LAST STAND: No. 7 LSU takes 30-26 win at Mississippi State

Michael Tortorich
LSU's Chad Jones returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown against Mississippi State.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - LSU held the Mississippi State Bulldogs on a late goal-line stand to preserve a 30-26 win Saturday at Davis-Wade Stadium.

The Bulldogs had the ball inches from the goal line, but were turned away without any points.

On third down, LSU defensive back Chad Jones batted away a pass intended for a wide-open receiver in the end zone.

The Bulldogs were stuffed on fourth down when a host of Tigers, including Jones, wrapped up quarterback Tyson Lee for no gain.

Backed up in their own territory, the Tigers tried to grind out yards and burn the clock.  With 55 seconds remaining, LSU elected to take a safety out of the punt formation.

After the free kick, the Bulldogs took over at their own 32. The LSU defense held again as Lee threw four incomplete passes to turn the ball over to the Tigers.

No. 7 LSU improved to a 4-0 record (2-0 in the SEC). Mississippi State fell to 2-2 (1-2 in SEC).

The first score of the game came when LSU defensive back Patrick Peterson intercepted a pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.

With both teams contending with wet conditions, the slippery ball appeared to play a role in the unsuccessful point-after attempt.

The Bulldogs answered with scoring drive, capped by Anthony Dixon's 2-yard touchdown run.

Sean Brauchle tacked on the extra point to give the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead.

Later in the first quarter, both team added touchdowns.

LSU's offense scored for the first time of the game when quarterback Jordan Jefferson floated a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon LaFell.

The Bulldogs took back the lead with Dixon's 1-yard touchdown run late in the first.

Trailing 14-13, LSU went back on top in the second quarter when kicker Josh Jasper hit a 22-yard field goal.

LSU held a 16-14 lead at halftime.

The Tigers extended the margin in the third quarter when Jefferson and LaFell hooked up on another touchdown. Jefferson found LaFell wide open deep downfield on the 58-yard play.

The Bulldogs had another answer as Lee scrambled away from pressure to compete a pass to Marcus Green, who then dashed into the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown.

LSU then drove deep into Mississippi State territory, but the Bulldogs held and Jasper shanked a 19-yard field goal try.

Leading 23-21 at the start of the fourth quarter, Jones weaved his way 93 yards for a touchdown on a punt return.

The play was the second-longest punt return in LSU history. The longest dates back to 1994 when Eddie Kennison took one back 100 yards against Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs cut LSU's lead to 30-24 when Brauchle booted a 22-yard field goal.

Jefferson finished with 233 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

LaFell led the Tigers in receiving with 101 yards on six catches.

LSU will face Georgia Saturday in Athens, Ga. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CBS will broadcast the game.

LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson drops back to pass during the Tigers' 31-3 win over Louisiana-Lafayette last Saturday.