No. 14 LSU held on to beat No.25 Mississippi State 21-19 in an SEC West showdown on Saturday night.
Here’s what we learned about the LSU Tigers:
Leonard Fournette might only need 11 games to get to New York:
Leonard Fournette had a career night against the Bulldogs defense. As a freshman, Fournette was held to 39 yards against Mississippi State — but that is so last year. The big running back reeled off a career-high 159 yards and scored all three of LSU’s touchdowns against Mississippi State on Saturday. Fournette will have one less game’s worth of stats (due to last week’s opener being canceled), but the Heisman hopeful busted out of the gates and is now back on track as an early favorite to win the award.
Brandon Harris is the starting quarterback:
Harris is no Zach Mettenberger, but the sophomore quarterback performed his task admirably against a stout Bulldog defense while in a hostile road environment. Harris, who went 7 of 14 with 71 yards passing, might not set any passing records anytime soon, but LSU’s quarterback now has his first win under his belt. He was smart with his throws, demonstrated that he has an arm, and avoided any real mental mistakes. Next week, Harris will have a chance to step up against Auburn, which is having its own issues after a close call against FCS opponent Jacksonville State.
Defense is good but needs to be better:
The LSU defense did much better against Dak Prescott in 2015 than they did in 2014, but the Tigers still have a long way to go under new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. The defense contained Prescott for most of the evening, but seemed gassed in the fourth quarter. While the defense forced Prescott into minus 19 rushing yards, he still had two total touchdowns and threw for 335 yards. LSU’s heralded freshman defensive end, Arden Key (from Hapeville Charter), got his first career sack and was in the backfield all night with fellow defenders Tashawn Bower and Davon Godchaux.
LSU returns home to Tiger Stadium for their home opener on Saturday as they welcome Jeremy Johnson and the No. 6 Auburn Tigers. The game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. (ET) kickoff on CBS.