STARKVILLE, Ms. (BRPROUD.com) – Last year, LSU allowed Mississippi State to throw an SEC record 623 passing yards in the season-opening loss, but in the 2021 conference opener, the Tigers’ defense imposed its will.
Through two quarters, the Bayou Bengals held the Bulldogs to 205 total yards and one field goal, going into the break with a 14-3 lead. LSU consistently rushed only three defensive linemen and held eight men in coverage.
“The explosive plays were killing us last year. That’s why we went to the 8-man drop,” head coach Ed Orgeron said.
The Bayou Bengals did not have cornerback Derek Stingley, Jr., who reaggravated the same injury which held him out of fall camp.
However, his fellow defensive backs stepped up in his absence. Junior cornerback Cordale Flott created two turnovers in the first half: a forced fumble and an interception. The fumble led to the Tigers first touchdown of the game.
“Corey Raymond was steaming. He was very motivational today. He taught his guys well,” Orgeron says about the defensive backfield’s performance.
Bulldogs quarterback Will Rodgers finished the game with 372 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception, but the sophomore needed 62 pass attempts to total those numbers.
Rodgers averaged six yards per pass.
LSU didn’t allow MSU to reach the endzone until late in the third quarter, but the Purple and Gold’s offense scored on two explosive plays.
Quarterback Max Johnson finished with 280 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception on 17/27 passing. Johnson has thrown at least three touchdowns in all four games in the 2021 season.
One touchdown was a 64-yard pass to wide receiver Kayshon Boutte. The sophomore eclipsed 1,000 career receiving yards at LSU after the score.
“I really like the win. I feel like we could’ve put up more points, but as a offense, sometimes you gotta be grateful you won,” Boutte said.
“We’re going take the big plays the way we can get them,” Orgeron added.
LSU beat Mississippi State 28-25. The Tigers next game will back at Tiger Stadium to face No. 23 Auburn.
The October 2nd kickoff will be at 8 p.m.