The LSU Tigers rebounded against Mississippi State in a big way this week. The Tigers notched a convincing 37-17 win against the Bulldogs in Baton Rouge.
After dropping a heartbreaker to Alabama last week, speculation surrounding a letdown performance appeared to be legitimate before the Tigers really got going. After giving up an early touchdown, the Tigers went into half up 20-10.
The Tigers wouldn't let off the gas in the second half either. Despite the Bulldogs best efforts to stay in the game, LSU remained in control and finished out the second half with a dominant performance that left quarterback Tyler Russell and the Bulldogs frustrated.
With Alabama's loss and LSU's impressive bounce-back performance, the SEC West just got a whole lot more interesting. Here's a look at how it all went down.
Yahoo!'s Pat Forde noted that LSU's slow start could be attributed to the Tigers' emotional loss to Alabama last week:
LSU looks like it's feeling effects of last week, too. Down 7-3 at home to Miss State.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) November 11, 2012
Sportscenter gave a halftime update and shed a little light on Les Miles' dominance with a halftime lead:
LSU leads MSU 20-10 at the half. Les Miles' record @ LSU is 64-7 when leading at halftime + 18-1 following a loss. #MSUvsLSU— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 11, 2012
Gary Laney of ESPN pointed out the offensive balance that LSU was able to achieve against the Bulldogs:
LSU's Associate Sports Information Director made his pitch for the Tigers' defensive ends to win the Lombardi award:
LSU's passing game was the biggest difference in this one.
The Tigers defense was stellar as usual. The Bulldogs were hard-pressed to get anything going outside of the short passing game with Tyler Russell. However, it was LSU's offense that was the difference between the two teams.
The Bulldogs did a surprisingly good job keeping the Tigers' running game under wraps in the early game, but Jarvis Landry and Zach Mettenberger did a good job of softening up the defensive front and getting things going.
Player of the Game: Zach Mettenberger
Watch out—LSU appears to finally have a quarterback they can count on.
Mettenberger was outstanding in this game and made all the difference as Mississippi State had no answer for the Tigers' impressive balance on offense. The junior signal-caller displayed tremendous leadership, getting the Tigers back on track after a lackluster first quarter.
LSU has boasted one of the most talented defenses in the country and a good run game to boot, but the evolution of Mettenberger is what the Tigers have wanted to see all year.
Mettenberger gave the Tigers a great shot at beating Alabama last week. After this week's performance it appears that he has really turned a corner.
LSU takes on Ole Miss at home while Mississippi State gets to return home against Arkansas.