When seventh-ranked LSU watches film of its next opponent – Mississippi State – the Tigers will see a familiar foe as Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs are fresh off of a 15-3 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday.
The Commodores mustered only 157 total yards against Mississippi State which was 53 fewer than they gained against LSU. The truly impressive stat from MSU’s victory, however, was the fact that the Bulldogs held Vanderbilt to only 33 yards rushing on 29 carries.
"To hold a team like Vanderbilt to 33 rushing yards is just a great job by our defensive staff," Mullen said during his post-game press conference on Saturday. "For four quarters, our guys cannot play much better. They fought right down to that last second on the clock."
That Mississippi State (2-1, 1-1) put the clamps on Vanderbilt was a surprise to many as just last week Auburn rolled up 589 yards of offense including 390 on the ground in a 49-24 romp.
Offensively, Mississippi State entered Saturday’s tilt with Vanderbilt averaging 353 yards a game, and the Bulldogs were right on queue with 341 total yards.
Quarterback Tyson Lee, who starts but splits time with Chris Relf, provided the only touchdown on the day on a 22-yard keeper with 3:20 left in the game that sealed the victory for the Bulldogs and gave Mullen his first Southeastern Conference victory as a head coach. Sean Brauchle booted field goals of 44, 27 and 49 yards to make up the other nine points that MSU scored.
Mullen got one monkey off his back with his first conference victory and now he will try to get what must feel like an 800-pound gorilla off the backs of Mississippi State fans when LSU travels to Starkville next Saturday.
The Tigers (3-0, 1-0) have owned the Bulldogs in this series winning 16 of the last 17 times the two teams have met.
The last time Mississippi State defeated LSU was in 1999 as the Bulldogs eked out a 17-16 victory in Starkville. That ended a seven-game losing streak for MSU in the series, and Mullen hopes he can put a halt to the nine-game win streak that LSU is currently on.
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