I said going into the game I was not ready to buy into the idea LSU's passing game finally arrived. I needed to see it for more than two quarters. Well, after the Mississippi State game, I'm a believer. Mettenberger is getting protection, the receivers are not dropping the ball and his throws are accurate. In the last two games, Mettenberger is 43 of 65 for 571 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
A big reason for Mettenberger's success has been the development of Landry, who had a career night against Mississippi State. Landry had nine catches for 109 yards and one touchdown. The former Lutcher standout is not a deep ball threat, but his route running has improved and he has the best hands on the team. That makes him a great possession receiver. Landry has 17 catches in the last two games. In the previous five games, Landry had just nine catches.
The coaching staff
One of the hardest things for a coaching staff in football is to get your team motivated after suffering a crushing loss. But you have to give credit to Les Miles and his assistants, as the Tigers showed no signs of a hangover. Also, fans like to slam Miles for when the team commits a bunch of penalties. Well, if that's the case you have to credit them for LSU only being flagged twice.
LSU's Pass Defense
LSU's defense gave up over 300 passing yards for the first time this season. Giving up over 300 through the air is never good, but you do have to give some credit to Mississippi State. Bulldogs QB Tyler Russell got rid of the ball quickly and he had an experienced wide receiver, Chad Bumphis, who made nine catches. The defense as a whole played well and gave up just one scoring drive of more than 45 yards.
Odell Beckham as punt returner
Beckham hasn't done much as a punt returner since returning one for 70 yards in the season opener against North Texas. He muffed a punt against Mississippi State that led to a Bulldogs touchdown. Take away Beckham's 70-yard return, he's only averaging five yards a return.
By the way, many LSU fans couldn't believe Lamar Louis tried to grab the football on a punt that was first touched by a Mississippi State player. But special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey told me an NCAA rule allows the punt team to try and return the football in a situation like that at “no cost.” Meaning, if LSU picks up the ball after it hits a Mississippi State player and runs 50 yards and fumbles the ball back to the opponent, it's still the Tigers ball, back at the spot where a Bulldog player first touched it
No team in the BCS Title Game
(Photo by WWL's Joe Marino)