STARKVILLE, MS - While its offense continued to run on all cylinders, the LSU defense found its legs in the second half to key a 59-26 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday night.
After a first-half shootout that included 608 yards and 51 combined points - with only five points separating the teams - LSU (5-1, 2-1 SEC) outscored Mississippi State (2-3, 0-2 SEC) in the second half 31-3 to earn its 14th straight win in the series.
Late in the third quarter with LSU leading 31-26, the game turned when Mississippi State missed a 42 yard field goal. LSU answered with 28 fourth-quarter points to bounce back from its lone defeat last weekend at Georgia.
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger completed 25-of-29 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was Odell Beckham Jr., who had a career night with nine catches for 179 yards. Jarvis Landry, who played through an injury, had eight catches for 96 yards.
Jeremy Hill ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns, Kenny Hilliard added 39 yards including three scores and Alfred Blue scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
LSU outgained Mississippi State, 563-468. The output was the most by an LSU team against an SEC opponent since Sept. 25, 2004 (599 vs. Mississippi State in Baton Rouge). The Tigers' point total was the most against an SEC opponent since Nov. 1, 1997, at Kentucky (63-28).
Dak Prescott started for Mississippi State at quarterback and was 9-of-20 passing for 106 yards and an interception. He led the Bulldogs with 103 rushing yards and a touchdown. His backup, Tyler Russell, was 7-of-11 passing for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
Without preseason All-SEC safety Craig Loston and starting linebacker Tahj Jones for the second consecutive game, LSU's defense struggled to find its footing against two Bulldogs quarterbacks who were able to get out of the pocket.
However, LSU recovered and earned two second-half turnovers while only allowing a 22-yard field goal after the break.
In the final six minutes, LSU continued to wear down the Bulldogs. The Tigers scored touchdowns drives of 66 and 25 yards, the latter coming after a fumbled recovered by linebacker Lamar Louis.
Blue scored on a 17-yard run and Hilliard added a 4-yard touchdown.