On Saturday night in Death Valley, a strong defensive performance propelled the Tigers to a strong second half in their 31-16 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
The Tigers defense gave up some points early as Mississippi State running back Jo'quavious Marks gashed the Tigers defense for an early 37 yard touchdown run. After that, LSU's defense became very stingy as they very rarely allowed missed tackles and didn't give up any more easy points to the Bulldogs.
"I think we put ourselves in a role to just keep it going and we knew our mistakes were tackling so we got to get better at that" defensive end Ali Gaye said. "We emphasized that in practice and we did a lot better today on that."
One of the biggest defensive standouts for the game was Jay Ward, who tallied one and a half tackles for loss along with one interception. After the game, Ward called himself one of the biggest mismatches and said no one on Mississippi State could block him.
"Playing him low and giving him the opportunity to run with it," head coach Brian Kelly said. "He had 15 tackles tonight and he was outstanding. He was all over the place."
LSU's defense held the Bulldogs to just three second half points and had a key interception late in the game to seal the win to get the Tigers their first win in SEC play.
"We just got to bring that on earlier in the game and keep the same mentality until the end of the game" Ali Gaye said regarding how the defense progressively improved throughout the game.
The Tigers will look to build off of the momentum they gained in this win when they face off against the New Mexico State Lobos next Saturday in Tiger Stadium.
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