That’s more like it.
LSU (2-1, 1-0) played by far and away its best game of the 2023 season, taking care of Mississippi State with ease 41-14. Starkville ain’t an easy place to play, especially with an early 11:00 A.M. kick, but LSU didn’t sleepwalk in the slightest. All of LSU’s goals are still in front of them, and if they string together a few more performances like yesterday then a New Years Six/playoff spot would appear to be in the cards.
Winner: Malik Nabers
Nabers had one of the best days a wide receiver has ever had in program history: 13 catches, 239 yards, and a pair of scores. The 13 catches is tied for fifth most in a single game, and the 239 yards is tied for fourth. Nabers’ day may not be remembered as fondly as Josh Reed versus Alabama, and the stage certainly wasn’t nearly as big as Justin Jefferson versus Oklahoma, but for one early morning in 2023, Malik Nabers looked like the best player in America.
Winner: Jayden Daniels
30-34, and an LSU record 88.2 completion percentage. From a pure quarterbacking “stand in the pocket and deliver” perspective, it’s the best game Daniels has ever played. He had bigger games last season against Florida, Ole Miss, and Alabama, but yesterday’s Daniels was something we haven’t seen yet. He took chances downfield, was deadly accurate, and oh yeah he can still hurt you with his legs. To echo what I said in the intro, if this is the Jayden Daniels LSU gets from here on out they’re the best team in the country.
Loser: Will Campbell
Campbell had four penalties yesterday, including a false start on LSU’s opening drive that wiped away a 4th and goal touchdown run. He also channeled his inner Kyle Turley and threw a Miss State player’s helmet.
Reading Brian Kelly’s lips when LSU pulled Campbell after the penalty: “I don’t care, it’s his fourth f***ing penalty!”— Matt Moscona (@MattMoscona) September 16, 2023
Emery Jones moved to Left Tackle
Winner: Whit Weeks
I gotta say, I really liked what I saw from 40 yesterday. Weeks flashed in a way that Omar Speights hasn’t and he’s certainly deserving of more reps. Could this be a Kendall Beckwith-DJ Welter situation?
Greg Penn III and Whit Weeks have never started a game together at LB.— Shea Dixon (@Sheadixon) September 16, 2023
They've been great in the SEC opener. Might be a combo you stick with if the film backs it up.
Also frees #LSU up to keep Harold Perkins as an edge rusher.
Winner: Kaleb Jackson
Speaking of deserving more reps. Man.
It might be sacrilegious to say this but I haven’t seen an LSU running back run through someone like that since Leonard Fournette. Logan Diggs and Kaleb Jackson should probably be LSU’s 1-2 punch moving forward.
Winner: Harold Perkins
Welcome back, 4. Perkins had a couple of tackles for loss, his first sack of 2023, and even broke up a pass. It should be no surprise that LSU’s best defensive game of 2023 synced up when Perkins finally got to play like Perkins.
Loser: Kickoff Coverage
Maybe I’m picking nits here, but LSU’s kickoff coverage is leaving a lot to be desired. Mississippi State popped a couple of big ones yesterday.