No. 9 LSU throttles Miss. St.

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
LSU’s Eric Reid, Craig Loston, Barkevious Mingo, Jalen Collins and Kevin Minter converge on Mississippi State’s Josh Robinson for no gain in the second quarter of the Tigers’ 37-17 victory in Death Valley on Saturday night. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

BATON ROUGE - LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 9 LSU past 22nd ranked Mississippi State 37-17 on a Homecoming Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

Playing its school-record fifth-straight ranked opponent, LSU (8-2, 4-2 SEC) fended off a similar passing attack from Mississippi State to earn a win on head coach Les Miles' birthday. Miles tied Bernie Moore for second-most victories in school history with 83.

The Tigers toppled the Bulldogs for the 13th-straight season and won at home for the 11th-straight time in the series.

Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3) was forced to use its passing attack as 24 rushing attempts netted only 47 yards against the LSU defense.

"The question was whether this football team would come to play after playing an emotional game a week ago," Miles said. "There is not any question that they were. There is a fundamental feeling in this stadium and in our football building that we are just catching speed."

Mettenberger was sacked only once and didn't throw an interception, as the junior completed 19-of-30 passes.

A 19-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry gave LSU a 13-10 lead in the second quarter that the Tigers wouldn't relinquish. Five minutes later, a 20-yard touchdown on a wheel route to Spencer Ware capped a 71-yard drive in 35 seconds that put the Tigers ahead, 20-10, at halftime.

"It takes some time to get everyone on page and on pace," Miles said. "I think he knows where he wants to go with the ball and had some nice touch. I think our receivers are now in a spot where there is a real chemistry developing there.

LSU fullback J.C. Copeland added a 1-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter and safety Craig Loston tied an NCAA record with a 100-yard interception return with 73 seconds left to seal the victory.

Including the touchdown, wide receiver Landry led the Tigers with nine catches for 109 yards. Odell Beckham Jr. added 55 yards on four grabs.

LSU rolled up 392 yards of total offense, converted 9-of-15 third downs and won the turnover battle.

Defensively for the Tigers, safety Eric Reid and linebacker Lamin Barrow each had nine tackles, while Kevin Minter added eight.

"We can only control what we can control, and that's how we play," Reid said. "Even though it's not in our hands right now, we're just going to finish the season strong and see what happens."

LSU returns to action for its Senior Day on Nov. 17, when Ole Miss (5-5, 2-4) comes to Baton Rouge for a 2:30 p.m. CST kickoff on CBS.

Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell was 26-of-38 passing for 295 yards and a touchdown, while his backup Dak Prescott threw one pass for a 9-yard touchdown that put the Bulldogs ahead 7-0.

Russell was sacked consecutively by Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo with the Bulldogs in the LSU red zone and threw the interception from the Tiger 9-yard line.

Russell's favorite target was Chad Bumphis who had 140 yards on nine catches including a 14-yard touchdown that pulled Mississippi State within three 20-13 in the third quarter. Chris Smith caught seven passes for 56 yards while Arceto Clark added 43 yards on four catches.

Mississippi State was outgained 392-351.

"We're here to play football games," Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. "There are little errors you can see along the way we made that we have to get corrected to continue to move forward in the right direction to put ourselves in the position to win these types of games."

At halftime, senior finance major Kendall Knobloch of Baton Rouge and senior mass communications major Taylor Cox of Bossier City, La., were named Homecoming queen and king, respectively.

The announced crowd was 92,831.