The long wait is over, and Mississippi State, getting a huge game from quarterback Dak Prescott, finally have a win over a ranked team and especially LSU, beating the Tigers 34-29 on the road, something that hasn’t happened in over 20 years, handing the number 8 team in the nation their first loss of the season while staying undefeated themselves.
Everyone is comparing Dan Mullen’s system right now, with Dak Prescott at quarterback, to Tim Tebow’s days with Florida. The two reasons Prescott isn’t as highly regarded by the national media, according to some? He’s “only” playing for Mississippi State, and he doesn’t have the talent around him Tebow had. But Prescott has nothing to be ashamed about and after starting the season at 4-0, neither do Mississippi State. However, we all remember their 2012 season: Going 7-0 and finishing at just 8-5.
Mississippi took the game to LSU by running right through the middle of their defensive line. They gained a total of 302 rushing yards – 197 for Josh Robinson (one touchdown) and 105 coming from Prescott, scoring a touchdown as well. They had 310 yards between the tackles, including nine attempts that gained them at least 10 yards. Prescott himself ran for 110 yards between the tackles, including a 56-yard run for a touchdown at the start of the second half to squash any hope of coming back for LSU.
LSU allowed just 54 yards between the tackles through their first three games and an average of 3.4 yards per carry, but it looks like a good enough rushing offense with a very special quarterback can made their defense look less than competent. LSU also haven’t given up any passing plays of over 15 yards heading into the game, but Prescott completed four passes that went that far and longer, finishing with 15-of-24 for 268 yards and two touchdowns, including a huge 74-yard play, connecting with Jameon Lewis to put the Bulldogs up 31-10.
It’s been 15 years since Mississippi State last beat an LSU team. It’s been 23 years since they managed to beat the Tigers in Death Valley. It was their first win after 15 consecutive losses against ranked opponents, the last one coming in 2010 against a #22 Florida. This one was much bigger. It was only the fifth time under Les Miles that LSU found themselves behind by 10 points at home, coming back to win the game on three of the four previous occasions.
A number 8 LSU will take a hit in the polls, although the voters love SEC teams so it won’t be too bad. This wasn’t the kind of games in which Les Miles will be blamed for his risk taking. He simply didn’t get enough from his quarterbacks until the very end of the game, as their comeback attempt was done after a failed hail mary pass, and his defense let him down, or he himself let his players down with his preparation.
For Mississippi State, this is just the beginning of what might turn out to be a very special season, and maybe their best under Dan Mullens, who has been the head coach since 2009, and has led them to four consecutive bowl games, a first in program history. With someone who is suddenly a Heisman candidate, a solid defense and an excellent ground game that will be a problem for anyone to handle, even a schedule that includes playing vs Texas A&M and Auburn in the next two weeks doesn’t sound too daunting all of a sudden.