LSU remembers last year's loss to MSU in Starkville

Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald (7) celebrates a touchdown during last year's win over LSU.

Staff Writer

It’s said that time heals all wounds.

By the time Mississippi State arrives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Saturday night for a game against LSU, it will have been over a year since the Bulldogs blew out the Tigers 37-7 in Starkville a season ago. Yes, 13 months have passed. However the loss for LSU was one that created a wound that is still hurting. It’s serving as motivation for the Tigers headed into Saturday night’s showdown.

“I mentioned (the loss to MSU last year) to our team right after the Georgia game (last Saturday),” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said on the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference Wednesday. “I reminded them we did not play very well against them last year and they played well. We know how well they’re going to play against us (Saturday). We have a lot of respect for Mississippi State.”

MSU’s 30-point victory over LSU last year was the Tigers’ worst loss in the 111 all-time meetings between the two schools. Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald accounted for four touchdowns in the game. State had 285 rushing yards and at one point scored on seven consecutive drives. It was an all-around beatdown.

“It was an overall team win and an overall team dominating win,” Fitzgerald said on Tuesday night as he recalled the game.

Orgeron’s recollection is the same as Fitzgerald’s.

While it is a new year and some things have changed for the two programs, Orgeron believes LSU has to be careful in order to avoid a repeat of last season.

“Obviously we didn’t play very good against them last year and we got beat in all phases,” Orgeron said. “So we’re going to have our work cut out for us. This is a very good football team. Fitzgerald will be one of the best players we see all year. You look at the Auburn game and what (MSU) did to them was very impressive against a very good front in college football. On defense, we feel like they have two of the best guys in the country with Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat. Obviously their defense is No. 1 in the SEC. They’ve got talent all over the place.”

Orgeron’s counterpart on Saturday, first-year MSU head coach Joe Moorhead, wasn’t around to witness State’s huge win over the Tigers last season. This will be Moorhead’s initial foray into the MSU-LSU showdown.

However Moorhead said earlier this week he has looked at film of last year’s Mississippi State victory over the Tigers. While he has gained a better understanding of LSU’s personnel, Moorhead doesn’t believe last year’s result will have much bearing on Saturday.

“You kind of take (last year) with a grain of salt because it’s a different year and a different team,” Moorhead said.

Still, the Tigers still seem to be seething a bit because of what happened a year ago in Starkville. LSU is under no illusions it’ll be easy, but the Tigers are seeking to get a little bit of retribution on their home field come Saturday.

“This is a very good Mississippi State football team,” Orgeron said. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us but we’re going to be prepared.”