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 adieu.


However, it had nothing to do with any sort of affection they might have felt for him, it was the fact that under Sherrill 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 as Mississippi 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 swallowing.

State has won just nine of its last 39 games and is staring its fourth straight losing season in the face.


Flurry of First Downs

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 quarter.


Interception Celebration

LSU notched four interceptions of Mississippi State quarterbacks on Saturday.

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 seasons.

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 Oklahoma last 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 night.


Here's the kicker

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.


Tiger Rag Tidbits

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 StateXavier 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 Saturday's game.

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