Check these subplots from Saturday's 51-0 drubbing of Mississippi State.
When Jackie Sherrill announced his
retirement one year ago, LSU fans hated to see the longtime coach bid
However, it had nothing to do with
any sort of affection they might have felt for him, it was the fact that under
Mississippi State was a pathetic 2-11 against LSU. It
didn't matter what sort of team the Tigers had in any particular season, the
game usually resulted in an LSU victory.
Even in the Tigers' darkest two
seasons in the 1990s, Mississippi State didn't stand a chance. In 1992, a
year in which LSU went 29, the Tigers won 24-3 in Baton Rouge. In 1999, arguably the best season
Sherrill had in Starkville, the eventual SEC
Western Division champ Bulldogs needed a favorable call to escape with a 17-16
win in Starkville. LSU went 3-8 that year.
At any rate, Sherrill's departure
could have meant the beginning of the end of a lopsided series which LSU leads
62-33-1, especially with the hiring
of a quality coach like Sylvester Croom. But Croom did not disappoint Tiger fans
State looked like the same
old Bulldogs in a 51-0 drubbing on Saturday.
Mississippi State made a quality hire in Croom, but it
is obvious that a lack of talent and looming NCAA sanctions will make Croom and
the Bulldogs climb a severe uphill battle.
"I am not going to rant and rave
like I would have done 15-20 years ago," Croom said. "I'm going to stay positive
with myself and the guys."
Staying positive is one thing, but
back-to-back demoralizing losses, first a 9-7 loss to Maine followed by
Saturday rout at the hands of LSU, is difficult to continue
State has won just nine of its last
39 games and is staring its fourth straight losing season in the
Flurry of First
LSU nearly set a school record
picking up 31 first downs in the game.
The ridiculous first down total
still did not top the school record of 35, which was set on Nov. 11, 1969 in a
61-6 win over the same Mississippi State Bulldogs. LSU picked up 16 of those
first downs rushing and another 15 passing. The final first down was gained on a
penalty. For those of you keeping score at home, ladies and gentleman the Tiger
Band played the first down tune "Go Tigers" 31 times. Wow.
Speaking of first downs, Mississippi State had just seven in the game, three of
which came in the first half. The Bulldogs did not gain a single first down in
the first quarter and did not earned one until quarterback Omarr Conner
completed a 25-yard pass to Eric Butler on second and 19 with 1:49 left to play
in the first half.
Mississippi State had one first down to its credit when Butler caught the pass,
but it had been obtained by penalty at the 12:00 minute mark of the second
LSU notched four interceptions of
State quarterbacks on
Senior cornerback Corey Webster
recorded his first pick of the season late in the first quarter. It was the
15th interception of his career and leaves him five short of tying
and six shy of breaking Chris Williams record of 20 set from 1977-80. Webster
recorded seven interceptions in each of his sophomore and junior
Marcus Spears scored his second
career defensive touchdown returning a second quarter interception 35-yards for
a score. Eerily similar to the touchdown he scored in Sugar Bowl against
season, you can bet OU coach Bob Stoops and quarterback Jason White remembered
that play well when they clicked on ESPN's SportsCenter late Saturday
For the third straight game, LSU
missed an extra point.
Three weeks ago, Chris Jackson
missed two PATs in a 53-3 win over Arkansas State. A week later, Ryan Gaudet missed an
extra point in a 10-9 loss to Auburn. Last Saturday, Jackson missed one PAT in LSU's rout of Mississippi State. On the season, Tiger kickers are
4-of-6 on field goals and 13-for-17 on extra points.
Gaudet did make a 37-yard field
goal in Saturday's win.
The win over the Bulldogs was the
second largest margin of victory under Nick Saban, with the largest being a 58-0
win over Western Carolina in 2000… It was the
first shutout victory since a 48-0 win over UL-Lafayette in 2002. Ironically, it
was the first shutout victory in SEC play since a 42-0 win at Mississippi State in 2001… LSU did not punt or use a
timeout in the win over Mississippi State… Xavier Carter and Early Doucet each
recorded their first touchdown receptions as LSU players… Matt Flynn threw his
first touchdown pass as a Tiger, a 67-yarder to Carter in the third quarter… LSU
honored its Olympic track athletes during pregame festivities… Former LSU
defensive end Marquise Hill, now a New England Patriot, was in the press box for