STARKVILLE, Miss. - LSU opened the 2007 season by showing why it's the No. 2-ranked team in the country Thursday night, downing homestanding Mississippi State 45-0 at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field in the lidlifter for both squads. The loss was State's eighth in a row to the Tigers.
The Tigers picked off six State passes in the contest to aid in the shutout effort over MSU. State struggled offensively all evening against the highly-touted LSU defensive unit, managing just 146 yards from scrimmage. MSU quarterback Michael Henig could not find a rhythm on the home field as he threw a school record-tying six interceptions.
Meanwhile, LSU's offense tallied 347 yards in total. Quarterback Matt Flynn was 12-of-19 for 128 yards through the air, including two touchdown passes, one to Early Doucet who had 78 yards receiving on the night. Tiger running back Keiland Williams ran in a pair of scores for the Tigers on the ground in the first half. Backup signal-caller Ryan Perrilloux rushed and threw for scores in the fourth quarter to round out scoring.
The offenses for both squads came out flat at first, not scoring a single touchdown in the first quarter. The only points that came were from a 27-yard field goal from LSU kicker Colt David. The Tigers held a 3-0 lead at the end of the period.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs still couldn’t muster up any offensive production. Henig threw four of his six interceptions in the first half. He was 11-of-28 for 120 yards in the game. On the other side of the ball, the Bulldog defense started to lose ground as the Tigers put up 14 points in the last six minutes of the first half to head into the locker room with a comfortable 17-0 lead. The Bulldogs were outgained 185-79 in the first half.
At the beginning of the second half, the Tigers continued their attack, scoring on their first drive, an 11-yard touchdown pass from Flynn to Doucet to push the lead to 24-0. LSU then capitalized on another Henig interception by scoring another touchdown, a Flynn pass to Charles Scott to go up 31-0.
Henig would only come out for one more series in the fourth quarter. Freshman Wesley Carroll then came into the game and encountered the same problems Henig ran into. Carroll was 3-of-5 for 16 yards on the night. The Bulldog defense continued to have a rough night against the Tiger offense.
LSU also kept State sophomore running back Anthony Dixon from breaking loose, only tallying 29 yards rushing on 13 carries. Senior Tony Burks led the Bulldog receiving corps with 45 yards on one catch.
Dominic Douglas, making his first career start, led the team with nine tackles on the night. He, along with Jimmie Holmes and preseason all-SEC defensive end Titus Brown, accounted for one sack apiece.
Junior defensive back Derek Pegues moved into fifth place on the MSU career list for kickoff return yardage. He is also fifth all-time in career kickoff returns. He had 100 all-purpose yards for the night.
The Bulldogs go on the road next week, Sept. 8, to face Tulane. LSU will travel back home on the same date to host Virginia Tech.