HOUSTON — Cam Cameron strutted along the sideline with play sheet in hand, and D.J. Chark raced 79 yards for a touchdown.
Trey Quinn caught a 46-yard pass, and Tre’Davious White played some safety.
Les Miles followed last month’s job-security drama with some ole Mad Hatter surprises in the Texas Bowl.
The result: LSU 56, Texas Tech 27.
The No. 22 Tigers (9-3) rolled up 638 yards of offense — gaining some in peculiar ways — and LSU’s defense suffocated the pass-heavy Red Raiders (7-6) just enough, finishing a wacky 2015 season by winning a late-night shootout Tuesday.
“Our guys did a heck of a job, and I think our preparation was as good as we’ve had,” Cameron said after the game. “A lot of things played out the way we wanted it to. Everybody contributed.”
“Hell of a game,” Miles said.
Running back Leonard Fournette ran for 212 yards and four scores, caught a touchdown pass and broke the LSU single-season record for rushing TDs.
All of that was normal and expected.
-- Chark, a little-used sophomore receiver, had a 79-yard scoring run on an end-around on the first play of LSU’s third drive.
-- Cameron called plays from the sideline for the first time in his three-year tenure as offensive coordinator.
-- Quinn, another little-used sophomore receiver, more than doubled his receiving yards in the previous 11 games with his 47-yard grab.
-- And White, the Tigers’ cornerback and projected first- or second-round draft pick, played safety at times.
In front of a sellout crowd of 71,307, Cameron and his offense roared against a defense that was one of the worst in the nation. LSU scored its most points this season and finished with its most yards. Brandon Harris threw for more than 250 yards, and four players had at least 40 receiving yards.
Receiver Malachi Dupre, the one-time five-star recruit, shined with leading receiver Travin Dural out with injury. He caught four passes for 94 yards, making two highlight-reel plays.
Fournette excelled, as many expected, against the nation’s second-worst rushing defense. He picked up a fourth 200-yard game this season and a 10th 100-yard outing in 12 games.
“Tonight was productive,” Fournette said. “Our focus was to win the game and boost us for next season, and we did an excellent job.”
His five touchdowns tied the NCAA bowl record for scores from scrimmage, and he broke a half-dozen tackles on the way to a banner day in a game that ended at 11:49 p.m.
The Tigers needed him in this scoring mess. Tech entered with the top passing offense in the nation and the second-best offense overall. Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns, and LSU needed a key play in the third quarter to change momentum.
With the Tigers nursing a 28-20 lead, White tipped a pass from Mahomes, and Rickey Jefferson — another surprising star — picked it off at the goal line.
“That was a big turning point,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
“I just leaned over to that side and made a play on the ball,” Jefferson said.
The Tigers’ hot offense answered. They got a clutch 39-yard reception from Dupre on the next drive, and then Harris hit Quinn for that long pass to set up one of Fournette’s four rushing touchdowns.
LSU scored again the next series on Harris’ 26-yard designed keeper, grabbing a 42-20 lead with 9 seconds left in the third quarter to clear out a once-packed NRG Stadium — all the while Cameron graced the sideline.
Cameron spent much of his NFL career calling plays from the sideline. Miles wanted to move him to the sideline this season, but his health — he had successful surgery for prostate cancer in August — scrapped that plan.
Offensive lineman Vadal Alexander said Cameron told him “two or three days ago” that he’d be on the sideline. What spawned the move? Miles said Harris requested that Cameron be there.
“There’s nothing like being in the action,” Cameron said. “It was good. It was good to be able to communicate with the receivers, running backs, coaches and O-line. Being able to sit there and get more thoughts from Brandon. I could look in his eye.”
Said Miles: “Cam being down was exactly the right thing.”
Kendell Beckwith had 2.5 sacks, Davon Godchaux had 2 and Deion Jones had 1 as the Tigers used that old 3-2-6 Mustang defense against spread-crazed Tech.
“We knew they passed the ball pretty efficiently,” Jones said. “Our guys were going 100 percent and giving max effort on every play.”
The swarming defensive front held Tech to 399 yards — nearly 200 under its season average — helping guarantee the Tigers a Top-25 ranking to end the season. LSU will finish in the Top 25 for the ninth time in Miles’ 11 seasons, and the Tigers hit the nine-win mark for the ninth time.
Players and coaches celebrated on a late night in the nation’s fourth-largest city and within the Houston Texans’ plush stadium. They swarmed around a makeshift stage at midfield during the trophy presentation.
Seniors Jamie Keehn, Alexander and Jones — permanent team captains — stood on the stage with Miles and Fournette, the MVP. Thousands of Tigers fans lingered and roared as Miles addressed them and slipped on a Texas Bowl baseball cap.
Fournette visited with family and friends, donning a cowboy hat — all smiles on a surprising night in Houston that will propel the Tigers into the offseason. LSU currently has the second-ranked 2016 recruiting class.
That might just get better after Tuesday night’s rousing win on ESPN.
“It’s awesome,” said Frank Wilson, LSU’s running backs coach and recruiting coordinator.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.