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Postgame Recap: LSU 31, Miss State 16

The Matt House, Jay Ward, BJ Ojulari game.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

It is pretty great to see well-schemed defense back in Baton Rouge. Look, it wouldn’t have been MY gameplan, nor would it have been the gameplan of most coaches who face the air raid, even those who do it successfully.....but when you’re right you’re right. Now, LSU did not shut down MSU’s offense because MSU played poorly, or because LSU’s players are just more talented. While LSU has a lot of talent on D, so much of the credit lies with the way Matt House was able to scheme a ton of pressure while keeping 7 in coverage constantly. Typically, teams will just drop 8 and keep everything in front of them, but the command Matt House had of Miss State’s offense tonight allowed him to be more aggressive and consistently have LSU in the PERFECT looks to deal with what MSU was up to. It was all about creepers and simulated pressures tonight, and I’m excited to cover it in my film review early next week. LSU was able to absolutely harangue WIll Rogers, a decisive, intelligent QB while forcing him to hold onto the ball. Matt House had their protection schemes in hell. As for the players, Jay Ward, BJ Ojulari, and Harold Perkins drove the train, having career evenings.

Just as importantly, LSU displayed an incredible amount of heart, focus, killer-instinct, and DAWG in them. LSU started this game down 13-0, and finished it on a 31-3 run. Enough said. LSU played at times an unclean game, but this is still year 1 of a rebuild, so it’s still about the process. Tonight was a nice process game and what felt like a return to real competitive LSU football. Is LSU a national title contender? Of course not, but you better believe that feels good. I missed games that COUNT, games that were GOOD. I know you all did too. On offense, the night was largely pretty frustrating but they managed to generate ENOUGH against a defense that is both very well designed and a bad scheme matchup for LSU. If we can only get Daniels to pull the trigger a bit more, we’re in business. The much-maligned OL was imperfect, but in my opinion much better than it was against FSU. They and the RBs did a good job picking up DL games, creepers, simulated pressures, and blitzers tonight. I think that, given their youth, they will continue to grow and give us a lot of hope going into next year. Jayden Daniels continued to make plays with his legs, Malik Nabers showed a TON of dawg in him with some key conversions, and John Emery made his return, looking pretty solid for a guy who has been (in my view, unjustly), kept from the field for a very long time.

Enjoy tonight, Baton Rouge, I missed games like this.