Losing early in the season always hurts the most. Right when my expectations are skyrocketing, the road to a championship season ends before it ever started. It also really hurts when the opposition that just crushed us was unranked and unnoticed previously AND from our conference division. But who knows? It could turn out that we got beat by this year’s national championship team. Or, at least maybe Mississippi State will give the Crimson Tide problems come November. Regardless, we played horrible. They crushed us. Like it or not, this might just be a rebuilding year for our Tigers. There it is: the cold, hard truth.
Mississippi State is an experienced team. Their average player is a junior, while LSU is starting nineteen true freshman. Against an SEC West opponent like Mississippi State, it showed that for too many of our starters and significant contributors it was only their third game out of high school. Even if they were the most talented high school players in the nation last year, it was inexperienced decision making leading to small mistakes that added up to constant yardage in the wrong direction. K’Lavon Chaisson cut inside too many times, leaving a wide open sideline run.
Our defensive line was man-handled and by the end of the game, completely gassed. The holes Mississippi State was opening could fit a Volkswagen. We dearly missed Sci Martin, Frank Herron, Ed Alexander, Neil Farrell, and Rashard Lawrence. I shutter to imagine facing Bo Scarbrough and Alabama if we play like real life blocking dummies.
It wasn’t much better in our secondary. In fact, the main reason that the bulldogs put 37 points on the board were passes. Our defensive backs accounted for many busted coverages and many times failed to keep up with the receiver. Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald played exceptional, there is no denying that. It would have taken a lot to limit him, but I’m still very frustrated and disappointed in our defense.
On offense if we had taken the lead early to get a boost to our confidence maybe we could have made it competitive. Once we started losing, it was hard to come back, and by the end they were just flinging up Hail-Marys. The performance of our wide receivers was maddening. Running Back Darrell Williams led the team in receiving, which shows you how much of an impact our wideouts made. Most of the time our receivers just failed to make the necessary separation. Twice, Danny Etling hit a receiver in the face only for it to hit the ground and bounce away.
I firmly believe that if not for penalties this game could have had a different outcome. It wasn’t so much the number of penalties (11 total, though a few were declined) that made it unbearable, but the significance of each one. Very early in the first quarter D.J. Chark caught a touchdown pass that made the crowd go wild, as well as me in my living room, only for it to be called back for a senseless offensive pass interference on Stephen Sullivan. Then later two of our defensive leaders were disqualified for targeting which extended drives for the Bulldogs. All of this slowly squeezed the life out of LSU. By the third quarter it was a downward spiral.
The 2017 season is not over. We still have nine more games to prove ourselves. I will stay the most optimistic LSU blogger out there, but even for me that got a little harder last Saturday.
I feel your pain and frustration. You called it like it was! I kept on watching hoping for a miracle that never came. Hoping for better next game.
That was very frustrating. They slowly squeezed us to death. Syracuse had better be ready though.
We are in Baton Rouge this week. The folks are still kind and hopeful. Believe me, I thought of you often through this game. I am sorry for this tough loss but still look forward to your optimistic posts. Football seasons are always full of surprises.
You really can never judge a team until conference play begins. It was far from my expectations and many other’s as well. We’ll be better this Saturday. GEAUX TIGERS!!
Micah, I certainly feel your pain and frustration. I was in Davis Wade Stadium with my family. I was wearing purple and gold in a sea of maroon and white. It was truly a humbling and humiliating experience as a Tiger fan. The only person cheering in our family was our daughter, McKenzie, who goes to MSU. This was her first LSU vs. MSU game in her very first semester as a Bulldog. I really feel sorry for her, though, because she thinks that MSU beating LSU is a normal thing. I hate to see her disappointed face the next 3 seasons as she figures out that it was an anomaly and not the norm. Keep your chin up and keep up your great blog! Geaux Tigers! ~Keith
That must have been tough to watch from the crowds. Especially when you are surrounded by the MSU fans (one of them being your daughter). We have an abnormally young team so we’ll get better every day. Heck, some of our players still could hit a growth spurt. Syracuse is about to take a beating. GEAUX TIGERS!!
Outstanding rundown on what was by any account a total disaster raising concern for the remaining season. Could Miss State be that good, or could LSU be that bad; that is the question that will be answered in the ensuing games. Keep the faith Micah, its not over till the slightly heavy lady sings (ask your Dad what that means).
We will probably find out if Miss state is just that good seeing that they play number 11 Georgia and then number 15 Auburn within the next two weeks. Hopefully things will get better before we play seven straight SEC opponents that could really bring it too us. At least we won’t come in with our heads scraping the ceiling again. We know were not invincible.