No. 14 LSU silenced the cowbells at Davis Wade Stadium during its first drive against Mississippi State and never looked back as the Tigers trounced the Bulldogs 41-14 in their SEC opener on Saturday. Coach Brian Kelly has quarterback Jayden Daniels and wide receiver Malik Nabers to thank for the comfortable victory.
Daniels and Nabers hooked up 13 times for 239 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon in one of the most dominant performances in history. What’s even more impressive is that it came after Nabers briefly exited the game with an injury. He caught a beautiful 26-yard touchdown pass from Daniels down the left sideline for the Tigers’ first touchdown of the game and followed it up one drive later with a 33-yard score down the right sideline on fourth-and-7 on what was essentially the same play.
Nabers became the first Power Five player to record 10 catches, 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a half since Alabama’s DeVonta Smith in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship against Ohio State. Daniels completed his first 13 pass attempts and was 21 of 22 in the first half with the only incompletion coming on a throwaway. He is the first player with at least 250 yards and two passing touchdowns with a 95% or higher completion percentage in a half since November 2020 (Kent State’s Dustin Crum vs. Akron).
Daniels finished the day 30-of-34 passing for 361 yards and two passing touchdowns while also adding in 64 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. His 88.2% completion percentage is the highest by a Tigers player since JaMarcus Russell in 2006 (minimum 20 attempts).
Daniels entered the season as one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, and Saturday afternoon’s dominating performance justified that hype. Now, though, he might just have another contender to deal with — who just so happens to be on his own team.