Turnovers spell doom for Dogs

Published 11:56 pm Saturday, September 18, 2010

BATON ROUGE — Mississippi State’s Chris Relf and Tyler Russell took excursions to Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne’s islands.

All four of them were trips the two quarterbacks would rather forget.

The LSU cornerback tandem intercepted two passes apiece to pace a five-pick night against Mississippi State in a 29-7 win on Saturday.

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The first interception came in the second quarter, as Relf tried to loft a ball to Arceto Clark on third-and-1. The ball was a bit underthrown and Peterson won a battle in the air, tipping the ball to himself. He returned it 46 yards to set up a field goal.

“The first interception, I’d like to see Chris (Relf) lead the receiver across the field a little more, but the kid went up and made a heck of a play on our receiver,” MSU coach Dan Mullen said. “Our receiver has to go and take it away from him in those situations.”

Peterson trusted his athletic ability to make the game-changing play.

“I knew the quarterback had a pretty strong arm,” Peterson said. “But I knew that ball wasn’t going to outrun me, so I used my speed and ball-hawking skills to get back under the ball.”

The other interceptions were, according to Mullen, not the fault of either Relf or Russell. He blamed the second one, by Claiborne, as a blown assignment by the offensive line as Relf threw it under heavy duress. The third, by Drake Nevis in a crowd of LSU defenders ripping Russell down, Mullen blamed on a bad play call by himself. The last one, a spectacular leaping grab by Peterson, Mullen blamed on a bad protection check by one of State’s tailbacks as Russell uncorked it into the teeth of the pass rush.

“It comes down to turnovers,” MSU offensive lineman Quentin Saulsberry said. “There were a lot of mistakes on the offense and a lot of protection errors. We didn’t make the plays as an offense.”