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POSTGAME: LSU Tops Mississippi State, 36-13

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t the blowout victory LSU expected as the Tigers posted a 36-13 victory in Davis-Wade Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs looked respectable on defense, not allowing the Tigers a touchdown until late in the second quarter.

LSU won the toss, and chose to defer. Burrow and the Tigers took over at midfield after Mississippi State quarterback Garrett Shrader kept the ball for no gain on fourth down just outside of midfield.

The Bulldogs defense looked like it would hold after C.J. Morgan and Cam Dantzler held the Tigers to two short gains, but LSU converted, and then went on to be stopped at 4th and goal. The Tigers settled for a 20-yard field goal from Cade York to go up, 3-0 with 7:52 remaining in the first quarter.

Shrader and the Mississippi State offense did make it into LSU territory on their second possession, largely off the rushing efforts of their quarterback and Kylin Hill. A double reverse pass to Hill would have been a 24-yard gain for the Bulldogs, but an offensive pass interference call erased it and the team was left punting instead.

The Tigers drove down the field yet again at the top of the second quarter, but were held to another field goal as Morgan knocked Burrow’s pass right out of Derrick Dillon’s hands. A 23-yard field goal from York extended the LSU lead to 6-0 with 12:27 left in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs made it to about midfield with a 24-yard pass from Shrader to Nick Gibson, but a fumble by Gibson on the following play was recovered by Rashard Lawrence, and LSU took over in Mississippi State territory. The Bulldogs defense proved stout again, holding the Tigers to another Cade York field goal. The Tigers led, 9-0 with 8:33 to go in the half.

Shrader found the end zone on the following drive with a 13-yard rushing touchdown, and LSU responded just as quickly with a 60-yard touchdown reception by a wide-open Racey McMath to give LSU the 15-7 lead at the bottom of the half.

Shrader was intercepted by JaCoby Stevens late with less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter, and LSU took advantage with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to make it 22-7 under a minute ahead of halftime.

LSU’s offense began the the second half with a three-and-out, but the Bulldogs offense wasn’t able to get anything going either, as Shrader was sacked on third down.

The Tigers then blew the game open. LSU got to the scoreboard first early in the third quarter, as Burrow escaped pressure and threw a perfect pass to connect with Dillon on a 37-yard touchdown reception. LSU held a comfortable, 29-7 lead at that point.

LSU put more points on the board as Burrow connected with Jefferson on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 5:36 left in the third quarter.

With a 36-7 lead, LSU slowed the attack, eventually pulling Burrow with 8:52 left in the 4th quarter. The Tiger’s defense would allow a garbage time TD in the final 3 minutes of the game.

Burrow ended the day 25-of-32 passing for 327 yards and four touchdowns, breaking the LSU season record for passing TDs at 29 after just seven games. JaCoby Stevens and Kristian Fulton posted an interception each, while place kicker Cade York was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and 3-for-4 on extra points, appearing oddly shaky early on.

LSU returns home to face Auburn next week at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in Tiger Stadium.