No. 9 LSU led by only six at halftime but pulled away in the second half for a 44-22 victory Saturday against Eastern Michigan.
The Tigers (4-0) once again rode Leonard Fournette to victory. He had a pair of touchdowns in that second half and once again surpassed the 200-yard mark, the first SEC player to do that in three straight games.
The defense forced three turnovers, including a pair of interceptions in the fourth quarter, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
LSU couldn’t have asked for a much better start. The Tigers scored touchdowns on both of their first two drives. The first consumed 73 yards on 8 plays, and ended with a 3-yard Fournette touchdown. The other went for 66 yards on just 4 plays, capped off by a 21-yard run from Brandon Harris.
The rest of LSU’s first half didn’t go as well.
The Tigers had two drives stall, forcing them to settle for field goals. Trent Domingue did make from 22 and 45 yards.
LSU also committed its first turnover of the season in that first half. Harris had the ball stripped as he was winding up to throw. EMU came up with the interception and returned it inside the LSU 5-yard line, scoring two plays later.
That made it a three-point game at the time after EMU had also scored a touchdown on its previous drive.
Domingue’s second field goal extended the lead to 20-14 shortly before halftime.
LSU started to pull away with the first play of the second half. Fournette took that opening handoff 75 yards for his second touchdown of the game.
The field goals returned later in the third quarter though. LSU had racked up 58 yards on seven plays before Malachi Dupre dropped what would’ve been a touchdown. Domingue made the 22-yarder to make it 30-14.
EMU didn’t quit though. The Eagles went 66 yards on 4 plays, including a 33-yard pass to set them up in the red zone. EMU scored on the next play with a 12-yard pass before making the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 30-22.
LSU went back to Fournette after that. He had all 5 carries on a 43-yard touchdown drive, capping it off with an 11-yarder for his third of the game.
Fournette would finish with 233 yards rushing, 18 yards shy of breaking the school record.
Deion Jones, who had a game-sealing interception against Syracuse, had another one Saturday. He picked off EMU QB Brogan Roback and returned it for the touchdown to make it a three-score game.
Kevin Toliver came up with his first career interception on the next EMU possession. LSU milked the clock the rest of the way to secure victory.