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LSU Football

LSU wins SEC opener 31-16 over Mississippi State

September 17, 2022

After dropping the opener to Florida State and having no chance to win any recognition with a win over Southern last week, LSU coach Brian Kelly finally was given the opportunity to impress fans in his first SEC game.

And his squad did not disappoint as LSU (2-1, 1-0) defeated Mississippi State 31-16 Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

Mississippi (2-1, 0-1) didn’t make it easy for LSU early on. The Bulldogs stifled LSU’s offense and jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first half.

Just before halftime, LSU strung together a seven-play 75-yard drive, which ended in an 8-yard touchdown from Jayden Daniels to receiver Jaray Jenkins.

LSU carried that momentum into the second half as that score was just the beginning of a 31-3 run. After going down 13-0, LSU outgained Mississippi State 346-129.

“The one thing I know about this team - and we’re still trying to learn about each other every day - is they’re fighters,” Kelly said. “We have a standard of preparation that has to get better each and every week. If we continue to work to that standard, we’re going to be pretty good.”

LSU received a bit of good karma after muffing a pair of punts on in the opening loss to Florida State. With less than a minute left in the third quarter, Mississippi State muffed a put at its own nine giving LSU the ball in great field position.

Three plays later Jayden Daniels scrambled up the middle to punch in the go-ahead score, and the Tigers never looked back dominating the fourth quarter.

Daniels accounted for 303 yards of offense including completing 22 of 37 passes for 210 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers. He ran 16 times for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Running back John Emery Jr. played his first game for the Tigers since 2020 and saw 11 carries for 32 yards. However, Emery’s counterpart, Armoni Goodwin, did steal the spotlight with his 47-yard touchdown to ice the game with 4:50 left to play. Goodwin ran the ball nine times for 75 yards.

Malik Nabers was LSU’s leading receiver with six catches for 76 yards, followed by Kayshon Boutte with three catches for 31 yards.

Defensively, Matt House dialed up an impressive performance against one of the most prolific passing offenses in the country. The Tigers outgained Mississippi State 289-416.

“They kept us in the game,” LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels said. “I commend them. Coach House called a great game. They were flying around the ball.”

Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers led the SEC in most categories going into this game. But LSU defensive coordinator Matt House’s unit limited him to 24-42 for 214 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

“I thought we were explosive but inconsistent,” Mississippi State coach Mike Leach said of the game.

LSU safety Jay Ward stole the show, and he was all over the field recording 11 tackles including 1.5 for a loss and an interception on the final defensive play.

Linebackers BJ Ojulari and Harold Perkins also provided consistent pressure on Rogers each recording 1.5 sacks.

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Tags: Football
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