Baton Rouge, LA – Zach Mettenberger threw a pair of touchdown passes, and ninth-ranked LSU earned a 37-17 win over No. 22 Mississippi State.
The Tigers bounced back from a 21-17 home loss against top-ranked Alabama last week. The Crimson Tide were shocked at home earlier Saturday against Texas A&M.
J.C. Copeland ran for a touchdown, and Craig Loston sealed the outcome by racing 100 yards to the end zone on an interception return with 1:13 remaining, as the Tigers (8-2, 4-2 SEC) beat the Bulldogs for the 13th straight time.
Tyler Russell threw for one score for the Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3), who have lost to Alabama, Texas A&M and now LSU three weeks in a row.
As for the Tigers, they still have a slim chance of getting into the SEC Championship Game against Georgia. LSU would have to finish in a three-way tie with Alabama (9-1, 6-1) and Texas A&M (8-2, 5-2) in the West, but that would require an unlikely scenario because Auburn would have to beat the Crimson Tide in two weeks. Auburn has yet to win an SEC game this year.
Mettenberger connected on 19-of-30 passes for 273 yards, while Russell finished 26-of-38 for 295 yards and an interception.
Chad Bumphis led the way for the Bulldogs with nine catches for 140 yards and a TD, and Jarvis Landry had nine grabs for 109 yards and a score for LSU.
"We are very confident," Landry said. "A lot of the guys on offense feel like we got that swag back. That's something we really want to embrace, let it carry over from the Alabama game and show the world that we can be an efficient and effective offense."
Russell found Bumphis from 14 yards away in the left corner of the end zone to get the visitors within 20-17. The score came just over two minutes into the third quarter after Odell Beckham muffed a punt return for the Tigers.
Drew Alleman kicked a 41-yard field goal on the ensuing possession, and LSU widened the gap to 30-17 on Copeland's 1-yard plunge with 11 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Russell was sacked on a fourth down play from LSU 22 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the game, and the clincher came when Loston stepped in front of a receiver in the end zone and rumbled the other way for a TD.
"There are little errors you can see along the way and little mistakes we made that we have to get corrected to continue to move forward in the right direction and then put ourselves in the position to win these types of games," Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen said. "When you're going to play a team that's in the top 10, you cannot make those mistakes on the road and expect to win football games. Some of the mistakes were critical errors tonight, and those types of things don't get it done."
Dak Prescott hit Marcus Green for a 9-yard score in the first quarter before Alleman's 28-yard field goal had LSU within 7-3 after 15 minutes.
Alleman kicked a 26-yard field goal early in the second, and the Tigers capitalized on a miscue by the Bulldogs when Derrick Milton couldn't handle a toss in the backfield. That led to Mettenberger's 19-yard TD strike to Landry.
After Devon Bell made a 47-yard field goal try for Mississippi State, the Tigers padded their lead. Spencer Ware made a leaping catch for a 20-yard scoring play with 13 seconds left in the half, providing a 20-10 difference.
LSU coach Les Miles is 19-1 in games following a loss ... LSU has lost back- to-back games under Miles just one time, in November of 2008 when the Tigers fell to Ole Miss and Arkansas. LSU hasn't lost consecutive games in Tiger Stadium since 2001.