Mississippi State fell 28-25 to LSU at Davis Wade Stadium in both teams’ Southeastern Conference opener.
The Bulldogs trailed just 7-3 at halftime, but the Tigers used a trio of second half touchdowns to surge to the win.
MSU (2-2, 0-1) outgained LSU (3-1, 1-0) in total yardage in defeat. The Bulldogs posted 486 yards of total offense, paced by quarterback Will Rogers’ 371 yards passing. The State sophomore signal caller completed 47 of his 62 attempts and also had three touchdown passes. Rogers has now thrown for 300 or more yards in a game five times already in his young career, the second-most such occasions in school history behind only Dak Prescott.
Makai Polk, Jo’quavious Marks and Austin Williams served as three of Rogers’ favorite targets Saturday. All three caught touchdown passes as Polk finished with 78 yards receiving, Marks tallied 67 and Williams ended the day with 62.
On the ground, Dillon Johnson and Marks led the way for the Bulldogs, who set a new season high in team rushing yardage with 115 yards. Johnson totaled 51 rushing yards on eight attempts while Marks had 46 yards on 13 runs.
Defensively, safety Fred Peters led MSU in tackles with nine. The Bulldogs also created one turnover as cornerback Emmanuel Forbes notched his seventh career pick – a total that leads all the FBS since the start of the 2020 season.
None of the production was quite enough for State though. LSU took a 7-0 lead less than six minutes into the game and led the rest of the day.
The Bulldogs accumulated their points with a Nolan McCord 23-yard field goal in the second quarter that pulled MSU to within four points at 7-3. Then, after falling behind 21-3 in the third quarter, State clawed closer on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Rogers to Polk.
LSU went up 28-10 early in the fourth quarter. And while Rogers would again narrow the margin with his two-yard scoring toss to Williams with 6:48 left and 16-yard touchdown pass to Marks with 1:53 left, the comeback attempt fell short.