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Despite a slow start, the defense turned it around after the first quarter. They allowed the Bulldogs to come out to a 10-3 start early, but afterwards allowed just one scoring drive. Barkevious Mingo, Craig Loston and Sam Montgomery were the impact players who turned the entire game around in the fourth quarter. Loston actually looks like the better safety between him and Eric Reid.
After two quick plays, the defense forced yet another punt by Mississippi State. Craig Loston stopped a quick slant on the first play of the next drive for just five yards. However, the defense allowed a first down the very next play on a pass to the sidelines.
Tyler Russell continued to drive his offense down field with efficient passing and accurate throws. He hit his favorite target Chad Bumphis for two longer passes of 16 and 40 yards. After a holding penalty put the Bulldogs in the red zone, Russell got hit as he threw but hit Chris Smith at the 15.
On second down from the 15, LSU stuffed a run for no gain. Then they had a key sack by Sam Montgomery to force a tough 4th-and-11 from the 22. On fourth down, Barkevious Mingo got a clutch sack to force the turnover on downs with just seven minutes left.
After the deep punt set up the Bulldogs at their own 13-yard line, the defense forced an incomplete pass deep. Then a trio of completions allowed gave the Bulldogs the ball at the LSU 43-yard line. A pair incomplete passes forced and an almost pick set up a fourth-and-10 situation.
However, on 4th-and-10, Russell stepped up and made the throw to Bumphis for the first. Another seven yards to Bumphis on first were followed by a draw play to Griffin on third down to give the Bulldogs 1st-and-goal at the nine. After a 1st-and-goal incompletion, Craig Loston intercepted the second down pass and took it 100 yards for the touchdown to seal the Tigers victory. The final defensive drive was just a trio of runs by the Bulldogs to end the game.
For the first drive, they led off allowing a seven-yard run. However, after a penalty and a short gain to set up 3rd-and-seven, the LSU defense stiffened up and forced the incompletion and a punt. After a miscue on the punt set up a short field, LSU safety Craig Loston got caught on a pass interference. The next play, Tyler Russell hit Chad Bumphis for the touchdown.
Tyler Russell opened up the next drive with a quick run and then followed it off with a handoff to Drew Prescott to set up a 3rd-and-four. However, the Tigers allowed the first down on a short pass to Adrian Marcus by Russell.
LSU safety Eric Reid demolished Josh Robinson on a hit after a pass to the left side of the field. After another pass over the middle set up a short third down, the defense locked down and forced the fourth down and punt. The final play of the quarter was a seven-yard pass to Chris Smith to bring the Bulldogs down to the 41 to start the fourth quarter.
They kicked off the quarter stuffing a Bulldogs drive at the 34-yard line on a pair of runs. If they can continue to have the kind of defense they had on the first drive of the second quarter, they will be in a good position to win the game.
On the second drive of the quarter, Tyler Russell had a beautiful strike to Malcolm Johnson. However, the next play was a completely busted run that led to a fumble and a turnover created by the excellent defense.
For the third drive of the quarter, LSU was allowing the Bulldogs to drive down. However, they shut them down after a trio of Tyler Russell passes led to a third-and-nine from the 30. They closed the quarter allowing just three points.
The defense got blown off the ball early and Tyler Russell had too much time to throw. Russell has been able to find his second and third progressions early on. The entire first drive was just weak for the Tigers defense allowing Tyler Russell to throw all over them.
The LSU defense has been supremely talented in 2012. They have 24 sacks, 13 interceptions and a whopping 67 tackles for loss. What's even more amazing is the efficiency the defense plays with. They allow just 3.07 yards per rush and a low passer rating of just 92.83.
The big names are all over the defense too. Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery are some of the best defensive ends in the country. Eric Reid has first-round potential as a safety in the NFL draft, and the linebacker combination of Lamin Barrow and Kevin Minter could end up working their way into the second day with a great finish to the season.