Scott, No. 5 LSU Control Bulldogs, 34-24
BATON ROUGE — LSU running back Charles Scott scored twice and continued his streak of 100-yard games, while quarterback Jarrett Lee added two touchdown passes in the Tigers’ 34-24 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday.
LSU (4-0, 2-0 SEC) scored on its first three drives of the game and its first two of the second half.
Mississippi State (1-4, 0-2 SEC) scored 10 points in the first half after a long kickoff return and a fumble in LSU territory. The Bulldogs also scored twice in the fourth quarter to narrow the gap to the final margin.
Scott, who ran a career-best 27 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns, opened the season with four-straight 100-yard games. No Tiger has done that to open the season since Charles Alexander in 1978. Scott has 535 yards on 71 carries with six touchdowns this season.
Lee, a redshirt freshman who started and went the whole way for the Tigers, completed 18-of-27 passes for a career-high 261 yards and two touchdowns. He threw an interception midway through the second quarter.
His favorite target, wide receiver Brandon LaFell, caught seven passes for 100 yards but was denied a touchdown when he fumbled at the 1-yard line. The ball was recovered by LSU tight end Richard Dickson who was credited for the touchdown without benefit of a reception.
Dickson added 43 yards on four catches while Demetrius Byrd scored a 43-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and finished with 53 receiving yards.
LSU outgained Mississippi State, 427-285.
Mississippi State starting quarterback was 17-of-26 passing for 175 yards with a touchdown. He connected with Christian Ducre for an 11-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Ducre also ran for a touchdown and finished with 24 yards rushing on seven carries. Running back Anthony Dixon led the Bulldogs with 50 net yards on 15 carries with a 5-yard touchdown.
A pair of big plays led to and exchange of field goals in the first four minutes of action.
Mississippi State’s Derek Pegues moved into fourth place on the SEC’s career kickoff return yardage list with a 58-yard scamper on the opening kickoff. Starting on the LSU 32, the Bulldogs were unable to gain a first down but took the early lead on a 42-yard field goal by Adam Carlson.
A 30-yard catch by LaFell from Lee setup a 38-yard field goal by Colt David to tie the game 2:01 later.
On LSU’s next possession, a 20-yard sack and fumble by Lee moved the Tigers out of Bulldogs territory. However, he overcame the second-and-30 situation with consecutive connections with LaFell of 18 and 14 yards.
On second-and-9 from the 18-yard line, Dickson found an opening in the middle of the field and stretched toward the endzone but came up a yard short. Scott ran over the right side for a 1-yard touchdown with 1:03 to play, giving LSU a 10-3 lead.
LSU’s 15-play drive took more than seven minutes.
The Tigers’ third drive of the game resulted in a third score. Jarrett Lee‘s 31-yard completion to sophomore wide receiver Terrance Toliver setup four-straight plays by Williams that gained 30 yards to the 1-yard line.
On third-and-goal from the 3, freshman quarterback Jordan Jefferson came up just short of the endzone. Once again, Scott came off the bench to hammer home the 1-yard touchdown run.
LSU led 17-3 with 10:10 left in the half.
An interception by Lee and a fumble by fullback Quinn Johnson ended LSU’s next two drive and gave the Bulldogs excellant field position. Though the first mistake, Pegues’ interception of Lee, did not cost LSU points, Johnson’s fumble led to a Mississippi State touchdown.
Ducre scored from 5 yards out to cut the LSU lead to 17-10 with 2:20 to play in the half.
LSU was unable to gain a first down and punted for the first time with less than a minute to play in the half.
Just as it started the game, LSU came out of the lockerroom and scored the first two possessions of the half.
Scott put the Tigers in control of the game, pounding two 20-yard runs to the Bulldogs’ 11-yard line. On third-and-8 from the MSU 7, Lee found LaFell coming across the field and reached toward the goal line. The ball was jarred out of LaFell’s hand at the 1-yard line by Pegues but recovered in the back of the endzone by Dickson for a touchdown.
LSU led 24-10 with 9:39 to play in the third quarter.
Mississippi State earned a first down before returning the ball to LSU with their fifth punt of the evening.
LSU’s Lee completed 5-of-6 passes for 43 yards and advanced to the Bulldogs’ 22-yard line before the drive stalled with his only incomplete pass. The Tigers settled for a 39-yard field goal by David to expand the lead to 27-10 with 4:42 left in the quarter.
For the first time, Mississippi State drove most the length of the field on the LSU defense, scoring on a third try from the 1-yard line on a dive to the left by Dixon.
The Bulldogs cut the advantage to 27-17 with 10:25 to play, holding the ball for 9:11 on the 18-play, 74-yard drive.
After the team exchanged punts, LSU took advantage of a kick catching interference penalty to get the touchdown back quicky.
On third-and-5, Lee tossed a quick strike to Byrd streaking across the field. Byrd’s 43-yard run-and-catch pushed the lead back to 17, 34-17, with 4:54 to play.
Once again, Mississippi State drove the field against the Tigers defense, scoring on a second-and-6 pass from Lee to Ducre from the 11-yard line.
After a bye week on Oct. 4, LSU returns to action on Oct. 11 when the Tigers travel to Florida. The game time and television network will be announced on Monday.
LSU vs. Mississippi State
Sept. 27, 2008 ? Tiger Stadium (Baton Rouge, La.)
1. LSU’s game captains were 6 Colt David, 18 Richard Dickson 38 Brady Dalfrey and 27 Curtis Taylor.
2. LSU won the toss and deferred to the second half. Mississippi State will receive the opening kickoff.
3. LSU players making their first career starts tonight: QB Jarrett Lee.
4. Tigers extending their notable consecutive starts streak tonight were: LT Ciron Black (31), DE Tyson Jackson (31) and LG Herman Johnson (28).
5. Mississippi State’s 47-yard field goal in the first quarter were the first points allowed by the LSU defense in the first quarter this season. The Tigers had not allowed any first quarter points in a home game since Auburn did so on Oct. 20 last season.
6. Tonight’s attendance of 92,710 is the third largest crowd in the history of Tiger Stadium.
7. Here are some notable updated trends for LSU under head coach Les Miles: The Tigers are 35-2 when rushing for 100 yards or more … LSU is 35-3 when scoring 20 or more points … 12-2 in September games … LSU has won 30 straight Saturday games in Tiger Stadium … LSU has won 28 consecutive Saturday night games in Tiger Stadium.
8. RB Charles Scott went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career on LSU’s first offensive possession of the first quarter. Scott is now at 1,136 yards after tonight’s game.
a. Scott recorded his fifth and sixth rushing TDs of the season and 15th and 16th of his career on a 1-yard run with 1:03 left in the first quarter and a 1-yard run with 10:10 left in the second quarter.
b. With his 141 yards tonight on 27 carries, Scott went over the 100-yard mark in rushing yards for the fourth straight game and the fifth time in his career.
c. Scott is the first LSU player to open a season with four straight 100-yard rushing games since former All-American Charles Alexander did so in the first four games of the 1978 season (144 vs. Indiana, 123 vs. Wake Forest, 144 at Rice and 156 at Florida).
d. Scott is also the first LSU player to record four straight 100-yard rushing games since Justin Vincent did so in the final four games of the 2003 season (105 at Ole Miss, 112 vs. Arkansas, 201 vs. Georgia, 117 vs. Oklahoma).
9. QB Jarrett Lee became the first redshirt freshman quarterback to start a game for LSU since JaMarcus Russell did so at Arkansas on Nov. 26, 2004.
10. PK Colt David tallied his fifth made field goal of the season and 43rd of his career on a 38-yard FG with 11:18 remaining in the first quarter.
a. David recorded 10 points (2 FGs, 4 PATs) in the game, giving him 307 total points for his career which moves him into second place all time behind Kevin Faulk who has 318. David surpassed Dalton Hilliard’s 302 points with an extra point with 12:27 remaining in the third quarter.
11. TE Richard Dickson recovered WR Brandon LaFell‘s fumble in the endzone for a TD and is credited with a receiving TD according to the NCAA stats manual. It represented Dickson’s first receiving TD of the season and sixth of his career.
a. Dickson moved into a three-way tie with Eric Edwards (2000-03) and Brian Kinchen (1984-87) in career receiving touchdowns by a tight end with six.
12. WR Demetrius Byrd has now caught a pass in 13 straight games dating back to last year’s Tulane game on Sept. 29. Byrd caught a 10-yard pass with 6:17 in the third quarter to extend the streak.
13. WR Brandon LaFell tied a career high with seven receptions tonight. It marks the third time in his career.
2008 POSTGAME NOTES GAME 5
MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL
- Today’s captains were Brandon McRae, Emmanuel Gatling and Tim Bailey.
- Mississippi State’s touchdown drive that spanned the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth took 18 plays and nine minutes and 11 seconds off the game clock. It is the longest drive in the Southeastern Conference entering today’s games (Alabama, 8:54 vs. Clemson).
- Tonight marked the fi rst career start for junior quarterback Tyson Lee. Lee completed 17-26 passes for 175 yards which was a season high this season for an MSU quarterback.
- Senior return specialist Derek Pegues broke a 59-yard return on the game’s opening kickoff. It was the second-longest return of his career (61 vs. Tulane, 2006).
- Senior placekicker Adam Carlson’s 42-yard fi rst-quarter fi eld goal was the third-longest of his career, and his longest this season.
- Carlson also snapped a streak of three-consecutive misses with the boot.
- Junior running back Arnil Stallworth’s 29-yard fi rst-quarter reception on a screen pass was his longest play from scrimmage. His previous longest reception was 22 yards and his longest rush is 18 yards.
- Sophomore linebacker K.J. Wright recorded his second-career sack in the fi rst quarter. It was also his second-career forced fumble. He leads the team with six tackles for loss on the season.
- Junior tailback Christian Ducre’s second-quarter touchdown was the fourth of his career and his fi rst this season. Ducre’s fourth quarter 11-yard touchdown reception was the fi rst of his career.
- Pegues’ second-quarter interception was the 11th of his career moving him into a tie for third all time (Henry Davison, 1974-77; Kenny Johnson 1976-79).
- Junior tailback Anthony Dixon’s fourth-quarter touchdown rush was the 26th of his career and moved him within one of the school record (Michael Davis, 1991-94).
- With 176 total return yards on the day, Derek Pegues moved into fourth all time in the Southeastern Conference with 2,842 total yards (691 punt / 2151 kickoff). He passed former Auburn returner Thomas Bailey (2,690, 1991-94).
- Pegues also passed Vanderbilt’s Tony Jackson (2,004, 1989-93) for fourth all-time in kickoff return yardage.
- Senior punter Blake McAdams moved into eighth place on the Southeastern Conference career punting charts, passing Ole Miss’ Cody Ridgeway (238, 2001-04) and Tennessee’s Dustin Colquitt (240, 2001-04).
- Senior placekicker Adam Carlson moved into a tie for eighth with his 35th career fi eld-goal attempt. He also moved into a tie for second with 77 career extra points converted.
LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES QUOTES
“In a week where a lot of college football suffers loss, we played to win. I can tell you that it was not the game that we all had scripted. We would’ve liked to play better than we did, but I like what we did. We gave a new quarterback (Jarrett Lee) a lot more time. We got a veteran running back (Charles Scott) 140 yards or so. We played a very physical defense and played with physicality, matched that physicality or exceeded it. Defensively, we made some mistakes. These things are things we can fix. We’ll have some time to do that. Certainly, the spirit of this team is set to go into a two-week phase where we’re going to improve. We’re going to work on some things. We’re a very capable team from this point forward, but we have to play better than that, and that will be the push.”
On what he hoped to see out of Quarterback Jarrett Lee…
“I liked Jarrett Lee. He makes a really clean read on a play and throws it early, and we get a pick, but by and large, he kept his poise. He threw some doggone good footballs. He passed for some yards, and I think we’re very capable throwing the football with him there.”
On if the coaching staff is trying to emphasize to Lee to use the weapons around him…
“That’s all we wanted from Jarrett Lee, to get the ball to the guys that the play calls for. Read it and throw it, and he did that. I thought he handled the game very well.”
On how much he talked to his players about staying focused on this game, especially with what happened in college football this weekend…
“We went through the USC (game) very specifically, and I’m certain that without mention that the Florida-Ole Miss (game), the guys understood that. I liked the way we started the game. As poorly as that initial kickoff was covered, I felt like it was a simple mistake and one that we’ll repair. We traded field goals to start, but the reality is that the effort and intensity of play was there. Did we make some mistakes? Yes, but again, those are things we’ll get fixed.”
On if the effort and intensity seemed to drop off tonight…
“I don’t see it quite that way. I saw mistakes made that allowed their offense to move the football. We didn’t adjust to an unbalanced formation until the second half, and in the second half, that kind of stopped. Then, they used a couple of routes that worked against our linebackers, and our linebackers made those adjustments late, so I didn’t see it that way.”
LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
On the game …
“Mississippi State came to play today. A win is a win and we will take it. We need to go back and watch film and be very critical of ourselves and see what we can do better because we have opponents down the road that will make us regret the mistakes we made tonight.”
On the wins and losses of the other teams …
“We don’t really think about it. We try to focus on us and our opponents. All the things going on around us, USC losing and other losses we try and keep it out of our mind. If you find yourself focusing on other teams you stop focusing on your team and you might slip up.”
On playing the other SEC teams …
“We like it. It looks like it will be us and Alabama. It will be a showdown here against them. When we go to Florida that will be a huge game and then Georgia comes to play here. You can’t look at it like you are in control because crazy things happen, as you can see. We just have to take it one game at a time.”
QB Jarrett Lee
On the game…
“We had a good week at practice this week. We knew coming in to this game it was going to be a dog fight. We just played hard and came out with a victory.”
On winning two SEC games …
“We know each and every day when we come to play in the SEC it’s going to be a dog fight. We work and do our thing. We know if we work hard it will pay off.”
LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
DT Ricky Jean-Francios
On how the rankings affect his mindset…
“It does not matter. Coach (Les) Miles told us it doesn’t matter where we are right now. We could be No.10 and we would not care. What matters is that we play like a No. 1 team every time we step onto the field.”
On how they plan on preparing for “The Swamp”…
“It is going to be a great game. I know since Florida lost and we won, they will be ready to seek revenge. We will come to practice thinking about everything we need to do to get ready for this team. It will be a fun game for me, seeing as Florida is my home, but they will play us tough and we will have to be ready.”
On how the off week will help the team…
“The off week could not have come at a better time. There are a couple of people nicked here and there. The extra week for healing will help. We will be in the training room and on the field preparing every day for this Florida team.”
On if the off week came at the right time…
“The off week definitely came at the right time during the season. We will focus on getting many of our players healthy and ready to play Florida.”
On if the team is on track this season…
“I think our team is moving along very smoothly so far. All of our guys have stepped into their positions nicely, especially those who have had to change. Our team is moving forward like they need to do.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE HEAD COACH SYLVESTER CROOM QUOTES
“First, I’d like to congratulate LSU and Coach Miles for the job they did tonight. It was obvious why they are so highly ranked. They are definitely an outstanding football team. I told our players at the end of the half that I thought it was the best we had played this year. I thought we played hard. There was a lot of passion and commitment throughout the course of the game. We got better at a lot of things. The passion and the commitment to the way we played is something we haven’t seen in all three phases all year and I was very pleased with that. Sometimes we didn’t play as smart as we would have liked to play or with the discipline that I thought we should have, but overall we played very hard and got better as a football team. They key for us right now is that we have to continue to prepare like we did this week. Our practices were excellent all week and we have to continue to prepare with the same commitment that we did this week, continue to execute better, which we did in this game and play with the same passion and enthusiasm, throughout the course of the game like we did tonight, and I think we can win some ball games. ”
On the decision to start quarterback Tyson Lee…
“Tyson had an excellent practice this week. Tuesday I was observing and he just really started to understand exactly what we were doing, where to go with the football. He threw the ball extremely well and executed the offense. From the sideline tonight, it looked like he did the same thing in the game. I liked his tempo and I liked the way he was in command throughout the course of the game. He made some excellent throws. The thing he did tonight that he hadn’t been doing that I was very pleased with, when things broke down he was very decisive about what he was going to do, whether he was going to throw it away or pull it down and run. In the first game that he played, even last week sometimes there was a lot of lateral movement. Tonight, he had packed the line of scrimmage with the ball up and in a position to throw and when things weren’t there he just pulled it down, ran and got the first down. I think he kept some drives going. He was aggressive and I thought he was smart. Tuesday’s practice is when I really started thinking about it because of his performance. On Wednesday, he performed excellent in practice again and that is when I made the decision we were going to start him.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
Senior Linebacker Dominic Douglas
On defending Charles Scott…
“We just tried to run our same defense, tried not to anything out the ordinary. We came up short. We fell hard. We just came up short.”
On progress and improvement of team over the week’s practice…
“They tested our intensity at practice. Everyone was smiling and having fun. I personally believe we transferred that into the game. We didn’t make some of the plays we needed to make to win the game, but the intensity level was really high in practice.”
On keeping confidence and momentum for the rest of the season…
“We’ve got to. We have a couple of games left to play. We have to keep building and building and hopefully come up with a win.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
LG Anthony Strauder
On playing against LSU’s defense …
“They were a great challenge. Obviously they have tremendous talent, but the offensive line fought hard and I thought we played well.”
On Mississippi State’s running efficiency …
“I think we ran the ball inside and outside well tonight. LSU has a tremendously fast defense, but sometimes when we ran right at them we were able to pick up some yards.”
QB Tyson Lee
On being named the starter …
“It was a great opportunity. I just want to thank Coach Croom for the opportunity and the coaching staff for believing in me in such a big game to give me the go.”
On his emotions before the game …
“I think it was overall excitement. I was nervous, but I was excited. It’s a great atmosphere here and a great opportunity.”
On how he thought he played …
“I didn’t play well enough. We made some good plays, but not enough good plays. LSU is a great team and they played four quarters. We didn’t jump on the opportunities when the opportunities did present themselves.”