October 22, 2020

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Miss St. Raids LSU

(Photo by: Chris Parent / LSU Athletics)

Miss State came to Baton Rouge with a pirate for a new head coach. A man that revolutionized the air raid offense on the West Coast in the PAC-12. Mike Leach leads active FBS active coaches with the most average passing yards per game since 2001 (394.5) and he’s led in completion percentage (66.9) the last eight seasons. Since 2005, a Mike Leach offense has passed for 500+ yards in 26 games, which is No. 1 in the nation among active FBS coaches. Leach has brought in transfer quarterback from Stanford K.J. Costello to helm this air raid attack for the Bulldogs. As Costello was able to see what it could do while Leach was at Washington State.

Mississippi State received the opening kick-off, and it looked like LSU would pick right up where they left off with their National Championship performance. Causing the Bulldogs to go three plays for negative three yards and eventually punting. The Tigers would also struggle offensively too. Their first touchdown did not come on offense, but by an interception by linebacker Jabril Cox.

The Bulldogs came out throwing as expected. Quarterback K.J. Costello had 36 passing attempts in the first half alone. Connecting on 21 for 292 yards. LSU defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. was hospitalized due to an allergic reaction last night and was out for today’s game. One can only ponder had he been in, that some of that yardage might not have stacked up so quickly.

The Tiger defense looked shell shocked at times. Recent Nicholls defensive back transfer Darren Evans was harassed early and often by Costello and receiver Osirus Mitchell. Evans has just over a week to learn the defensive playbook, and it showed against the Bulldogs.

Leach and Costello unleashed a passing attack the likes of which has never before been seen in Tiger Stadium. Costello had thrown for over 600 yards midway through the 4th quarter, an SEC record. The previous record was 544 yards.

The Tigers came out in the second half on fire. JaCoby Stevens looked like he was going to get the Tigers back in the game early with a strip fumble recovery. They caused three turnovers and held onto the ball for 10 minutes in the third. Unfortunately they could not capitalize on those turnover and had to settle for field goals. Stevens along with Ali Gaye and defensive back Eli Ricks could be the bright spots of this LSU defense tonight. Gaye seemed to get constant pressure on the Bulldogs quarterback. “Ali Gaye and JaCoby Stevens” said Orgeron. “Man those guys were flying all over the field.”

Miss St won the game on an interception in the end zone. It looked like the Tigers were going to score a late touchdown and have time left for a possible onside kick and late field goal. That did not happen though. Brennan was under pressure and threw into double coverage and his pass was picked off in the end zone. A learning experience he won’t soon forget.   

A bright spot on the night that LSU can look at going forward. Joe Burrow first career start for LSU stats: (11/24 140 yards 0 TDs 45.8 completion) Myles Brennan first career start for LSU stats: (27/46 345 yards 3 TDs 2 INT 58.7 completion) Also the return of Derek Stingley Jr. to the lineup next week. “Missing Derek was big” said JaCoby Stevens. “When you’re missing one of the best corners in the nation, it’s going to hurt. When you’re missing one of your biggest pieces on defense it kind of hurts.”

Many fans were upset to Brennan holding the ball for so long tonight. “They were dropping linebackers into coverage” said Brennan “I didn’t want to force the ball into throwing lanes and that’s why I held onto the ball too long sometimes.”