Justin Jefferson

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Joe Burrow takes over LSU season TD passing record as No. 2 LSU blasts Mississippi State

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On a day that saw the program’s record book rewritten by quarterback Joe Burrow, No. 2 LSU (7-0, 3-0 SEC) pounded Mississippi State (3-4, 1-3 SEC) to the tune of 36-13 in Starkville. Four touchdown passes saw Burrow move into first place in LSU program history for the most passing touchdowns in a season,.

Burrow, with at least five games left to play this season, has thrown 29 touchdown passes this season. His 29th, an 18-yard pass to Justin Jefferson to put the Bulldogs up 36-7 in the third quarter, moved him past Matt Mauck and JaMarcus Russell. Mauck set the LSU school record of 28 touchdown passes during the 2003 season. Russell tied the mark a few years later in 2006. Burrow has five more regular-season games to play, and as many as three more on top of that if things go well for the Tigers; LSU could play in the SEC Championship Game and as many as two postseason games after that in the College Football Playoff. In other words, Burrow is going to obliterate the old record and leave it in the dust before he gets to his final number, regardless of if the Tigers play for the SEC title or in the playoff for the first time in school history.

Burrow, who ended his afternoon with 327 yards and four touchdowns before getting an early rest, was just one half of the dominance against the Bulldogs. LSU forced three Mississippi State turnovers, leading to 10 points by LSU’s offense. LSU also held the Bulldogs to just three third-down conversions in 11 attempts, and Mississippi State was 0-for-2 on fourth down. Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill was limited to 34 rushing yards on 15 carries, and quarterback Garrett Shrader had a rough afternoon completing 12 of 21 passes for 168 yards with two interceptions (he did rush for 61 yards and a touchdown as well).

While a mega matchup with Alabama is coming into view on the horizon, LSU has some other business to attend to first, and it is hardly something to look past. LSU returns home next week to host No. 11 Auburn, who dominated Arkansas earlier in the day. Auburn will arrive in Baton Rouge with a 6-1 record overall and 3-1 mark within the SEC. LSU will get a bye week after facing Auburn, which will then lead to the big road game at Alabama. In brief, the SEC West has some big games the next few weeks.

As for Mississippi State, any wild card shot at the division crown is long gone now.

Now, the quest to get to a bowl game is beginning to fall into some slight jeopardy. Mississippi State players their next two games on the road against Texas A&M (next week) and Arkansas (Nov. 2). They also still have to play Alabama. If Mississippi State goes any worse than 1-2 in their next three games, a bowl game may come down to having to win in the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss in the final game of the regular season.

No. 7 Florida hanging tough with No. 5 LSU through one half

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LSU’s offense has averaged more than 12 yards a snap, but Florida is hanging tough in Death Valley. At the half in Baton Rouge, the game is tied 21-21.

Joe Burrow has completed 10-of-11 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire has five carries for 121 yards and a touchdown

LSU opened the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to J’Marr Chase, but Florida answered with a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by a 5-yard toss from Kyle Trask to Trevon Grimes.

Burrow then put LSU back ahead with a 7-yard strike to Justin Jefferson, but Florida again answered with a 13-play touchdown drive, punctuated by this ridiculous fourth-down grab by Lamical Perine.

LSU knifed down the field in four plays, nudging back ahead on a 39-yard Edwards-Helaire rush, but again Florida answered with a methodical touchdown drive. Trask’s 6-yard toss to Van Jefferson, the 11th play of the drive, tied the game with four seconds left in the first half.

While LSU picked up 266 yards on its 21 snaps, Florida gained 246 yards on 43 clock-eating plays.

Florida will receive to open the second half.

Joe Burrow, No. 6 LSU outgun No. 9 Texas in shootout

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On a 3rd-and-17, with a six point lead and two and a half minutes left in the game, the old LSU would have run the ball, punted and played defense. The old LSU is dead, and the new one is pretty damn scary.

On that 3rd-and-17, Joe Burrow faced a blitz, stepped up and found Justin Jefferson, who raced 61 yards for a touchdown that clinched the No. 6 Tigers’ 45-31 win over No. 9 Texas in Austin.

Burrow played the game of his life, completing 31-of-39 passes for 471 yards with four touchdowns, the second-most passing yards in LSU history, while in the process producing three 100-yard receivers for the first time in LSU history. The trio of Jefferson, JaMarr Chase and Terrace Marshall, Jr. simply torched the Texas secondary, as Jefferson caught snared nine passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns, Chase caught eight for 147 and Marshall caught six for 123 and a score of his own.

Sam Ehlinger posted a career night of his own, throwing for 407 yards, rushing for 60 and accounting for five touchdowns, but it was a play he didn’t make that set the early tone.

LSU opened the scoring with a 36-yard Cade York field goal, but the Longhorns appeared in position to take the lead when Brennan Eagles hauled in a 26-yard pass to put the ball at the LSU 8 on UT’s second possession. The ‘Horns moved the ball to the 2 when Tom Herman characteristically rolled the fourth down dice, which saw Ehlinger find a wide open Keaontay Ingram in the end zone, who promptly dropped the ball.

The Texas defense gave its offense the ball right back, though, when linebacker Joseph Ossai caught a tipped Burrow pass and took it to the LSU 4, but again Texas was denied. This time, Ehlinger ran for two yards on first down and appeared to get in on second, but replay ruled him down inside the 1. The Tigers stuffed Ingram on third down, then stoned Ehlinger on fourth — thereby turning eight snaps in goal-to-go situations into zero points.

After Texas forced an LSU punt, Ehlinger tried two unsuccessful deep shots, then hit on a third when Kristian Fulton misjudged a ball and a wide open Eagles hauled it in to race 55 yards for a touchdown, putting the ‘Horns up 7-3 at the 10:29 mark of the second quarter. The play was Texas’ first of 50-plus yards since the 2017 season.

LSU answered with its best drive of the half: 75 yards in eight plays, most of them Burrow to Jefferson, who had grabs of 17, 12 and six yards, the last of which resulted in a third-and-goal touchdown, shoving LSU back ahead 10-7 at the exact midpoint of the second quarter.

After a Texas punt, Burrow again charged LSU down the field, but this time an Ossai third down sack forced a 33-yard York field goal with 1:41 left in the first half. Texas used two timeouts in forcing that field goal, a move that backfired when its offense went three-and-out and LSU took over at its own 42 with 1:13 still left. They would need only 26 seconds. Three straight Burrow completions, the last to Jefferson from 21 yards out, gave LSU a commanding 20-7 halftime lead.

Teetering on the brink of blowout territory, Texas answered the bell to open the second half. The ‘Horns’ defense forced a three-and-out to open the third quarter, and then the offense went on a 2018-esque 19-play, 86-yard touchdown drive (that saw four stoppages due to injured LSU players) that this time around ended in a successful 2-yard Ehlinger plunge.

After a third York field goal, Texas again drove the length of the field on a winded and bruised Tiger defense, moving 75 yards in seven plays and scoring on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ehlinger to Jake Smith on a third-and-10, pulling UT within 23-21 with 2:36 left in the third quarter.

And at that point, a game that began an SEC slobber-knocker turned into a Big 12 track meet.

LSU zipped down the field 75 yards in six plays, scoring on a 26-yard strike from Burrow to Marshall. Texas zipped right back, going 75 yards in seven plays and scoring when Devin Duvernay caught a slant on 4th-and-2, slipped a tackle and sprinted 44 yards for a touchdown that brought Texas back within 30-28 with 12:09 to play.

When Texas pulled close, LSU again pulled away with yet another 6-play, 75-yard drive. Clyde Edwards-Hellaire did the damage this time with a 12-yard run to push the cushion to 37-28 with 9:58 remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Texas finally blinked. And by blinked, they broke a string of four straight touchdown drives (and three touchdowns in their last three possessions) by settling for a 47-yard Cameron Dicker field goal to cut the deficit to six with 3:59 left.

After an incompletion on 1st-and-10, Brandon Jones sacked Burrow on 2nd-and-10 to set up a 3rd-and-17 with 2:27 to play, needing only one stop to potentially send its offense on the field with a chance to win the game. Instead, Jefferson beat single coverage from Texas safety Caden Sterns and was off to the races.

Texas answered with another Ehlinger-to-Duvernay touchdown, but it came with just 22 seconds remaining.

The Longhorns had a golden opportunity to recover the onside kick, but the ball rolled off Collin Johnson‘s fingertips and he could not recover the ball, allowing LSU to hold on for the win.

LSU in control of things in Austin through one half

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Joe Burrow has outdueled Sam Ehlinger through one half, and as a result LSU has a 20-7 lead over Texas at the break in Austin.

LSU opened the scoring with a 36-yard Cade York field goal, but Texas appeared in position to take the lead when Brennan Eagles hauled in a 26-yard pass to put the ball at the LSU 8. The ‘Horns moved the ball to the 2 when Tom Herman elected to go for a fourth down. Ehlinger found a wide open Keaontay Ingram, who got his hands on the ball but could not haul it in.

The Texas defense gave its offense the ball right back when linebacker Joseph Ossai caught a tipped Burrow pass and took it to the LSU 4, but again Texas was denied. Ehlinger ran for two yards on first down and appeared to get in on second, but replay ruled him down inside the 1. The Tigers stuffed Ingram on third down, then stoned Ehlinger on fourth — thereby turning eight snaps in goal-to-go situations into zero points.

After Texas forced an LSU punt, Ehlinger tried two unsuccessful deep shots, then hit on a third when Kristian Fulton misjudged a ball and a wide open Eagles hauled it in to race 55 yards for a touchdown, putting the ‘Horns up 7-3 at the 10:29 mark of the second quarter. The play was Texas’ first of 50-plus yards since the 2017 season.

LSU answered with its best drive of the half: 75 yards in eight plays, most of them Burrow to Justin Jefferson, who had grabs of 17, 12 and six yards, the last of which resulted in a third-and-goal touchdown, shoving LSU back ahead 10-7 at the exact midpoint of the second quarter.

After a Texas punt, Burrow again charged LSU down the field, but this time an Ossai third down sack forced a 33-yard York field goal with 1:41 left in the first half. Texas used two timeouts in forcing that field goal, a move that backfired when its offense went three-and-out and LSU took over at its own 42 with 1:13 still left. They would need only 26 seconds. Three straight Burrow completions, the last to Jefferson from 21 yards out, gave LSU a commanding 20-7 halftime lead.

Burrow closed the half hitting 16-of-21 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and one tipped interception, while Ehlinger was 9-of-19 for 136 yards and a score with just six yards on the ground. Collin Johnson has been shutout, while Jefferson hauled in six balls for 83 yards and two scores.

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy headlines 2019 Biletnikoff Award Watch List

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Media Day season is also Watch List season and the latest to surface for the 2019 campaign comes out of Tallahassee in the form of the Biletnikoff Award Watch List. The award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding receiver, includes the defending winner in Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and fellow semifinalist Tylan Wallace out of Oklahoma State, as well as a number of other talented pass-catchers from around the country.

Here’s the full list, which is a good general overview of the best wide receivers and tight ends for the upcoming season even if a few names can gripe about being left off:

Lynn Bowden, Jr. (Kentucky)

Rico Bussey, Jr. (North Texas)

Cedric Byrd (Hawaii)

Grant Calcaterra (Oklahoma)

Damonte Coxie (Memphis)

Gabriel Davis (UCF)

Bryan Edwards (South Carolina)

D’Wayne Eskridge (Western Michigan)

Aaron Fuller (Washington)

Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty)

KJ Hamler (Penn State)

Adrian Hardy (Louisiana Tech)

Damon Hazelton (Virginia Tech)

Tee Higgins (Clemson)

K.J. Hill (Ohio State)

Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon State)

Justin Jefferson (LSU)

Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

Tyler Johnson (Minnesota)

Collin Johnson (Texas)

CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

Ty Lee (Middle Tennessee State)

Kalija Lipscomb (Vanderbilt)

McLane Mannix (Texas Tech)

Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State)

Riley Miller (Ball State)

Denzel Mims (Baylor)

Darnell Mooney (Tulane)

Rondale Moore (Purdue)

Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri)

K.J. Osborn (Miami)

Dezmon Patmon (Washington State)

Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt)

Michael Pittman, Jr. (USC)

James Proche (SMU)

Jalen Reagor (TCU)

Jared Rice (Fresno State)

Sean Riley (Syracuse)

Reggie Roberson, Jr. (SMU)

Justyn Ross (Clemson)

Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

Laviska Shenault, Jr. (Colorado)

JD Spielman (Nebraska)

Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC)

Marquez Stevenson (Houston)

Tamorrion Terry (Florida State)

Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)

Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State)

JoJo Ward (Hawaii)

Quez Watkins (Southern Miss)