Tigers Take Care Of State 34-24

LSU won the toss and deferred, and State's Derek Pegues made the decision sting as he took the kickoff back 59 yards before being dragged down at the Tiger 32-yard line. With QB Tyson Lee, in his first college start, under center the Bulldogs only advanced far enough to make it a 43-yard field goal try for Adam Carlson. He hit it through at 13:28.

In response LSU's offense, beginning at their own 27, took six plays to get in field goal range. Most of the yards came on a thirty-yard catch by Brandon LaFell with 15 more added for a facemask penalty. A screen attempt on 3rd-and-10 was batted by DE Charles Burns and Colt David entered to knock through a 31-yarder for a 3-3 tie at 11:18.

Pegues was rattled on this kickoff return, but on second down Lee evaded the rush and flipped to HB Arnil Stallworth. He shed one arm-tackle and scampered 29 yards to LSU's 42. So when McAdams had to punt—and then re-punt after a procedure penalty—the ball was forced fair-caught at the Tiger 12.

Pounding at the middle of MSU's line first with Charles Scott, then Richard Murphy, the Tigers got to State's 31-yard line. Though, it was a third-down toss over the middle to tight end Richard Dickson that put the ball across midfield. But on first down State switched to an odd front and blitzed SLB K.J. Wright through the left side for a sack and fumble. Tiger lineman Herman Johnson fell on it at LSU's 49-yard line.

Only Lee found LaFell open on consecutive throws of 18 and 14 yards, as DE Jimmie Holmes actually knocked the wideout forward for the first down at State's 19-yard line. The Tigers stayed with the passing attack, hooking up with Dickson over the middle again for 18 yards. Scott took care of the touchdown by hitting Wright at the goal line at 1:03.

McAdams hung his kick perfectly to the Tiger 25-yard line but Trindon Holliday was interfered with by Tay Bowser so the fumble was negated and LSU got to start on their 39. A 31-yard connection to Terrane Toliver flipped sides of the field. Halfback Keiland Williams bounced off two tacklers after a catch and netted 15 more yards, then took a handoff up the gut to the five-yard line. He went left-tackle for four yards, only to lose two on second down. Jordan Jefferson took the spot under-center and almost made the end zone, his knees hitting down half-a-yard shy.

After review to affirm there'd been no fumble into the end zone, Lee returned and handed off safely to Scott. He had no problems burrowing through left guard for his second touchdown touchdown and the 17-3 lead at 10:10.

State was three-and-through with McAdams punting it 43 yards, when LSU's Lee made his team's first gaffe of the half. He overthrew his tight end and right to Pegues for the senior safety's first interception of the season. He was run down from behind at the Tiger 37 yard line, but the Bulldogs could do nothing with the break and after lining up for a 53-yard field goal PK Adam Carlson punted. Only, it was returned by Jones to the 28 with five more yards tacked on for formation problems. But the Tigers gave it back soon enough as on a third-and-short dive CB Marcus Washington knocked the ball free and DT Jessie Bowman fell on the fumble at LSU's 47-yard line.

Dixon went around left tackle for 17 yards, with safety Harry Coleman saving the touchdown. Stretching toward the other sideline Dixon got seven more yards, but he bobbled Lee's quick pitch and did well only to lose three yards and not the ball. On 3rd-and-6 Lee didn't drop back far, instead quickly calling his own number and freezing downfield coverage with pump-fakes. He went out of bounds at the ten-yard line. HB Christian Ducre took care of it all on two totes, scoring the touchdown at 1:27 on a six-yard draw.

LSU did nothing with their turn and punted. State was content to, literally, run out the last minute, even if the scattering of Bulldog fans in the crowd weren't after Dixon got a fast first down, and take a 17-10 deficit into the locker room.

The Tigers had first turn of the new half and didn't fool around, putting the pigskin in Scott's hands four times. He netted seven, 20, and 20 more yards for first down at the 11, then got three more. Fullback Quinn Johnson couldn't pull in the open flip, so on 3rd-and-7 LaFell got the call and got open in the right flat. With Pegues slowing the Tiger receiver, S De'Mon Glanton rattled the ball free at the one-yard line. It rolled into the end zone where Dickson fell on it for the official touchdown and 24-10 lead at 12:27.

Getting the ball back at their 33, the Tigers went 45 yards on ten snaps with well-place passing to set up a 39-yard field goal for David at 4:42.

Starting from their 26 this time, the Bulldogs got a real drive going before the third quarter concluded. Lee had time on 3rd-and-6 to hit WR Delmon Robinson, who withstood a wicked shot for an 18-yard gainer. Again with no pressure he found Ducre slipping out to the left for another 14 yards, to LSU's 36. On 3rd-and-8 McRae battled within a yard of the mark, and State called time. It looked like a passing formation but Ducre took the counter-handoff and fell across the 25 yard-line to move the chains.

The last period opened with 2nd-and-7 and Dixon back in the game. He lost a couple on a delay as State tried catching LSU unready for the ‘go' whistle. But he slipped free in the middle for a third-down catch and 12-yard gain to the Tiger 11. Elliot got the handoff and seven yards but was shaken up on the tackle and had to be helped off. Dixon was stuffed at left guard for a loss of one.

Lee unloaded under blitz pressure to Stallworth who came down just shy of the goal…but with the first-down. Dixon and Hart both crashed center for absolutely no gain. But Dixon spun around his left guard for the touchdown at 10:25.

Up by ten points LSU didn't answer immediately, though they did take 2:24 off the clock before punting. State took over on the 16-yard line and at 6:26 Lee and Ducre had a huge play in the making as the quarterback made a read, a check, and hit the halfback in-stride down the left sideline. Ducre had the ball go off his open hands with a good step on the defender. McAdams' punt was dropped by Chad Jones but S Charles Mitchell interfered and the Tigers got both possession and position, at State's 43-yard line.

Three hikes later Lee found Demetrius Byrd cutting inside CB Tay Bowser at the 30-yard line, and the wideout got the rest on his own to put this one away at 4:54, 34-24.

But the Bulldogs did keep things interesting, for statisticians and bettors alike. Lee kept for 11 yards to start what became a 68-yard drive, but the biggest play was a 3rd-and-13 strike on the right sideline to Jamayel Smith. He made 41 yards before an out-of-bounds tackle that put State on LSU's 15 with three minutes left. After a short catch by McRae, Ducre lined up wrong and the Dogs had to call time. Ducre made up for it by pulling in a really sharp out-throw from Lee and getting to the end zone at 2:40.

The on-sides kickoff was expected yet State knocked it free after LSU's first touch and McRae came up with it…only to see his efforts negated by off-sides. The re-kick was covered by the Tigers and they ran out the clock on the 34-24 victory.

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