This particular victory followed a similar script to the Tigers' dominant performance against UAB a week ago. The offense continued the resurgence that has defined the early season with 571 total yards — a 10.4 yards per play average — while the defense stymied an overmatched Kent State offense through four quarters.
"I think that is what we needed to do," said LSU coach Les Miles. "We have to eliminate some of the mistakes, but all in all, a nice outing."
Just as it did last week, LSU went ahead 21-0 in the first quarter. It only took five plays for the Tigers to reach the end zone when Jeremy Hill, making his first start of the season, darted 58 yards for the opening touchdown.
LSU had the same result in each of its next two offensive possessions. Zach Mettenberger connected with Jarvis Landry for a 21-yard touchdown pass — one of three the LSU QB had on the night — to make it 14-0 and Hill scored for the second time on a 12-yard run shortly before the end of the quarter.
"The early starts have been great," said Mettenberger, who finished with 264 yards passing. "We just have to keep plowing away and stay consistent. We need to continue scoring every drive. There are moments when we get down and become lackadaisical, but we are going to get that right this week."
LSU ran for 349 yards through its first two games.
"We needed to have some tempo and feel for the running game," Miles said. "I feel like tonight was an example of what it's supposed to look like."
Meanwhile the defense did its job, limiting a Kent State offense lacking its star weapon Dri Archer to just 34 total yards in the first quarter.
Though Kent State did finish off a 75-yard touchdown drive early in the second quarter — bringing flashbacks of UAB's 17-point quarter last week — the LSU defense tightened up after that.
The only other time Kent State ventured into LSU territory in the first half was on a muffed punt return by Travin Dural. But the Golden Flashes had to settle for a field goal on that drive making it 31-10 at halftime.
The Tigers didn't surrender much else in the second half either. The only Kent State dent on the scoreboard was a 36-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
"We just have to focus on what we have to do," said sophomore CB Jalen Mills. "Sometimes we may get relaxed, and that's when the offense may be running tempo. We really have to focus now and play defense all four quarters like we should."
With one purple-jersey game in the rearview mirror, LSU can now turn its attention to an SEC opponent with Auburn coming into Baton Rouge next week. Though Miles admits there are things to work on, like his team's 11 penalties Saturday, he is pleased with what they've accomplished through three games.
"We are on pace," Miles said. "We are minus a couple SEC games of where we need to be. I think it will be a great test next week."
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