It was a fade route to the right corner of the north end zone as KJ Costello released a spiraling football through the air. Mitchell just had to put his arms out to catch the inch perfect pass, stayed in bounds and caught the winning touchdown for MSU.
"He wanted to take the shot knowing the DB wouldn't expect it on 3rd and 10," Mitchell said. "So it was a perfect ball, and I ran a great route."
Catch after catch, Osirus Mitchell stepped up multiple times for the Bulldogs to make plays as the senior from Sarasota, Florida shed the past two years of inconsistent play to have one of the biggest games of his career.
Meanwhile, KJ Costello, a graduate transfer quarterback from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, stole the show by slinging the football around to his teammates in shining maroon helmets, reminiscent of their 2014 win over LSU where Dak Prescott so famously stiff-armed an LSU defender to the turf and proceeded to score a touchdown.
Mitchell was the one who led the receiving corp from the kickoff to the final interception of the game. He said before the game he felt it was going to be special with the Air Raid system.
"I knew this was the type of offense we were going to have just from the practices," Mitchell said. "All the workouts we had, everyone bought in, so we knew it was going to be something special. KJ is one of the biggest leaders I have ever seen. Even when he fumbled that ball he was still laughing and happy, cheering everybody up. It was like he knew we were going to get the outcome we wanted."
This season is the first football season since Da'Runnya "Bear" Wilson was found dead in his residence by Birmingham police. Wilson was a part of that 2014 team that led the Bulldogs to wins over LSU and Auburn as they reached the top of the college football world and held the rank of No.1 before losses to Alabama and Ole Miss. The team did not think much about that 2014 win, however. Mitchell said they were focused on winning the task at hand— a mission accomplished in part because of their conditioning regimen.
"Those guys on the field were saying 'Oh, I'm so tired. I'm so tired,'" Mitchell said. "We were just laughing it off. So that definitely played a huge part in the win."
Wilson had four catches and 91 yards in that 2014 victory. The game also put Dak Prescott onto the national radar as he was in the Heisman race from that moment until the Alabama game.
Costello stepped up in a similar moment recovering from four fumbles and two interceptions to lead the Bulldogs to victory in Baton Rouge. Leach said the way Costello handled that adversity was one of the best he has seen.
"He just came out swinging and was composed. He didn't force things," Leach said. "It wasn't perfect, but these guys are a little challenging. These guys that play at LSU, they get invited to play everywhere."
Both Costello and Mitchell had big games with Costello throwing for 623 yards, a SEC record, and Mitchell catching for 183 yards.
"I'm speechless about everything today," Costello said. "If you had told me a year ago I would be sitting here today, it is crazy. A year ago I couldn't even throw the football."
Costello had been hurt in his 2019 season at Stanford. Now a year later, he is being mentioned in the same sentence as Dak Prescott for breaking his passing yards record.
An obvious turnaround from when MSU last played at LSU in 2018, Mitchell said the win over the Tigers was huge for the team's confidence, especially after their passing woes in the past few seasons.
"It was very soothing to me," Mitchell said. "This was by far one of the hardest offseasons that we have had. KJ is a great leader and is good at bringing everyone together. I think this offseason is going to put us ahead of a lot of other players and teams."