.
"We went in
at halftime and said, ‘You know what, it stops here,'" said Anthony "Freak"
Johnson. "So, we came out and played our tails off."
which ranks last in the league in tackles for loss, just 21, is not nearly on
pace for the 91 it had a year ago. Any kind of push up the middle or pressure
from the edge would help a secondary reeling from the absence of experience and
questionable communication, which cornerback Tre'Davious White can confirm.
throw by Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott turned into an interception
for White, sparking 31 unanswered points, precisely as the Tigers were playing
more and more of their young guys.
"Me and Ego
Ferguson can't play 70, 80 plays a game. I'm happy Christian LaCouture and
Quinton Thomas came in and gave us great minutes," said Johnson.
by all of the concern over a defense that's been the staple of this program was
the near flawless performance of Zach Mettenberger and the passing game.
only as good as your next game and that's really the mindset that all of us
have on offense," said Mettenberger. "It's something that Coach Cam's preached.
We've done a lot of great things so far this season on offense, where we want
to continue to get better. We're four completions away from having no balls
dropped on the ground, which is something you always want to have."
bookends Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry keep playing their super hero
roles, Mettenberger's confidence is off the charts. Offensive coordinator Cam
Cameron is clearly humbled when it comes to taking credit for shaping
Mettenberger into the tougher, more competitive leader he's become.
"I think he's
had that," said Cameron. "I've met his mom and his dad. I think they're tough
people. I think they're tough-minded people. I think all our experiences make
us tougher. Obviously, he's had some things that he's had to work through that
have made him tougher. I take no credit for that. It starts at the top. If you're
an LSU Tiger, you're tough or you're not going to be here long."
defense will continue to suffer some growing pains, especially without Craig
Loston in the secondary, now there's concern for the offense. Jarvis Landry,
one of the key receivers the Tigers count on, actually limped to the bus after
the game wearing a walking boot.
have a big opponent this week, as they face No. 17 Florida in Tiger Stadium. The
Gators are known for their defense.
scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The game will air on CBS.