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LSU dismantles Mississippi State 41-14 in first game of conference play

LSU started off conference play with a win over Mississippi State where it outgained the Bulldogs 530 to 221.

LSU v Mississippi State
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels carries the ball during the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Starkville, Mississippi.
Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

In the last meeting for a little while between these two schools due to conference realignment, LSU defeated Mississippi State in its SEC opener by a score of 41-14 at Davis-Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi on Saturday.

LSU’s offense was propelled by quarterback Jayden Daniels who was carving up the Mississippi State defense left and right.

Daniels continued his performance from the past game as he passed for 361 yards and two touchdowns while completing an SEC record 88.2% of his passes. Daniels also led LSU in rushing yards with 64 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground as well.

Another Tiger who had a huge day was wide receiver Malik Nabers. Nabers had 13 catches for 239 yards and caught both of Daniels’ touchdown passes. Nabers also averaged an incredible 18.4 yards per catch.

Daniels has been showing he is willing to push the ball down the field and take risks, something that was evident during fall camp. However, this time he is doing it in front of a national audience.

“We showcased what we can do if we execute at a high level,” Daniels said after the game. “I believe my guys are better than the other guys so I go out there, throw it to the spot and give them a chance and good thing will happen because 90% of the time my guys will come down with it.”

As good as the offense played, the best takeaway of the game was how well LSU’s defense played.

After the defense had poor showings against Florida State and Grambling, they only allowed 221 yards of total offense and held one of the top rushing offenses in the country to just 119 yards on the ground. LSU’s defense harassed Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers all game as he just completed 39.2% of his passes and sacked him four times.

“Going to LSU we have a high standard, we call ourselves DBU. So we just want to uphold the standards that the greats set for us,” LSU safety Major Burns said. “We didn’t really get into all outside noise. We just locked in, and everybody in the building believed and we came out here and did a pretty good job today.”

This game is a much-needed win for the Tigers for two reasons: they start conference play 1-0 and it was a massive confidence booster for both sides of the ball as they both showed what they can do when it all comes together.

“We needed this game,” Kelly said. “But it wasn’t the need for confidence. It was the need to go and validate who we were.”

LSU will come home to Baton Rouge where it will square off against SEC rivals Arkansas in the annual “Battle of the Boot” at Tiger Stadium on Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. CT.