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The Early Lead
Posted at 11:34 AM ET, 09/16/2011

LSU uses a stifling defense to stay in conversation about the No. 1 team


LSU running back Michael Ford fights off Mississippi State defensive back Charles Mitchell in the third quarter. (Rogelio V. Solis / AP)
Funky new uniforms played no role whatsoever in Thursday night’s college football game between Louisiana State and Mississippi State.

But there was football — which will have to suffice until LSU sports its Nike-design togs. The Tigers beat Mississippi State 19-6, winning for the 19th time in 20 games and the 12th straight time against the Bulldogs. In Starkville, LSU turned a tight 6-3 halftime lead into victory with a strong defense that finished with four sacks and 15 tackles for a loss.

“There’s certainly not anyone playing better than them right now,” Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen said.

Perhaps, but Oklahoma is No. 1 in the country; LSU, at 3-0, is No. 3 after being leapfrogged by Alabama.

“We weren't perfect by any stretch, but I felt like the intensity of the defense was strong and that ended up being the tale of the day,” LSU Coach Les Miles said. “I felt like the offense did the things that they needed to do. I think we did the things we needed to do to win.”

LSU, which held Oregon to 95 yards rushing, limited Mississippi State to 193 yards offense. Kendrick Adams, Bennie Logan, Michael Brockers and Anthony Johnson led the defense with 10½ tackles for loss and 3½ sacks and Brockers promised things are only going to improve.

“Our defense is really good,” Brockers said via ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, “but we have to learn a lot of things and we can get a lot better. You're just going to have to wait and see. It's scary. It's amazing what we would do if we played with more technique.”

By  |  11:34 AM ET, 09/16/2011

 
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