The connection was made for the first time back on Nov. 29, 2013.
Now, the duo of sophomores Anthony Jennings and Travin Dural can’t stop scoring.
After hitting an 80-yard pass with 4:47 remaining in the first quarter against Wisconsin in LSU’s season opener Aug. 30 — the third-longest passing play in program history — the two Tigers decided to one-up themselves against Sam Houston State on Saturday night.
It didn’t take long. On the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage, Jennings hit Dural for a 94-yard touchdown pass, the longest in LSU history.
Dural finished the night with three catches for 140 yards and three touchdowns. He said he and his sophomore teammate had been working on their chemistry since Jennings first stepped on campus.
“We work on it every day in practice and after practice,” Dural said. “After practice, we’ll stay and throw for 20 or 30 minutes. It shows how hard we’ve been working. Ever since (Jennings arrived), we’ve been working to get better. We have the chemistry… and it’s paying off.”
The sophomores faced a daunting task entering this season: They had to help replace the most prolific passing attack in Tigers history. After the losses of quarterback Zach Mettenberger and wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., Jennings and Dural had to become physical and emotional leaders for a relatively young offense.
Through two games, Jennings is tightening his grip on the starting role over freshman Brandon Harris, and Dural has performed admirably as a No. 1 option, making six receptions for 291 yards and four scores.
Dural said the receiving corps has done well despite those offseason losses.
“We know what we had to do,” Dural said. “We knew what the fans expected. We weren’t going to settle for giving them anything less.”
More from Harris
Harris had a quiet opening contest against Wisconsin, but he rebounded Saturday, taking advantage of his dual-threat skills.
Harris rushed for 53 yards on five carries, including a 46-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. He also fumbled twice on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter.
Coach Les Miles said his rookie quarterback still has room to grow as a runner.
“His cuts and the way he ran the football I think really kind of describe (his ability),” Miles said. “He needs to be more north and south when carrying the ball. It’s like saying, ‘Other than the terrible accident he had, how do you think he played?’ I think he played pretty well.”
The Tigers are No. 9 in the coaches poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25, both released Sunday.
LSU, 12th in each poll last week, has its first top-10 ranking since October — before the loss at Ole Miss. LSU is the fifth-highest ranked Southeastern Conference team in the poll, trailing No. 2/3 Alabama, No. 5/5 Auburn, No. 6/6 Georgia and No. 8/7 Texas A&M.
Florida State remained at No. 1 in both polls, receiving 51 of the 62 first-place votes in the coaches and 38 of the 60 votes in the AP poll. Oregon received 16 first-place votes in the AP poll.
LSU hosts Louisiana-Monroe (2-0) on Saturday before opening conference play with a game at home against Mississippi State.
It was the touchdown celebration seen around the world. Or at least around the college football world.
When LSU freshman running back Leonard Fournette struck a Heisman Trophy pose following his first career touchdown in the first quarter against Sam Houston State, everything from Twitter to television broadcasts exploded with critiques and criticism.
Senior right guard Evan Washington said he didn’t see what all the fuss was about.
“I liked it, personally,” he said. “He has the talent for it, and I see one (for him) in the future. He’s a humble guy, but sometimes emotions get the best of you. Just let your personality shine.”