Ad Spot

November 26, 2020

Costello’s record-setting arm leads Mississippi State past No. 6 LSU

K.J. Costello passed for an SEC record 623 yards and five touchdowns in the Mississippi State debut of coach Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” offense, and the Bulldogs knocked off sixth-ranked and defending national champion LSU 44-34 on Saturday.

Costello’s passing yardage in his first game since transferring from Stanford to Starkville, Mississippi, eclipsed the 544 yards Georgia’s Eric Zeier had against Southern Mississippi in 1993 to set the Southeastern Conference record.

And Costello needed most of it to make up for his two interceptions and two lost fumbles, which helped LSU rally to tie the game at 34 before he engineered a pair of scoring drives in the final 10 minutes.

LSU became the first defending national champion to lose its opening game since Michigan in 1998 lost at Notre Dame.

LSU quarterback Myles Brennan intermittently showed promise in his debut as starter in place of 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and 2020 top NFL draft choice Joe Burrow. But Brennan’s 345 yards and three touchdowns passing could not make up for the trouble the Tigers’ inexperienced defense had in new coordinator Bo Pelini’s scheme.

Four of Costello’s touchdown passes covered between 24 and 75 yards. The longest came on Kylin Hill’s catch and run in which the running back slipped safety Todd Harris’ tackle along the sideline to break into the clear. Osirus Mitchell caught touchdown passes of 43 and 24 yards, the second putting the Bulldogs back up by two scores with 3:39 left. Tyrell Shavers caught a 31-yard touchdown pass and Austin Williams had a 9-yard TD catch.

LSU transfer linebacker Jabril Cox, who played at FCS power North Dakota State, scored LSU’s opening touchdown on an interception and 14-yard return.

Terrace Marshall Jr. had touchdown catches of 37 and 33 yards, while freshman tight end Arik Gilbert leaped in front of a defender to turn Brennan’s desperate throw as he was going down into a 2-yard score.

But Brennan often struggled to make quick and decisive reads. He was sacked seven times and the first of his two interceptions came when linebacker Jordan Davis hit the QB’s elbow as he threw. The ball went straight to cornerback Esaias Furdge at the Bulldogs 24.

MISSING DEFENDERS

LSU played without two of three returning starters on defense, including one of the top players in the nation. All-America cornerback Derek Stingley, who also returns punts, was hospitalized overnight Friday after unexpectedly falling “acutely ill,” LSU said. LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette emphasized that the illness was not COVID-19 and added that Stingley was expected to rejoin the team after being evaluated by physicians. Senior defensive tackle Glen Logan also was scratched from the lineup unexpectedly. Sophomore Cordale Flott and freshman Eli Ricks started at cornerback for LSU. Flott was beaten on MSU’s first TD and Ricks on the second. Freshman Joseph Evans started for Logan.

THE TAKEAWAY

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs could not have asked for a much better start to the Leach era. If teams around the SEC weren’t taking the “Air Raid” seriously before, they are now.

LSU: The Tigers’ loss of prominent personnel in the offseason — including 14 players taken in the NFL draft — and lack of experience on the field was exposed during pivotal moments of a tense opener. In terms of talent, LSU appears to have plenty of upside, but time will tell how long it takes to be realized.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

LSU is bound to plummet after giving up so many yards and points at home. Mississippi State, meanwhile, has made its case to crack the AP Top 25.

UP NEXT

Mississippi State: Hosts Arkansas on Saturday.

LSU: Visits Vanderbilt on Saturday

News

Wicker searches for voter fraud as state GOP won’t admit Trump lost

News

Warning schmarning: Americans travel over Thanksgiving despite dire risks

News

Parents arrested after infant girl hospitalized with alcohol in system, investigators say

News

Longtime Mississippi judge, pioneer for women leaders has died

News

‘Admirable and heartbreaking’ – Home health nurse dies after saving paralyzed patient from house fire

News

Mississippi hospital space limited as more coronavirus cases hospitalized; state statistics near record levels

News

Wines sales in Mississippi grocery stores? Mississippi lawmaker thinks now is the time

News

A gunshot wound and ‘suspicious markings’ but still no killer a week after hunters find body in woods

News

Murder suspect tells judge he fears for life in jail, needs lower bond; judge denies request

News

Tennessee says COVID-19 vaccine will be ‘choice’ but not requirement for schools

News

New virus orders: Half of Mississippi counties now under mask orders

News

Efforts to convince Mississippians to take coronavirus seriously ‘going nowhere,’ state health officer says

News

Mississippi’s November COVID stats beginning to look a lot like July’s which could forecast deadly December

News

Mississippi reports dozens more deaths as coronavirus spreads across state

News

Mississippi model run over, killed by former cop and father of her child, police say

News

Mississippi business destroyed by fire

News

Thanksgiving eve thunderstorms possible across parts of Mississippi

News

Mississippi teen headed to prison after Internet prank leaves friend burned, disfigured

News

Mississippi woman ran over her girlfriend with car, police say; one jailed, one hospitalized

News

Former Mississippi cop charged after pedestrian fatality

News

Mississippi doctor acquitted on 7 of 8 counts in pain cream fraud case

News

Federal agency clears way for Joe Biden transition; Trump still says he will ‘prevail’

News

Leader of Mississippi’s largest hospital wants Tate Reeves to issue state mask mandate

News

Mississippi 25-year-old dies after battle with COVID; family says she was ‘perfectly healthy’ before virus struck