Mississippi State Over LSU, 37-7
playing visiting LSU (2-1, 0-1 SEC) to a 7-7 tie early in the second
quarter Saturday night, Mississippi State (3-0, 1-0 SEC) would
absolutely dominate the rest of the evening, outscoring the 12th-ranked
Tigers 30-0 to post an exciting 37-7 upset at Davis Wade Stadium.
night's 30-point victory marked State's largest margin of victory over
LSU ever and was the Bulldogs' first victory over LSU in Starkville
since 1999. It was also the largest margin of victory over a ranked
opponent by the Bulldogs since 1942 (33-0 over No. 12 Vanderbilt).
Bulldogs controlled the game statistically, with MSU's offense amassing
465 total yards and 25 first downs, while the State defense limited LSU
to just 270 yards and 13 first downs.
Nick Fitzgerald was once
again the star of the offensive show for State, completing 15-of-23
passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 14 times for 88
yards and two scores. Particularly impressive was his work on key
plays, highlighted by his five completions on eight third-down pass
"His management on third down I thought was huge for us tonight," Mullen said.
back Aeris Williams had a big night on the ground as well, leading the
Bulldogs with 146 yards on 23 carries. Overall, MSU put on a show
through its running game, racking up 285 yards on the ground and
averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
"Coming into the game, we wanted
to run the football," Mullen said. "We wanted to make sure we could run
the ball to hopefully neutralize their pass rush."
and Deddrick Thomas hauled in the two TDs from Fitzgerald, Mixon
leading the team wth six receptions for 97 yards in the contest. Jace
Christmann was also 3-for-3 on field goals of 27, 30 and 45 yards
during the game.
"Jace making those kicks kept momentum for us," head coach Dan Mullen said after the game.
State once again limited its opponent's output very effectively. State
has now allowed only 28 points (9.3 ppg) in three games this season
under first-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. The Bulldogs held
Tiger quarterback Danny Etling to 13-of-29 passing with 137 yards and
no touchdowns, Mark McLaurin's nine tackles led the Bulldogs, which had
two sacks and four tackles for loss in the game. Leo Lewis had eight
tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble while Jeffery Simmons had
another big night with seven stops (1.5 sacks) and two quarterback
The Bulldogs will be on the road next week, travelling
to Athens, Ga., Saturday, Sept. 23, to meet No. 13 Georgia (3-0, 0-0
SEC) in a 7 p.m. ET battle between undefeated teams on ESPN. UGA ousted
Samford 42-14 Saturday night in Athens.
HEAD COACH DAN MULLEN
student body and the fans were unbelievable tonight. They created an
unbelievable atmosphere with a home field advantage; we took advantage
of that. They deserve credit and a huge round of applause. We will
enjoy this one. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have to get
better for next week."
On how he thinks the offense played...
thought they did an excellent job. I thought they came out at a pretty
high level. They had some great talent on the defensive line. We wanted
to make sure we stayed balanced so execution, being able to run the
ball, running the ball on second downs and not making it a pass rush,
have to throw it game was huge for it. I was really proud. I wanted to
come out and run the
football, and they executed and we were able to do that."
On the run game evolving from design quarterback to true option because of Aeris Williams...
into the game we wanted to run the ball. We had tailback runs,
quarterback runs, option runs, read-zone runs. We wanted to make sure
we could run the ball and to hopefully neutralize their pass rushers."
On Jace Christmann's game...
did well after the game last week and in practice. All we can kind of
do is go off of practice. He had the best stats at practice this week
so we went with him and took advantage of him. He took advantage of the
opportunity and did a heck of a job."
On what he saw with their defense...
we're trying to do is get them back and forth and out of nickel and
base defense to create some mismatches. He's a guy who can create some
mismatches in the slot. We were just trying to move some people around
to create those matchups."
On how important he thinks the first scoring drive was...
was huge. We knew we had the ball to come out and start the second
half. I think we had help with a penalty on that drive. That was a big
one to help us stay on the field. I don't think I got the right call in
the red-zone at the right situation, so that made us settle for a field
goal, but overall, it was good. Jace making those kicks kept momentum
on us and put those drives in. We were
able to use up some time on the clock and control the tempo of the game, and that was huge for us."