By DAVID BRANDT, AP Sports Writer 10 hours, 34 minutes ago It never happened.LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee, filling in for suspended Jordan Jefferson,completed 21 of 27 passes for 213 yards, included a 19-yard touchdown pass toRueben Randle early in the fourth quarter that gave the Tigers a 16-6 lead.“Rueben made a great route—it was just a matter of putting it out therefor him,” Lee said. “I feel like I’m becoming a more mature player. Reallydeveloping.”Lee’s night was filled with conservative, but nearly perfect passes all overthe field. Then in a crucial moment, his strike to Randle hushed a raucousMississippi State crowd.His only real mistake was an interception minutes later, but as it had allgame, LSU’s defense stuffed Mississippi State with little trouble. LSU (3-0, 1-0Southeastern Conference) held the Bulldogs (1-2, 0-2) to two field goals.“It was really fun to see,” LSU coach Les Miles said.Despite Mississippi State’s cowbells providing an ever-present backdrop, LSUwon its 12th straight game in the series dating to 1999.The loss continued Mississippi State’s frustration against SEC WesternDivision rivals. The Bulldogs are 2-10 against the West, with both of those winscoming against rival Ole Miss. It’s been a tough six days for Mississippi State,which lost to Auburn 41-34 on Saturday.Lee’s success is quickly making LSU fans forget about Jefferson, theexpected starter who has been suspended all season after being arrested for hisalleged role in a bar fight in August. Lee wasn’t necessarily spectacular, buthe didn’t have to be, calmly managing the game and hitting open receivers whenopportunities arose.It’s a stark contrast from his freshman season in 2008, when Lee threw 16interceptions, including seven that were returned for touchdowns. Since thosetough days he’s spent most of the time on the bench. Now with a new opportunity,he’s taking full advantage.It helps that LSU’s running game continues to be Lee’s best friend. SpencerWare rushed for 107 yards on 22 carries.LSU was its own worst enemy much of the game before its late-game breakout.In a particularly brutal stretch in the third quarter, the Tigers committed fivepenalties in less than nine minutes, losing 67 yards in the process. Lee’sinterception gave Mississippi State newfound life after falling behind by 10points.But LSU’s defense was good enough to make up for all those transgressions,constantly putting pressure on Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf anddisrupting the Bulldogs’ vaunted running game, which had gained at least 300yards rushing in each of the season’s first two games.MSU’s Vick Ballard managed just 38 yards on 10 carries, while Relf rushedfor 10 yards on 16 carries. Relf was benched for Tyler Russell late in the game,but the sophomore didn’t have any success either.“We didn’t get into a rhythm,” Mullen said. “… We got behind and had tothrow the ball and play their game. Our playmakers have to make plays. We willbe all right—our guys always bounce back.”As expected, the game was bruising from the outset. Relf was thrown to theturf on a sack by LSU’s Kendrick Adams on the second play of the game, and thetone never changed for either team.Though both teams are known for their run-first approach, the quarterbackshad a surprising amount of success, especially in the first half. Lee completed13 of 15 passes for 128 yards in the first half and Relf countered with 9 of 11completions for 78 yards.But that success bogged down once either offense entered the red zone, withboth teams having to settle for field goals that did little to alter momentum.LSU scored first after a 16-play, 77-yard drive ended in Drew Alleman’s21-yard field goal. Mississippi State answered with their own bruising 14-play,57-yard drive, capped by Derek DePasquale’s 26-yard field goal.LSU took a 6-3 lead into halftime after Alleman drilled a 42-yard field goalwith 1:18 left in the second quarter.The field goal parade continued in the second half, with DePasquale’s42-yarder tying the game at 6 in the third quarter. Alleman answered with a41-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 9-6 lead with 1:46 remaining.Finally, LSU was able to break through with Lee’s touchdown throw to Randle,which quieted the cowbells.“We went into half saying ‘We took some 3s, but they need to be 7s,”’Miles said. “But the way our defense was playing, that almost wasn’tnecessary.”By the end of the game, the small contingent of LSU fans in the corner ofthe stadium was chanting “This is our State,” a not-so-subtle jab atMississippi State’s marketing campaign that is constantly shown on Davis WadeStadium’s massive jumbotron.