LSU Tigers defense made Mississippi State one-dimensional

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIGLSU linebacker Kevin Minter brings down Mississippi State running back Nick Griffin during the second half of the Tigers' 37-17 win Saturday night. LSU held the Bulldogs to 47 rushing yards on 24 carries.
Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIGLSU linebacker Kevin Minter brings down Mississippi State running back Nick Griffin during the second half of the Tigers' 37-17 win Saturday night. LSU held the Bulldogs to 47 rushing yards on 24 carries.

LSU’s stout run defense made State one-dimensional

Mississippi State surprised LSU by emphasizing the pass in its early play-calling Saturday night, but the Bulldogs were hampered by their inability to ever establish the running game.

LSU held State to 47 rushing yards in the Tigers’ 37-17 victory. It was the 22nd time in John Chavis’ 50 games as defensive coordinator that LSU has held its opponent to fewer than 100 rushing yards.

The Bulldogs were playing without leading rusher Ladarius Perkins, whom coach Dan Mullen said suffered a quadriceps injury in practice last Wednesday.

State threw the ball on seven of the 10 plays on its opening possession, during which it drove 74 yards to a touchdown.

“We didn’t expect them to come out and throw the ball as much,” LSU safety Eric Reid said. “We were focused on the run, but they came out throwing so we had to make a couple of adjustments. We did for the most part.”

The Bulldogs finished with 39 pass attempts and 24 rushes. They averaged 2.0 yards per rush and completed 27 of their passes for 304 yards.

Night and day

Saturday’s game was LSU’s last night home game and last night game of the regular season.

The Tigers play their home finale against Ole Miss at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, then finish the regular season with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff at Arkansas on Nov. 23.

Their game against Ole Miss is the only daytime kickoff among LSU’s eight home games this season.

Last season, the Tigers had six home games, just two of which were at night, and all four SEC games were played during the day.

LSU went 6-1 in home night games this season and is 37-2 in home night games in coach Les Miles’ eight seasons. Both losses came against No. 1-ranked teams — Alabama two weeks ago and Florida in 2009.

Since 2000, the Tigers have won 91 percent of their night games in Tiger Stadium (61-6) and 75 percent of their day games at home (18-6).

Noting the defense

Noting the offense