SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Receiver Travin Dural sulked out of LSU’s locker room and onto the playing field for postgame interviews.
He didn’t make eye contact much. He dragged his feet and walked slowly. He looked downright depressed.
Maybe it’s because of all of those flags.
“We kept getting penalties,” Dural said.
No. 8 LSU beat Syracuse 34-24 on Saturday at the Carrier Dome despite a laundry list of miscues that had some players gloomy afterward and coach Les Miles frustrated.
“We’ve got to fix things,” the coach said afterward.
The Tigers rolled up 14 penalties for 120 yards. They extended Syracuse drives, stopped their own and kept running back Leonard Fournette from having the best rushing performance in school history.
An illegal formation – not enough men on the line of scrimmage – negated an 87-yard touchdown run from Fournette on a play Miles says he’s “sooo interested” in seeing on the game replay. The flag dropped late.
A holding call negated a 20-plus yard run for Fournette, who finished with 244 yards rushing, just seven shy of breaking the school’s single-game mark.
“Leonard Fournette probably has another 120 yards if we’re not penalized,” Miles said after the game. “I’m sure they took off at least 10 points for penalties. Probably 150 yards. I’m frustrated that we’re not better. We’ll take a more aggressive approach to teaching.”
LSU had five false starts, three personal fouls, two holding calls and two flags for pass interference.
“A lotta flags. Lotta lotta flags,” linebacker Kendell Beckwith said.
“We just got to learn from it,” defensive end Lewis Neal said.
Syracuse had just 281 yards of offense but scored three touchdowns. The reason: the flags.
Neal was responsible for one of the critical flags. His helmet was knocked off, and he continued to play – something not allowed. The personal foul penalty negated a sack and extended a Syracuse drive that ended in a 40-yard touchdown from the Orange’s walk-on quarterback, Zack Mahoney, to receiver Brisly Estime.
LSU committed two false start penalties on second-and-3s. The Tigers had a false start on first-and-goal from the 9, backing them up to the 14. They eventually settled for a field goal. One drive began with a false start.
A pass interference flag on freshman Kevin Toliver negated an interception in the end zone and eventually led to a Syracuse touchdown. An illegal block on a punt hput LSU in a hole, starting at its own 6-yard line.
Linebacker Deion Jones was called for a late hit that led to a touchdown, and LSU committed an off-sides penalty on defense that gave Syracuse a third-and-5 instead of third-and-10.
“We had too many mistakes and too many penalties,” safety Jamal Adams said.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.