LSU bounces back versus State 37-7

No. 4 LSU scored 37 unanswered points including touchdowns on all three third-quarter possessions to defeat Mississippi State, 37-7, at Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers (2-1, 1-1 SEC) rebounded from a heartbreaking overtime loss to No. 10 Tennessee by bullying the Bulldogs into their third conference loss of the season.

Mississippi State fell to 2-3 overall and 0-3 in the SEC.

LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who played on three quarters after opening the lead to 30 points, completed 20-of-23 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns, both to Dwayne Bowe.

Russell's completion percentage of 86.9 was the best in school history by a quarterback throwing at least 20 passes against an SEC opponent.

Running back Joseph Addai led the way on the ground for the Tigers, totaling 86 yards on 17 carries with a 1-yard touchdown. Skyler Green caught eight passes for 55 yards, while Bowe's two catches were each taken the distance.

LSU outgained Mississippi State, 402-229.

The Bulldogs rushed for only 56 yards on 28 carries, while quarterback Omarr Conner completed 9-of-22 passes for 141 yards. Sixty-six of his yards came on the Bulldogs' only touchdown on the game's first drive.

LSU won the coin toss and deferred until the second half for the third-straight game in 2005. Mississippi State elected to receive the ball and to defend the North endzone.

On the fifth play from scrimmage, Omarr Conner avoided the LSU pressure and threw over the top of drawn in Tigers secondary to a wide-open Joey Sanders. Sanders out-ran two Tigers for the score and the early lead. Keith Andrews tacked on the point after to put Mississippi State up, 7-0, with 12:46 to play in the first quarter.

The teams traded three-and-out possessions before the Tigers put their first points on the board with 5:02 remaining in the quarter. A 20-yard completion from Russell to Early Doucet put the offense inside the MSU 15-yard line, however, LSU had to settle for a Colt David 30-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.

On the first play of their next offensive possession, the Tigers were able to take advantage of a pass interference flag that was mistakenly thrown against Doucet. Instead of first-and-25 from the LSU 28, the officials spotted the ball at the Mississippi State 49 for second-and-2.

Three plays later, Xavier Carter scored his first-career rushing touchdown on a reverse handoff from Joseph Addai. Carter, an NCAA track champion for LSU coach Dennis Shaver, sprinted around the right side, passed a convoy of Tigers blockers and gave LSU the 10-7 lead with 2:19 to play in the quarter.

Both of Carter's career touchdowns have now come at the hands of the Bulldogs.

On the second play of the second quarter, the Tigers once again capitalized on advantageous field position -- a 24-yard punt by Mississippi State's Blake McAdams -- to take the lead.

Starting on the MSU 46, Russell completed a 17-yard pass to Bennie Brazell and an 11-yarder to Skyler Green before Dwayne Bowe put a double move on a Bulldog cornerback to free himself in the right corner of the endzone. Russell completed the pass for a 14-yard touchdown put LSU ahead, 17-7, with 14:45 to play in the half.

With less than five minutes to play in the half, the Bulldogs drove into LSU territory and converted on fourth-and-2 from the LSU 43. However, Conner was intercepted in the endzone by Ronnie Prude to end the threat. The pickoff was the third of Prude's career.

LSU led 17-7 at the half.

The Tigers took out a short week's worth of frustrations on the Bulldogs in the third quarter, scoring on all three drives of the period to take a commanding 37-7 lead.

A steady diet of Addai and backup Shyrone Carey on the first drive of the half spelled a touchdown for the Tigers. The two contrasting backs ploughed the Bulldogs to their 1-yard line before giving way to fullback Jacob Hester for the score. The touchdown was first of Hester's career and gave LSU a 23-7 lead with 6:58 to play in the third quarter.

David missed his first PAT in 12 career attempts.

As a light rain began to fall, the Mississippi State faithful began to head for the exits. More departed 2:17 later when the Tigers took over at their own 41-yard line and traversed 59 yards in three plays for another touchdown.

The 0:27 drive was capped by a 44-yard touchdown pass from Russell to Bowe, the longest of the wide receiver's career. LSU led 30-7 with 4:33 left in the third quarter.

Before the end of the third quarter, LSU put another nail in the coffin. Green's 36-yard punt return setup three-straight runs by Addai, the last of which went for a 1-yard touchdown. The Tigers led, 37-7, with 1:38 left in the quarter.

Mississippi State finished the third quarter with minus-9 yards of total offense.

In a reserve roll, LSU's Matt Flynn completed 2-of-4 passes for 25 yards.

LSU returns to Baton Rouge immediately after the game and begins preparations for Vanderbilt (4-0, 2-0 SEC before Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee State). The Tigers will travel to Nashville for an Oct. 8 match-up with the Commodores. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

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