Malachi Dupre knows what it feels like. That’s why the sophomore receiver chased down Tyron Johnson to congratulate him on his first collegiate touchdown.
Dupre was the first player to accompany Johnson in the end zone as he celebrated his 61-yard receiving score that gave No. 4 LSU a three-touchdown cushion against Western Kentucky last Saturday night.
“I remember when I made my first touchdown. I know the emotion that he was going through, and he made a huge play in a big game,” Dupre said. “He ran right past me, so I grabbed him from the back and said, ‘Hey man, congratulations. That’s all I wanted to tell you. Just enjoy your moment.’”
Johnson’s touchdown grab capped a 20-point third quarter that allowed the Tigers (7-0) to pull away from the pesky Hilltoppers (6-2), who trailed only 14-7 at halftime before losing 48-20.
LSU faced a third-and-long following a sack of sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris at the 39-yard line. Harris bounced around in the pocket and chucked a deep ball for the 6-foot-1 Johnson, who snatched it away from the defender and ran the remaining 20 yards to score.
The former composite five-star recruit had caught only three passes for six yards prior to Saturday night.
“It’s always great seeing another receiver get in the end zone, but for a freshman to finally get his first touchdown, it’s a great feeling,” junior receiver Travin Dural said. “...I know he’s extremely happy.”
Dupre said Johnson is adjusting well to the No. 3 receiver role. His teammates are excited to watch as he continues developing, and Johnson notching his first touchdown is a crucial step in that process.
“Before you get the first one, it’s like ‘I haven’t scored yet,’” Dupre said. “But once it finally happens, you say ‘I’ve got my first one under my belt, so let me keep getting better.’”
White named semifinalist for Thorpe Award
LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White has been named one of the 16 semifinalists for the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back, the award announced on Monday.
White has started six of LSU’s seven games at cornerback and has recorded 22 tackles and three pass breakups. White also doubles as LSU’s punt returner where he’s averaging 11.4 yards on nine returns. He returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown in a 34-24 win over Syracuse on Sept. 26.
White’s status for the game against Alabama is uncertain. He injured his knee at practice last Monday and missed the game against Western Kentucky.
LSU hadn’t seen an offense as pass-happy as WKU’s in more than four years. Quarterback Brandon Doughty completed 37 of 61 passes, the most completions or attempts against the Tigers since West Virginia’s Geno Smith went 38-of-65 on Sept. 24, 2011.
Doughty threw for 62 yards less than his per-game average, but Smith turned his high volume of throws into 463 yards in a 47-21 loss.