Quick Take: One week Mississippi State rolls up 531 yards against Auburn and loses. The next it eeks out just 190 yards of offense and loses to LSU. What does this tell us?
First, it tells us that LSU’s defense is ridiculously good while Auburn’s is laughably bad (though that should change as Gene Chizik’s Tigers gain experience). Second, it lets us in on something MSU fans would rather not hear — Dan Mullen can’t get a breakthrough win in the SEC West. And if the Bulldogs’ goal is to get Atlanta someday, beating teams in their division is a rather important step on the road to actually winning their division. Currently State is just 2-10 versus the West under Mullen with both wins coming against Ole Miss. (That fact surely isn’t lost on Rebel fans, either.)
As for LSU… we’re in. Prior to the season, we gave Alabama the nod in the West basically on a coin flip over the Tigers. But when arrests, suspensions, illnesses, injuries and NCAA issues cropped up in the weeks leading up to the regular season opener, we lost faith in LSU. We took Oregon in Week One. Wrong. And we rolled the dice on MSU in what we knew would be a pretty big upset last night. Wrong again.
That won’t happen again. As long as Les Miles’ Jarrett Lee-led bunch keeps winning, they’ll be our pick the rest of the way. Kudos to Lee who was the quintessential heady game-manager versus the Bulldogs… and there’s nothing wrong with that if your teammates can run the ball and play defense.
And LSU can play some defense.
The Tiger D was stifling last night. Really. Look up stifling in the dictionary and you’ll see a picture of LSU’s defense holding MSU’s power run game to 49 yards total. That’s a rush offense that ran for 333 yards against Auburn, by the way.
For the Tigers, the victory was their 12th in a row versus MSU. Seeing that defense tonight, it’s entirely possible that LSU might win 12 straight games in the 2011 regular season. Yeah, they’re that good.