So much for a chink in the armor of the LSU defense.
A week after giving up 463 passing yards in a win over West Virginia, the Tigers' defense completely stymied Kentucky's anemic offense in a 35-7 win at Tiger Stadium.
Jarrett Lee completed 8 of 21 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown on a wind-blown day for No. 1 LSU (5-0), which had an easy day while preparing for next week's showdown with No. 12 Florida. LSU avoided the the upset that hit the top-ranked Tigers in 2007 when they lost at Lexington the week after reaching No. 1.
"We repaid a debt for that team," head coach Les Miles said.
But Lee's day was overshadowed by the return of Jordan Jefferson, who saw his first action of the season, scoring a first-half touchdown on his first play of the season and later directing a drive.
LSU's offense was sluggish much of the day regardless of quarterback, but it mattered little against an anemic Wildcats offense, which went without a first down on its first six possesions and without a completed pass until just before halftime.
Most of Kentucky's 155 yards came after LSU had already built a 35-0 fourth quarter lead. The Tigers wreaked havoc all day, creating negative-yardage plays on 10 of 64 Kentucky plays.
"I really felt our defense came out and set the tone of the day," Miles said.
If the story wasn't the defense, it was the return of Jefferson. The senior returning starter was allowed back on the team Wednesday after assault charges against him for his role in an August bar fight were reduced to a misdemeanor.
Jefferson entered the game for the first time to a chorus of boos on a fourth-and-1 from the Kentucky 1. LSU called timeout because it had too many players on the field, then after the timeout, Jefferson scored on a quarterback sneak for LSU's first score of the game.
"I enjoyed the fact that Jordan Jefferson added his skills to our team in certain situations," said Miles, who said he could not understand the boos from the crowd for a player "giving his best" for the Tigers.
Jefferson's score was a rare rushing highlight early for the Tigers, who slowly took over as the game wore on. LSU's third running back, Alfred Blue, had 72 yards on 15 carries to lead the team. Leading rusher Spencer Ware sat out most of the day with a hamstring issue and starting guard T-Bob Hebert sat out with a leg injury.
After a slow start, LSU finished with 179 rushing yards on 46 carries.
"He could have played," Miles said of Ware. He anticipated that Ware "will be fiine." He also said "I think T-Bob will be back this week, but I don't know."
Lee completed a 51-yard second touchdown pass to Odell Beckham, Jr., who momentarily electrified a sleepy morning crowd with nifty moves after a 15-yard catch to turn it into a touchdown.
Otherwise was a slow day for the passing game.
Saturday continued the banner season for LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who stripped UK backup quarterback Maxwell Smith on a sack in the third quarter, picked up the ball and ran it 23 yards for a touchdown that gave LSU a 28-0 lead, basically putting the game away.
It was one of two forced fumbles on the day for Mathieu, who has a school-record nine forced fumbles in just 18 career games.
LSU also got short touchdown runs from Blue and Terrance Magee, who saw his first action at tailback and rushed 12 times for 38 yards.
"I felt that we rushed the ball well in the second half," Miles said. "They committed a lot of guys to stopping the run in the first half, so we threw the ball pretty effectively in the first 30 minutes."
Magee saw his first college action and made an impression.
"We think Magee is going to be a heck of a player and we wanted to get his career started," Miles said. "We've been talking about it for the past couple of weeks
Kentucky (2-3) scored on a 4-yard pass from Morgan Newton to Matt Roark late in the fourth quarter.
But before that, UK struggled to keep a defense off to a good start off the field.
"Our offense cannot do that to our defense," Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said. "We can't go three-and-out, three-and-out, and three-and-out."
LSU took a 14-0 lead to halftime after a first half where most of LSU's 201 yards came on six mostly long Lee completions for 201 yards, including the long touchdown pass to Beckham in the second quarter.
"It could have easily been a 3-0 game at the half, but we gave up some big plays," Phillips said.