STARKVILLE, Mississippi - First, Ed Orgeron became LSU's Interim Head Football Coach at about this time last year.
Last November, the Interim was removed.
Then he became LSU's Honeymoon Coach after destroying No. 13 Louisville, 29-9, in the Citrus Bowl, and his holiday was expected to continue blissfully along in Stark-Vegas after a pair of mostly impressive wins to start the season.
But with a disastrous, 37-7 loss to Mississippi State Saturday night here, that Honeymoon part has been removed.
Yes, Orgeron is now officially LSU's football coach as the plot thickens and the doubters awaken as they did when Nick Saban before him lost to UAB in his fourth game in 2000 and Miles before him lost to Tennessee in his second game . Yes, a trilogy of upsets. The first two recovered magnificently.
As soon as Orgeron gets his ears back, we shall see.
In the meantime, Starkville was partying like it was 1999 Saturday night. That was the last time State beat LSU here at Davis Wade Stadium - 17-16 on Oct. 23, 1999. On Sept. 16, 2017, the Bulldogs demolished the touchdown favored Tigers and danced all over them in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
It was State's most lopsided victory over LSU ever, surpassing a 25-0 win in 1954.
The Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 SEC) out-gained the faster and more talented Tigers - or so everyone said and wrote - 465 yards to 270, recording 25 first downs to 13 on LSU's Dave Aranda, the best or one of the best defensive coordinators in the game. State ran through and around LSU's proud defense with 285 yards on 48 carries.
It was embarrassing in more ways than one. In a first, two LSU defenders - middle linebacker Donnie Alexander and defensive lineman Neil Farrell Jr. - were ejected from the game within minutes of one another in the third quarter for targeting head shots on State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Each be suspended for the second half next week.
All Orgeron could do was shake his head as the two players left the field.
The two blows had no apparent impact on Fitzgerald, though. Minutes later, he fired a 45-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Keith Mixon for a 27-7 lead with 5:10 to go in the third quarter, and it was over again. Early in the third quarter, Fitzgerald struck again with a 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deddrick Thomas for the 37-7 lead.
Aranda could never answer Fitzgerald or State coach Dan Mullen - the SEC's best after Saban. Fitzgerald finished 15 of 23 passing for 180 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 14 times for 90 yards and two other touchdowns as he thoroughly shredded LSU's defense as if he was John Bond in the early 1980s.
The only difference is this is a hard rocking theater of football now. It was more of a Texas high school stadium in the '80s and '90s.
When the game mercifully ended for LSU (2-1, 0-1 SEC) and State players sang their "Hail State" fight song in front of the fans, an explosion of sound happened. I looked up thinking State had ordered a postgame flyover. But it was just those dastardly shrill cowbells in unison that were more deafening at this point than at any point in a game in which they rang and roared from pregame on.
"The crowd was UNBELIEVABLE," Mullen said. "And they created an unbelievable home field advantage."
Meanwhile, LSU's offense under new coordinator Matt Canada motioned and moved crisply and creatively before the snap throughout the game. The problem for LSU was after the snap. Air Canada got stuck inside of Starkville with the motion blues. Quarterback Danny Etling managed only 13 completions in 29 attempts for 137 yards and was sacked twice. Tailback Derrius Guice had 66 yards on 10 carries in the first half as LSU trailed 17-7 at the break, but he gained just 10 yards on five carries in the second half to finish with 76 on 15 rushes.
State's stout defense of new coordinator Todd Grantham ignored the Tigers' bells and whistles motion, not even adjusting at the line as if to mock LSU. Then it just stuffed the Tigers time and time again, holding them to 149 total yards and six first downs in the first half.
Cowbells clearly trump bells and whistles.
Just before the second half, State played Journey's 1981 hit "Don't Stop Believing," and the reaction was similar U2 got in the Superdome in the first game after Katrina in 2006.
When then-lead singer Steve Perry roared, "It goes on and on and on and on," the crowd went wild. My ears are still ringing.
The Jimi Hendrix version of "All Along The Watchtower" foreshadowed LSU's merciless beating. "There must be some kind of way outta here," he sang.
LSU's offense and then gradually its defense never found that exit. The Tigers were only in the game briefly after tying it 7-7 in the second quarter and when it only trailed 17-7. LSU did take an apparent 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 57-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver D.J. Chark, but it was called back for holding away from the play.
It appeared to be a bad call, but in the end it didn't matter. State just manhandled LSU.
Mississippi State totaled 224 yards in the first half as Fitzgerald completed 8 of 13 passes for 84 yards and rushed 11 times for 46 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown on a roll out for the 10-point lead with seven seconds to play in the second quarter. Fitzgerald faked a pass and dove into the end zone. He also scored on a 3-yard run for a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.
State tailback Aeris Williams led all rushers with 146 yards on 23 carries.
LSU's offense was another song. After playing "Ring Around The Rosie" through most of the first half with its myriad of motions, its offense in the end just looked motion sick. Finally, it just lined up regularly. That didn't work either.
State went just went on and on and on. And the place got louder and louder and louder.
LSU will not forget this night for a long time. Neither will Orgeron.
Final Score: Mississippi State 37, LSU 7, Sound Barrier 0.
Not only did Mississippi State embarrass LSU on this night. Davis Wade Stadium shredded Tiger Stadium in music choice, atmosphere and - most of all - volume.
When I'm 80 and deaf, it's not going to be all those Springsteen concerts or Queen at Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans on Halloween Night in 1978, it will be this game.
And this one will be ringing in O's ears for a long time.
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