Experience pays off for Mississippi State’s record-breaking performance

Experience between Leach & Costello led to MSU's record-breaking performance

BATON ROUGE, La. - Of all 14 members in the Southeastern Conference, Mississippi State was a pleasant surprise after the performance they put on against reigning national champion and then sixth-ranked LSU Saturday.

Mike Leach and the “Air Raid” offense wreaked havoc Saturday, producing 632 yards of total offense, with 623 coming through the air.

Stanford transfer quarterback K.J. Costello shattered the school and SEC record for passing yards in a game with 623, with three receivers eclipsing 120 yards. Costello’s 623 passing yards against the No. 6 Tigers was the 11th most in FBS history, and the most in a player’s debut. His 60 pass attempts is the most by a Bulldogs quarterback.

The win marked the first time a defending national champion lost its season opener since 1998 and snapped the longest active win streak in the country (16 games). It was also MSU’s highest-ranked road win in program history. The Bulldogs (1-0), came away with just their second win in Baton Rouge since 1992.

Leach says the experience between him, his staff and Costello is what made everything click.

“I think KJ’s experience, the fact that he had been a starter for a little over two years at a major college definitely helped. I think it helped create some stability to our offense and team,” Leach told local media Monday during his weekly media availability. “I’ve had some experience coming in and installing things, which I definitely drew on. We tried to expedite what we did and how we did to try to make it as clear as we possibly could. We had a number of coaches that I had worked with in the past, so we were pretty familiar together how it was going to go and what we want to try to accomplish and continue to try to want to accomplish.”

Mississippi State faithful will get to see the “Air Raid” up close and personal for the first time Saturday as the Bulldogs host Arkansas for their first home game.