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LSU defensive end Davon Godchaux (57) sacks Missouri quarterback Drew Lock (3) in the second half, Saturday, October 1, 2016 at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. LSU won 42-7.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

LSU defensive end Davon Godchaux declined to discuss his arrest and three-day suspension in any detail. However, he was relieved to be back on the field with his teammates and in the starting lineup against Missouri.

“I really don’t want to talk about it, but I feel like it was a misunderstanding,” Godchaux said. “I'm just glad to be back with my teammates.”

Godchaux was arrested last Monday morning on misdemeanor counts of domestic abuse battery/child endangerment and false imprisonment, according to a police report. He was involved in a “tussle” with the mother of his 10-month-old child over "infidelity” in their relationship, the report said.

Due to conflicting statements by Godchaux’s girlfriend, East Baton Rouge district attorney Hillar Moore declined to file charges against Godchaux. LSU Interim coach Ed Orgeron announced Godchaux’s suspension had been lifted while on the Southeastern Conference teleconference on Wednesday.

Godchaux, who finished with three tackles including a sack, aided a dominant effort by the LSU defense in a 42-7 win Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. LSU (3-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) held Missouri, the SEC’s top-ranked offense entering the game, to 265 total yards.

Missouri's lone touchdown came on a double-reverse pass to quarterback Drew Lock, who finished with 167 passing yards and an interception, late in the fourth quarter.

Ranked No. 11 in scoring defense, LSU has only given up five touchdowns this season, which is tied for second nationally.

Though Godchaux felt like the suspension set him back, he was humbled by it, and practices on Wednesday and Thursday helped him prepare for MU's up-tempo offense.

“I was glad (and) blessed to play today with my brothers, to be out there with them and dominate against a top-ranked offense,” Godchaux said. “I was kind of upset because I missed Monday and Tuesday. I feel like I missed a beat; I missed a step, missing those two days. As a football player, you never want to miss days, especially facing a potent offense like Missouri.”

Finishing strong

Finally, LSU found the end zone in the fourth quarter. In fact, it found the end zone twice in the final frame against Missouri.

Having not scored a fourth-quarter touchdown in its four previous contests, Darrel Williams barreled into the end zone from 2 yards out with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Williams, notching his third score of the game, rumbled for a 9-yard touchdown at 4:32 mark of the final quarter.

“I challenged our guys to finish,” Orgeron said. “I told (offensive coordinator) Steve (Ensminger), ‘Let's go. Let's put the pedal to the metal.’ There's no question he wanted to do that. We would have scored more, if we could have.”

Plagued by slow second-half performances in its two previous wins, squandering a 20-point first half lead against Mississippi State, LSU matched its first-half output with 21 points in the second half Saturday.

“We haven’t really put a complete game together this year,” said fullback J.D. Moore. “So being able to have success in the second half as well, especially the fourth quarter, was huge for us when we – in the Mississippi State game – didn’t put any points on the board in the second half.”

Aside from tweaks to the offense from Orgeron and Ensminger, the LSU offense showed no signs of wearing down as the game wore on. Players attributed that to practicing less throughout the week.

“It was a little weird, honestly,” said tight end Colin Jeter. “It was the first time I had felt that fresh in a while. The team was excited and juiced, and everyone’s legs felt right. So we were energized and had a fun time.”

Kickoff woes

Included in his sweeping changes of the football program, Orgeron took assistant coach Bradley Dale Peveto off of coaching outside linebackers, wanting him to focus solely on special teams.

Orgeron understood LSU struggled with field position on punts and kickoffs, including kickoffs that went out of bounds.

But the first kickoff of his debut as coach didn’t go as planned.

Cameron Gamble’s opening kickoff against Mizzou sailed out of bounds, allowing the road Tigers to start at their own 35-yard line. It was the third time this season that one of Gamble’s kicks landed out of play.

Gamble didn’t have any miscues after that, recording two touchbacks, and Missouri's best field position after an LSU touchdown came at the 22-yard line late in the fourth quarter. Gamble began kicking the ball straight-away after the opening kickoff.

“The first one wasn't pretty, was it?” Orgeron quipped. “But coach (Peveto) made an adjustment on his landmark and that was good to see, I promise you.”

Lagniappe

Nine LSU players caught a pass against Mizzou, the first time that has happened since Sept. 7, 2013 against UAB. … Freshman cornerback Kristian Fulton saw his first action of the season Saturday night, coming in late in the second quarter. Fulton is now one 12 true freshmen who have played this season . … With the win against MU, LSU has now won its last eight games in the month of October, dating back to 2014. LSU also extended its flawless home record in October since 2009, having won its last 17 October matchups in Tiger Stadium. … Including Missouri, LSU has defeated the last six SEC East opponents it has played.