What happened and what mattered in the LSU 19-3 win over Mississippi State?
LSU 19, Mississippi State 3
LSU only cranked up 239 yards of total offense. The running game was totally stuffed, Joe Burrow dinked and dunked for just 129 yards, and there were too many drives that ended with field goals instead of touchdowns. But the defense took care of everything else.
And Cole Tracy did his part. The legend continues, with Tracy coming in and nailing four field goals and keeping the pressure on Mississippi State to keep pressing. +3 in turnover margin, converting third down tries, and letting the D to the rest. The formula might not be all that pretty, but it worked, helped by …
Devin White and Jacob Phillips formed a killer 1-2 linebacking punch, safety Grant Delpit was all over the field, and this defense was swarming. Mississippi State might be one dimensional, but it’s still dangerous, and it was held to just a field goal.
Mississippi State can’t throw, and Nick Fitzgerald can run. Nick Fitzgerald ran for 131 yards, and completed 8-of-24 passes for 59 yards and four picks. The Bulldog offense is fine, but against an LSU defense like THIS, there has to be more than a quarterback running it.
The Tigers get a week off at the right time. They’ve been able to get through Georgia and Mississippi State at home with blowout wins, and now they get their shot at the big fish. The offense needs to come up with another wrinkle to beat Alabama, but this defense can at least keep Tua and company from blowing it out in the first quarter. On defense and offensive line, LSU can absolutely hang.
Mississippi State has lost three of the last four games, and it has to pull up out of the nosedive in a big hurry. It still has to go to Alabama and Ole Miss, and there’s a big problem if it doesn’t beat Texas A&M next week. Louisiana Tech and Arkansas are there – MSU will get to six wins – but Joe Moorhead needs to start involving more pieces than Nick Fitzgerald again.