Well, it's time to get back on the horse. Last weekend's shootout loss was a tough one to take, but as we said going in: if LSU was going to lose a game this year, the Georgia game was the one to lose. All of LSU's goals are still intact. Honestly, it didn't even make the road harder.
LSU has to beat every team in the West with no slip ups along the way, especially Alabama and A&M. Then the team has to win in Atlanta. The only thing that really changed is now LSU cannot afford to drop a game against Florida. The margin for error is all gone, but really, it was never there in the first place outside of the Georgia game.
Losses stink, but this was hardly a crippling blow. Time for the team to dust itself off, find someone who can tackle, and start the run for the SEC title. The goals have not changed. The degree of difficulty is still the same. Go out there and win.
Luckily, LSU gets to right the ship against the personal punching bag, Mississippi State. LSU owns the Bulldogs like no other team in the conference, and it dates back to before LSU got good again. It's just an amazing streak.
LSU has not lost a game to Mississippi State this century. The Bulldogs pulled out a close win on a questionable call in 1999, and that win snapped a seven game losing streak to the Tigers. LSU has won 20 of their last 21 games against State. It's just gotten silly.
It's not like there haven't been close calls. CHAD JONES!!!! WOOOOOOOOOO!! dates back to the 2009 game. The 1993 win depended on the leg of one of the shakiest kickers to wear purple and gold. The 2011 game was one of the closest games LSU played all season.
But yeah, it's mainly been a string of blowouts. Presented without comment, here are the margins of victory starting with last year's win, going back to 1994:
20, 13, 22, 4, 10, 45, 31, 30, 51, 35, 18, 42, 7, (-1), 35, 15, 8, 18, 20, 2, 21.
Yeah, that's not good. In case you don't want to do the math, LSU's average margin of victory over those twenty wins is 22.35. Admittedly, it's gotten closer in the past half decade, but Mississippi State has only played with a score of LSU four times in 21 years. This is about as lopsided as a rivalry gets.
LSU needs to win this game, and they need to win big. Let's get the mojo back as the team gets into the meat of the schedule. LSU's dominance of State can't go on like this forever, but it needs to continue for at least one more year. If ever LSU needed a blowout win over the Bulldogs, they need it now.
A big win and everything is right in the universe again. That Georgia game can be read as a tough loss on the road to a top ten team. The defense was still finding its legs and we'll get ‘em in December, right?
But if LSU struggles, those questions raised by the Georgia game start to have some uncomfortable answers. Maybe it is not that Aaron Murray is awesome, but the defense is truly terrible. A team that struggles against State will have little chance of beating a team like Florida, to say nothing of A&M or Alabama.
Forget about a loss, a close win raises doubts not just in the fanbase, but in the players themselves. What kind of team do we have here? This is still a team capable of running the table and winning the national title.
It's also a team capable of breaking the streak against Mississippi State. The team needs to respond the right way to the adversity of the Georgia loss. There are no moral victories, so let's get a real one.