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Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, Starkville, Mississippi Attendance: 60,596
Mississippi State pulls off upset of No. 12 LSU
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(TSX / STATS) -- STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State recorded a rare home victory over LSU on Saturday, and did so in dominating fashion.
The Bulldogs scored on seven straight possessions from the second quarter through the fourth and rushed for 285 yards on their way to a 37-7 win over the Tigers.
The 30-point victory was the largest in the series in school history for Mississippi State (3-0, 1-0), which turned in the performance in front of 60,596 fans at the cowbell-clanging thunderdome that was Davis Wade Stadium.
"I'm really pleased with how our guys came out and took on the challenge. I think the environment had a lot to do with it and that's what playing in the SEC West does," MSU head coach Dan Mullen said. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us. We've got to get better for next week."
Holding a 17-7 lead at the break, the Bulldogs came out strong in the second half.
A couple of Jace Christmann kicks sandwiched a back-breaking play-action pass from Nick Fitzgerald to Keith Mixon for a 45-yard score that had the Bulldogs leading 30-7 heading to the final quarter.
Fitzgerald put the Tigers away early in the fourth when he found Deddrick Thomas in the end zone for a 20-yard pass, making it 37-7.
LSU was outgained by the Bulldogs 465-270 on the night as MSU racked up 285 rushing yards. Aeris Williams carried the load for MSU with 23 carries, 146 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald was 15-of-23 for 180 yards and two touchdowns passing, adding another 88 on the ground with two more scores.
"I just thank my offensive line. They were handling business out there and that's the only reason I got the yards that I got," Williams said. "They've started believing in themselves and we started believing in each other."
After a scoreless first quarter, LSU and Mississippi State brought the offense with them in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs struck first in the opening possession of the second quarter when Fitzgerald scored from 2 yards out. LSU answered with an 8-play, 65-yard drive capped by Darrel Williams' 10-yard run to tie the game at 7.
A 30-yard field goal from Christmann made it 10-7, and the Bulldogs defense gave MSU one last shot at a score before the half. Fitzgerald manufactured a 10-play, 54-yard drive and scored from 3 yards away to give MSU the 17-7 halftime lead.
LSU's Derrius Guice had 15 carries for 76 yards and was held to 17 yards after the half.
"We are very disappointed in our play tonight. We have to give credit to Mississippi State," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "They played well, especially on the offensive and defensive line. We have a lot of football left to play. We have to stay positive with our football team and keep growing."
The Tigers (2-1, 0-1 SEC) are back in Baton Rouge next week hosting Syracuse. MSU travels to Athens, Ga., to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
NOTES: Last season at Baton Rouge, MSU managed just 56 yards rushing in the ball game against the Tigers. ... LSU entered the game 120th nationally in penalties with 21 a game. They had nine penalties for 112 yards against MSU. ... LSU had won 23 of the last 25 games in the series with MSU and eight straight at Starkville dating back to 2001.
Updated September 17, 2017