It was two quarterbacks, but no problems for LSU.
Jarrett Lee threw for 116 yards and two touchdowns to help LSU take a 10-point lead, then Jordan Jefferson led a physical second-half running bame with 73 rushing yards and another score as No. 1 LSU dominated Tennessee, 38-7 Saturday at Knoxville, Tenn, the Tigers' largest win ever over Tennessee.
LSU (7-0, 4-0 in the SEC) battered Tennessee for 260 rushing yards led by Spencer Ware's 80 yards on 23 carries. Ware scored touchdowns both rushing and receiving, the first LSU running back to do so since 2004. Jefferson did must of his running in the second half, getting his yards on 14 carries.
Lee completed 11 of 15 passes for LSU, throwing first-half touchdowns to Rueben Randle and Ware. In the second half, Jefferson led two touchdown drives (the first finished by Lee) as the Tigers' offensive line, played to a draw early by UT's defensive front, started to take over the game.
"I like using both quarterbacks," LSU coach Les Miles said. "I think it's what's best, it's what we need to do. I think both guys can do different things and we like to do that. We'll continue to do that. There's a want for both guys to have success and certainly have team success."
The Tigers held the ball for 38:19, running 69 plays to 48 for Tennessee (3-3, 0-3). LSU had 51 rush plays to just 18 passes, with seven players getting carries. The Tigers had 23 first downs to 11 for the Vols.
"I felt like our guys did the things they needed to do," Miles said. "It wasn't our best game, certainly, but I kind of felt like we did the things we needed to do to secure victory."
Lee played most of the first half, helping LSU jump to a 14-0 lead with the help of turnovers. An interception by Morris Claiborne killed a Tennessee drive with an interception of Matt Simms, returned 88 yards to set up Lee's 5-yard strike to Randle for the Tigers first score.
It was one of two interceptions for Simms, who was intercepted twice and just 6-for-20. The Volunteers had a decimated offense playing with Simms instead of injured starting quarterback Tyler Bray and star receiver Justin Hunter watching the game on crutches. Eric Reid also had an interception.
LSU took a 17-7 halftime lead, then totally controlled the second half with Jefferson leading the running game. The drive of the game was a 16-play, 99-yard march that ate up 8:44 of the third and fourth quarter with every offensive yard gained on the ground.
Jefferson's 3-yard touchdown run capped the drive and gave LSU a 31-7 lead that effectively put the game away.
Russell Shepard later added a 14-yard touchdown run, catching a swing pass that was ruled a lateral from Lee, and scoring.
"We ran the ball pretty good against a great defese," Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said. "But we just didn't get an opportunity in the second half. We only had two possessions."
Tennessee ran the ball effectively early with running back Tauren Poole rushing for 70 yards on 19 carries. But as LSU built its lead, the Vols had to leave the running game behind, if it had the ball at all.
But LSU ended up dominating the statistics, outgaining the Vols 383-239, and 222-66 in the second half.