BATON ROUGE – It was as if Joe Burrow had never left.
In Saturday’s season opener for No. 6 LSU, there was a quarterback who had a record-breaking performance. Unfortunately for the defending national champions that quarterback did not wear purple and gold.
Mississippi State’s K.J. Costello set a new Southeastern Conference single-game passing record as the Bulldogs took down the Tigers 44-34. LSU becomes the first defending national champion to lose its opener since Michigan in 1998. The defeat was also LSU’s first against an unranked opponent since the defeat to Troy back in 2017.
How It Happened:
LSU’s defense did a good job on Mississippi State’s first five possessions as the Bulldogs punted twice, kicked a field goal, lost a fumble and threw an interception which was returned for a touchdown by linebacker and North Dakota State transfer Jabril Cox.
After that score, LSU held a 7-3 lead but then Mississippi State’s offense hit its stride.
Costello led the Bulldogs on a 6-play, 75-yard touchdown drive which ended with Costello found Tyrell Shavers for a 31-yard touchdown.
LSU responded with a eight-play, 84-yard touchdown drive as Myles Brennan hit freshman tight end Arik Gilbert for a two-yard touchdown.
Mississippi State though answered right back with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped with a 43-yard touchdown to Osirus Mitchell.
At halftime, Mississippi State led 17-14.
The two teams traded field goals to start the second half but then LSU reclaimed the lead with a 37-yard touchdown to Terrace Marshall Jr.
Mississippi State needed only one play to retake the lead as Costello found running back Kylin Hill for a 75-yard touchdown.
LSU’s next drive ended with an interception from Brennan and then Costello moments later found Austin Williams for a nine-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs led 34-24.
After the offense was forced to punt, the LSU defense stepped up with a turnover as Eli Ricks picked off Costello. Moments later, Brennan found Marshall for a 33-yard touchdown. Then Jacoby Stevens sacked and stripped the football out of Costello’s hands and even recovered the fumble.
LSU turned that into a Cade York field goal and the game was tied in the fourth quarter.
LSU’s defense, without All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. who missed the game due to illness, could not stop Costello and the Bulldogs’ offense. Mississippi State would add another field goal and a 24-yard touchdown to Mitchell.
LSU tried to score again but Brennan’s pass in the end zone was picked off as time expired.
Big Number: 623
Mississippi State’s K.J. Costello torched LSU’s secondary for 623 yards. Costello ended the game completing 36-of-60 passes for 623 yards with five touchdowns to tow interceptions. The 623 yards set a new single-game record in the SEC surpassing Georgia’s Eric Zeier who threw for 544 yards against Southern Miss in 1993.
Big Number II: 7
LSU’s revamped offensive line struggled to protect Myles Brennan all game long as Mississippi State’s defense sacked Brennan seven times in Saturday’s game.
Player of the Game: Terrace Marshall Jr.
The most veteran wide receiver on LSU’s roster displayed how much of a reliable target he will be for Myles Breenan. Marshall led the Tigers with eight receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Next Up: LSU (0-1, 0-1 SEC) returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.