LSU freshman wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. put a new take on the phrase “Bend it like Beckham” Saturday in the No. 1-ranked Tigers’ 35-7 win over Kentucky.
On third-and-10 at the LSU 49, quarterback Jarrett Lee found Beckham, curling back against zone coverage, at the Kentucky 37 near the Tigers’ sideline.
Beckham slipped one defender then another and another, five in all as he tacked back across the field to complete a 51-yard scoring play to give LSU a 14-0 halftime lead.
“I just wanted to get in the open field and make people miss,” said Beckham, who led LSU with three catches for 75 yards. “Rueben (Randle) made a nice block at the end (on the right side of the field) to help me score.”
A true freshman from Newman in New Orleans, Beckham now leads LSU in catches for 20 receptions for 268 yards and two touchdowns. He was on the receiving end of a 52-yard Lee touchdown pass during the previous Saturday’s 47-21 win at West Virginia.
“I definitely didn’t expect this,” said Beckham, whose father played football for LSU and whose mother, Heather Van Norman, was an LSU All-American track athlete. “It’s kind of a surreal feeling. Everything I dreamed about is happening.”
Having him to throw to has been something of a dream for Lee, too.
“He’s been great,” Lee said. “He’s a real smart football player. He’s doing a great job for us now.”
• Tailback Spencer Ware sat out most of the game with a hamstring pull, finishing with just four carries for 5 yards. Ware remained dressed out, and LSU coach Les Miles said he could have returned if needed.
• Offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert sat out the game after suffering a concussion at West Virginia. Miles said he believes Hebert can be back next week.
• Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith started the second half for an ineffective Morgan Newton but went out with back and jaw injuries when he was sacked by LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu and fumbled, with Mathieu returning it for a touchdown.
• UK defensive tackle Mark Crawford suffered a sprained shoulder and linebacker Ridge Wilson will need an X-ray on a finger on his right hand, coach Joker Phillips said.
Magee makes good
With Ware injured, LSU decided to take the potential redshirt off Terrence Magee, a 5-foot-9, 212-pound freshman.
The former Franklinton quarterback was the Tigers’ second-leading rusher with 12 carries for 38 yards, including a 1-yard for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Also seeing their first action were sophomore safety Sam Gibson and junior snapper Austin Kinchen, a third-generation Tiger following his father, Brian, and grandfather, Gus.
In the noonday sun
LSU fans still aren’t fond of daytime home games, but they definitely aren’t the “curse” they used to be.
LSU evened its record in Tiger Stadium day games since 1960 with Saturday’s win. The ledger now stands at 25-25-3.
The Tigers are 9-4 in home day games under Miles and 14-6 at home during the day since 2000.
LSU is 220-60-4 in home night games since 1960.
LSU will try to improve on its home daytime record Saturday when it hosts No. 12 Florida in a 2:30 p.m. game on CBS.
From a broadcast booth on the southwest end of the press box, a south Louisiana radio station made history Saturday by airing the first ever Spanish-speaking LSU football broadcast from Tiger Stadium.
KDDK-FM, 105.5 (Baton Rouge area) and KGLA-FM, 105.7/KGLA-AM, 1540 (New Orleans area) provided the coverage for Spanish-speaking listeners.
“Latinos are catching up with American football, especially in big cities like San Antonio, Houston, Miami,” said Ernesto Schweikert, general manager of KGLA and KDDK radio. “Even the NFL has recognized the Hispanic market as a new emerging market.”
KDDK/KGLA specializes in Spanish music, news, sports and special events. The station broadcast New Orleans Saints games in Spanish from 1992-94.
For Saturday’s game, Schweikert joined former LSU linebacker Carlos Hornbrook and James Vilas on the call.
A native of Ecuador, Hornbrook was a member of LSU’s Orange Bowl team in 1982; Vilas, a 1985 LSU graduate, played for the school’s men’s soccer club.
KDDK/KGLA is slated to broadcast the Sept. 12 LSU-Western Kentucky game and hopes to air other LSU home games as well.
In a game when UK struggled to move the ball most of the day, the Wildcats’ MVP may have been punter Ryan Tydlacka.
The senior from Louisville, Ky., punted 10 times for an average of 42.4 yards, including a season long of 64. Eight of his kicks were not returned.
LSU linebacker Josh Johns, who was reinstated after a grand jury chose not to charge him last week for his alleged involvement in an Aug. 19 bar fight, did not play Saturday. … LSU is 15-3 when ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll. … LSU honored its 1961 and 1986 SEC champions before the game and recognized NCAA golf champions Austin Ernst and John Peterson during the first half. … LSU leads the series 39-16-1. The teams are supposed to play next year in Lexington, Ky., but the 2012 SEC schedule has not been finalized because of Texas A&M’s addition to the conference. … UK is 3-10 against No. 1-ranked AP teams, including a 43-37 win over LSU in 2007.
Advocate sportswriters Scott Rabalais, Scott Hotard and Les East contributed to this report.