STARKVILLE • Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead warned his team all week that there would be a minuscule margin for error against No. 2 LSU on Saturday.
His Bulldogs turned the ball over three times and committed 13 penalties for 109 yards – more than enough for the Tigers and their top-ranked offense to pull away for a 36-13 victory.
“We did a lot of good but also a lot of bad,” said MSU quarterback Garrett Shrader. “You can’t have three turnovers against a team of that caliber and I’ll take the blame for that. The margin of error was really small and spotting them three extra possessions doesn’t help.”
MSU (3-4, 1-3 SEC) held LSU to its lowest scoring output of the season. The Tigers (7-0, 3-0 SEC) accumulated 413 yards, but were still 148 yards below their average.
“We’re going to build off of this one,” said MSU coach Joe Moorhead. “We’re going to take the good things, correct the bad things and we’re going to be a football team that continues to fight the rest of the year.”
LSU was limited to field goals on its first three drives and it was actually the Bulldogs that reached the end zone first, with Shrader scoring on a 12-yard run with 5:24 to go in the second quarter to pull within 9-7.
But the Tigers end zone drought soon ended as quarterback Joe Burrow connected with a wide open Racey McMath for a 60-yard strike on the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive.
LSU also took advantage of Mississippi State’s second turnover of the first half to tack on another touchdown. JaCoby Stevens picked off a Shrader pass, one-handed at midfield, and allowed Burrow to connect with Ja’Marr Chase for an 8-yard score five plays later with 50 seconds left in the second quarter.
LSU turned two first half turnovers into 10 points and led 22-7 at the break.
“We were moving the ball there for a little while until we started shooting ourselves in the foot,” Shrader said.
Burrow tossed two more touchdowns to start the third quarter – a 37-yard pass to Derrick Dillon and an 18-yarder to Justin Jefferson – to increase the Tigers’ lead to 36-7.
Burrow finished the day completing 25 of 32 passes for 327 yards and four touchdowns.
MSU tacked on a late touchdown when Shrader hooked up with Stephen Guidry on a 24-yard pass with 59 seconds to go in the game.
The Bulldogs wrapped the day with 340 yards of offense, only 102 of which came on the ground. Tailback Kylin Hill was held in check for the third- straight game, only totaling 34 yards on the ground on 15 carries.
Shrader connected on 17 of his 28 throws for 238 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and also topped the team with 66 rushing yards on 19 attempts and a score. Guidry was the game’s top receiver with six catches for 98 yards and a TD.