OXFORD, Miss. - LSU cornerback Ron Brooks has intercepted three passes in his college career. All three have ended with the senior from Irving, Texas, crossing the goal line.
In his latest pick-for-points routine, Brooks corralled a gift of a lob pass by Ole Miss starter Zack Stoudt on the third offensive play from scrimmage, scooted to the far sideline and jetted 46 yards to the end zone, giving No. 1 LSU a seven-point lead 28 seconds into the game.
“He was trying to get the ball to the running back but overthrew him a little bit,” Brooks said. “My blockers led me to the end zone.”
To say Stoudt overthrew Baton Rouge native Brandon Bolden “a little bit” is like saying LSU was a little too much for Ole Miss in a 52-3 whitewash at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
The ball floated aimlessly, trouble for the Rebels from the time it took flight.
But everything Brooks, an erstwhile high-school quarterback, did after corralling his second interception of the season was a credit to the reserve defensive back’s renowned explosiveness.
And it set the tone.
“The opportunity to have a defensive score early in the game was really an indication of how the game went for our opponent,” LSU coach Les Miles said.
Later in the first quarter, Brooks sacked Stoudt, stripped the ball and recovered it, setting up a Jordan Jefferson touchdown pass for a 21-0 lead.
Sophomore linebacker Kevin Minter gave the Tigers their second defensive score when, with 13:25 to play in the first half, he pounced on a fumbled exchange in the end zone for a 28-0 lead.
That’s how it went for an LSU defense that has been one of the nation’s most opportunistic.
“We’re sitting back watching, and they’re in there doing everything for us,” running back Michael Ford said. “It takes all the pressure off.”
The speedy Brooks has shown a penchant for such things.
As a junior last year, he made his first career interception against Louisiana-Monroe and took it 32 yards for a touchdown. Earlier this season, he stepped in front of a pass against Auburn and raced 26 yards for a touchdown, a memorable moment for the senior in his only career start.
“Everybody in the secondary runs a 4.3, 4.4 or better, so it’s going to be hard to catch any of them once they get their hands on the ball,” Minter said. “All we have to do pretty much is just get in the way of somebody and they have a real good chance of taking it all the way back.”