LSU Mississippi St Football

LSU cornerback Cordale Flott (25) celebrates intercepting a Mississippi State pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

LSU squeaked by Mississippi State to earn their first road and conference win of the year, 28-25. The Tigers were outgained by the Bulldogs by a margin of 486 to 343, but LSU made plays when needed and stifled the Mississippi State attack.

Max Johnson threw for 280 yards on 17-27 passing and four touchdowns. Kayshon Boutte was his favorite target, catching four of those passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson’s two other touchdowns were to Trey Palmer on a busted coverage play for 58 yards and to tight end Kole Taylor for 41 yards. Ty Davis-Price was the Tigers leading rusher with 51 yards on 13 carries.

The Tiger defense, while porous at times, created two turnovers that ultimately put the game in the right direction for themselves. Both were caused by junior cornerback Cordale Flott, who forced a fumble and intercepted a pass. Damone Clark was LSU’s leading tackler with 13 total tackles, and he also recovered the fumble forced by Flott.

The gameplan strategy, fueled by memories of Mississippi State’s thrashing of the defense last year, was clear: to allow any five or six-yard chunk plays to occur underneath via the rushing attack or short passes but limit the big plays that taxed LSU last year. Mississippi State made a late rally, scoring 22 in the second half, but thanks to a variety of mistakes made by the Bulldogs, including dropped passes, a personal foul on a punt by LSU to give the Tigers the ball back, and the lack of ball security early, the LSU defense did enough to get the win.

LSU will head back home next weekend to host Auburn in a heated SEC West matchup. Kickoff is at 8:00 p.m. with live TV coverage on ESPN.

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