Quarterback Anthony Jennings and wide receiver Travin Dural connected on a school-record touchdown on No. 12 LSU’s first offensive play from scrimmage to trigger a 35-point first half en route to a 56-0 victory Saturday over Sam Houston State.
Jennings’ 94-yard scoring pass to Dural, which was set by Dwayne Thomas’ interception, turned into a trend during the first half with the sophomore duo combining on scoring tosses of 28 and 18 yards, respectively, helping to put the game out of reach early.
LSU piled up 399 of its 586 total yards in the opening half and the Tigers rushed 57 times for 337 yards and four touchdowns.
Jennings completed 7 of 13 passes for 188 yards and three scores for touchdowns with all three of Dural’s catches going for TDs and 140 yards.
LSU pushed its lead to 13-0 in the game’s first five minutes – both on Jennings to Dural touchdown passes – before freshman running back Leonard Fournette capped the Tigers’ 20-point first quarter with a 4-yard score with 3:56 still to play.
Fournette’s 41-yard burst, a run that he cut back against the grain, was the longest of budding career with the former St. Augustine standout gaining a team-high 92 yards on 13 carries.
Dural’s third scoring catch was his most artistic, leaping and twisting into the air, bringing down Jennings’ pass for a 18-yard score for a 27-0 lead and polish off a 12-play, 80-yard drive.
True freshman quarterback Brandon Harris accounted for touchdowns in each half – an impressive second-half 46-yard scoring run – coupled with Kenny Hilliard’s two-point run that accounted for LSU’s first-half point production.
Harris threw his first collegiate touchdown with a perfectly thrown 8-yard pass to fellow true freshman Malachi Dupre on a fade route to the corner of the end zone with 13:08 remaining.
In between, true freshman running back Darrel Williams made his first appearance and scored his initial touchdown on a 1-yard run following Quay Bain’s fumble recovery and Hilliard (11-55) added a two-yard score.
What you need to know
1) Sam Houston tried crowding the line of scrimmage in the early stages of the game, opening up the outside and enabling Travin Dural to take advantage of man coverage as evidenced on his 94-yard TD reception.
2) LSU may have been erring on the side of caution but sat down three starters after injuries during the first half. Starting linebacker Kwon Alexander didn’t make it out of the first quarter and was replaced by Deion Jones. Center Ethan Pocic was replaced by Andy Dodd and fullback Connor Neighbors gave way to Melvin Jones.
3) LSU’s freshman influence was extremely pronounced with quarterback Brandon Harris running and throwing for touchdowns, running backs Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams each rushing for a scores and wide receiver Malachi Dupre catching his first TD.
4) For the second straight game LSU was opportunistic with turnovers. Dwayne Thomas and Rickey Jefferson came up with the Tigers third and fourth interceptions in two games, while defensive lineman Quay Bain returned from a one-game suspension to recover a fumble.
5) LSU’s defense registered six sacks, including the first two for true freshman defensive end Sione Teuhema, and ran their consecutive quarters without a touchdown allowed to five straight.