STARKVILLE, Miss. -- An efficient JaMarcus Russell threw two
touchdown passes to Dwayne Bowe, and No. 4 LSU bounced back from a
bitter defeat by routing Mississippi State 37-7 on Saturday.
Russell finished 20-of-23 for 197 yards for the Tigers, who were
eager to make up for an overtime home loss to No. 10 Tennessee five
days earlier in which they blew a three-touchdown lead.
LSU started this one with a brief defensive hiccup before
rediscovering its rhythm, holding Mississippi State to 56 yards
rushing and beating the Bulldogs for the sixth straight time.
LSU (2-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) scored on three
consecutive first-half possessions and rolled to their 13th victory
over Mississippi State in 14 meetings. LSU has outscored the
Bulldogs 202-26 during the past five games.
Russell hit Bowe with scoring passes covering 14 and 44 yards,
the latter coming after Bowe bounced off Bulldogs freshman De'Mon
Glanton at the 20 and coasted into the end zone.
Mississippi State (2-3, 0-3) has been outscored 60-17 in
back-to-back home losses to Georgia and LSU, both top-10 teams. It
doesn't get any easier next week _ the Bulldogs play Florida at The
Mississippi State came out firing against an LSU pass defense
that entered as the worst in the SEC. On the fifth play from
scrimmage, Omarr Conner hit a wide-open Joey Sanders from 66 yards
out for a short-lived 7-0 lead.
After that, it was all LSU. The Tigers forced three consecutive
three-and-outs, scored three straight times and were never again
LSU scored 17 quick points, using a bit of trickery to take the
lead. Xavier Carter took an end-around handoff 36 yards into the
end zone late in the first quarter to make it 10-7.
On the Tigers' next possession, Russell and Bowe hooked up for a
14-yard score to extend the lead to 10.
Colt David started the scoring for LSU with a 30-yard field goal
in the first quarter to make it 7-3.
Joseph Addai rushed 17 times for 86 yards for LSU. He and
fullback Jacob Hester each had a 1-yard touchdown run for the
Conner was 9-of-22 passing for 141 yards for the Bulldogs.
Jerious Norwood, Mississippi State's leading rusher and a
preseason all-SEC selection, left the game late in the second
quarter with a mild concussion after he was hit hard by LSU's
Kenneth Hollis and Jessie Daniels.
Norwood, who entered averaging 76 yards, rushed for nine yards
on seven carries and had two receptions for 32 yards before he was
injured and didn't return.
It was over when... By the Bulldogs' fourth possession. Yes, Mississippi State scored the first time it had the ball, but LSU forced three straight three-and-outs and scored 17 straight points and cruised to the easy win.
Gameball goes to... JaMarcus Russell, who was a cool 20-of-23 for 197 yards and 2 TDs.
Stat of the game... 3-24: Mississippi State's conference record over its last 27 games.