Derrius Guice said his wisdom teeth weren’t going to hold him back.
He was right.
As late as Thursday this week, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he was unsure if LSU’s starting running back was going to play in Saturday’s season opener because of an issue with his wisdom teeth.
But Guice didn’t just play, he was the driving force behind LSU’s offense for most of the night.
Guice ran for 120 yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns in a 27-0 win over BYU at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Earlier this week, after missing several days of practice, Guice said he was “100 percent” for the game and believed he would play.
“My teeth aren’t holding me back,” Guice said. “I don’t care if they pull all of them out. I’ll be ready this week.”
The bulk of Guice's workload came early in the night with 20 carries by halftime.
Guice said he wasn't expecting to run the ball that much, and had no idea the Tigers ran the ball 57 total times on Saturday, but was excited for the chance to do so.
"It all happened so fast I didn't realize I had that many. I thought I was around 10 (at half)," Guice said. "When I saw I was at 20 I was like 'Damn, we're running a lot.'"
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His performance is also the 11th straight nonconference game an LSU running back has broken 100 yards on the ground.
Guice was one of the few Tigers to break into the end zone Saturday night, scoring LSU’s first two touchdowns of the game.
Darrel Williams was the only other players to cross the goal line when he punched it in from a yard out in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand. He finished the night with 92 yards on 15 carries.
"I thought (Guice) played great," Orgeron said. "I thought Darrel played great. I thought the offensive line played great. Derrius, as we know, is a physical back. But there's some things where we can get better. I'd like to throw him the ball more out of the backfield."
The first score of the night, a 4-yard run up the middle early in the second quarter, was particularly special for Guice who, on that run, surpassed Billy Cannon for No. 16 on LSU’s all-time rushing list with 1,824 yards.
Cannon played three seasons at LSU and is the school’s only Heisman Trophy winner.
"I don't care about that," Guice said. "I'm just here to win ball games."
According to a tweet from the program’s official account, Guice and Cannon met earlier this year where Cannon told the young player “I’m the only one so far. ... Just waiting on you.”
Guice’s second score of the night was a 1-yard run up the middle again, this time with a large hole opened up by center Will Clapp and left guard Garrett Brumfield.
The pair of scores puts Guice at 20 rushing touchdowns for his career.
Saturday night was a strong start for the junior running back who received significant Heisman Trophy interest heading into the season after rushing for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns last season while splitting carries with Leonard Fournette.
His yardage against BYU is only the seventh most in his career with his best game coming against Texas A&M last season with a school record 285 rushing yards and four touchdowns.