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The drought continues: Bulldogs see losing skid grow to 13 against LSU

November 11, 2012

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott (15) is hit hard by LSU defensive tackle Bennie Logan (18) during Saturday night's game in Baton Rouge, La. (Photo by Gerald Herbert, AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. – Mississippi State was trying to do something they hadn't done in a while.
When the dust settled, the Bulldogs were not going to be making history.

MSU, ranked No. 22 by The Associated Press, was trying to snap a 12-game losing streak to LSU, but it dropped a 37-17 victory to the No. 9 Tigers Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

The Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3) hadn't beaten the Tigers (8-2, 4-2) since 1999 in Starkville and hadn't won a game against LSU in Baton Rouge since 1991.

"The kids played hard out there for us (Saturday night)," MSU head coach Dan Mullen said. "That's not good enough. We are in here to win football games. For us, there is little errors and mistakes that we made that we need to get corrected to move forward in the right direction."

The Bulldogs were without top rusher, junior running back LaDarius Perkins due to an injury.

"He strained his quad in Wednesday's practice," Mullen said. "They treated it for the last couple of days. He was out at warmups and he was running around in warmups. He didn't feel comfortable. I think he wanted to go, but we made the decision not to let him go."

MSU got off to a great start. It forced LSU to punt on its opening drive.

The Bulldogs took their opening drive all the way down the field. The 10 play, 74-yard drive was capped by a Dak Prescott 9-yard passing touchdown to Marcus Green with 6:41 remaining in the opening quarter. Devon Bell added the extra point to make it 7-0.

"We had a good week of practice," MSU offensive coordinator Les Koenning said. "Kids were bouncing around. The confidence was high going into the game. Hard work always pays off."

LSU answered back with two straight Drew Alleman field goals. Alleman connected on a 28-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining in the first quarter. He then made a 26-yard field goal with 7:59 to go in the second quarter.

Russell audibled to a play at the line. He turned around and tossed it to Derrick Milton on a running back sweep, but Milton had trouble finding the handle.

LSU defensive player Lamin Barrow pounced on it and the Tigers took over at the Mississippi State 21-yard line.

Three plays later quarterback Zach Mettenberger found Jarvis Landry for 19-yard passing score with 5:31 remaining in the first half to make it 13-7.

"There were times where (Mettenberger) made some throws which we thought he would do," MSU defensive coordinator Chris Wilson said. "He did that last week."

MSU started the next drive at its own 25-yard line after a touchback. That didn't seemed to bother the Bulldogs, as they marched down the field. The drive stalled at the LSU 30-yard line and MSU elected to bring place kicker Devon Bell on the field.

He connected for a 47-yard field goal with 48 seconds remaining in the half.

A pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff left the Tigers at their own 29-yard line. Four pass plays later LSU found the end zone. Mettenberger found Spencer Ware on a wheel route for a 20-yard score to make it 20-10 Tigers with 8 seconds before half.

"We went down and scored and we were going to get the ball to start the second half," Mullen said. "We thought we were going to be in a good position. We had a blown coverage."

Senior defensive back Johnthan Banks was not happy with the blown coverage.

"We just got the wrong check," Banks said. "LSU caught us in a bad play, (and) in busted coverage. They found it and they made a play.”

The Bulldogs came out in the second half but were forced to punt. The punt was muffed by LSU's Odell Beckham and MSU's Dee Arrington recovered.

Two plays later quarterback Tyler Russell found receiver Chad Bumphis for a 14-yard passing strike.
"It was a corner route and it was man-to-man," Bumphis said. "Coach (Les) Koenning told me this week that if we wanted to be successful we had to win man-to-man coverage."

Bell made the extra point and the Bulldogs pulled within six at 20-17 with 12:52 left in the third quarter.
LSU marched down the field and settled for another Alleman field goal. This time from 41 yards out to make it 23-17.

Another Mississippi State drive stalled and the Tigers got back on the board when J.C. Copeland punched it in from 1-yard out to make it 30-17 with 11 seconds to go in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs threatened in the fourth quarter but two sacks on third and fourth down in the red zone led to a turnover on downs.

MSU managed to get the ball back but Russell threw a pick six to Craig Loston to ice the game with 1:13 left.

"I was really happy with how (Russell) played," Mullen said. "Minus the interception at the end of the game where we were trying to make a play to put ourselves in a position to win. He did what we need him to do to be a big time quarterback."

The Bulldogs return home next Saturday for a meeting with Arkansas. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:21 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium and can be seen on the SEC Network.

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