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LSU quarterback Danny Etling (16) celebrates with LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark (82) after Chark scored a touchdown in the first quarter against Mississippi State, Saturday, September 17, 2016, at LSU in Baton Rouge, La.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

D.J. Chark finally scored a touchdown — a receiving touchdown, that is.

The junior wide receiver caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Danny Etling in the first quarter, which was LSU’s first touchdown of the game. It was the first time the Tigers had scored in the first quarter this season.

Chark finished with three catches for 52 yards.

"I knew I had deep post on the play, and I knew what Malachi (Dupre's) assignment was," Chark said. "And he did a good job of taking his guy, so it was one-on-one. And Danny threw a great ball. I was just trying to look it in until the tuck like coach always tells me and try to get my feet in bounds."

Chark’s first touchdown of his career, a 79-yard rushing touchdown, came on an end-around against Texas Tech in last season's Texas Bowl.

Chark was heavily involved in the offense throughout the first half, lining up in the Tigers' two-receiver sets instead of Dupre. 

During its broadcast, ESPN noted that Dupre, who had three receptions for 37 yards in the first half and even attempted a pass, benefitted by moving to the slot in three-receiver sets — after struggling earlier this season to make catches in an outside role.

"Just trying to see different talents and skills for Malachi, D.J. and Travin," coach Les Miles said. "Move those guys around and give it a different look."

Boutte starts at guard, sustains injury

Returning from a one-game suspension, right guard Josh Boutte resumed his role as a starter but went down in the second quarter with a left knee injury.

He returned for the start of the second half.

Miles suspended Boutte for a post-play hit on Wisconsin's D’Cota Dixon following Brandon Harris’ game-sealing interception in the Sept. 3 season opener.

But the offensive line saw plenty of movement in the first half because of injuries.

Though he did not miss a snap, left guard Will Clapp went down with an apparent right arm injury on the third offensive series. Then, on the fourth series, right tackle Toby Weathersby injured his right knee and walked gingerly off the field. He was replaced by Maea Teuhema.

Teuhema then moved back to guard when Boutte went down with the knee injury in the second quarter. Garrett Brumfield also saw action when Teuhema’s helmet came off late in the second quarter.

Left tackle K.J. Malone also limped off the field late in the third quarter with a "significant cramp," Miles said. In Malone's place, center Ethan Pocic moved to left tackle, and Andy Dodd came in at center. 

Weathersby did not return for the second half as Teuhema replaced him at right tackle. Miles said he expects all of the injured linemen to be ready for next week's game against Auburn.

"When stuff like that happens, it's not going to be perfect, but I thought we played physical," Pocic said. 

Plenty of prospects on hand

Between 50 and 70 high school prospects attended LSU’s Southeastern Conference opener against Mississippi State, said Shea Dixon, who covers LSU recruiting for 247Sports.

Dixon said the majority of LSU’s 20 commitments for the 2017 class were on hand. Although a large number of prospects were in Tiger Stadium, Dixon said this is a “low-key weekend” for LSU recruiting because there weren’t any official visitors.

Lagniappe

Freshman punter Bailey Raborn dressed out for the first time Saturday night after being arrested in July for suspicion of operating a vehicle while impaired and careless operation of a vehicle. ... LSU basketball legend and newly minted Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal was honored early in the second quarter. He has donated $200,000 to the victims of last month's Louisiana flood.