Tigers whip Wildcats in the desert

TUCSON, Ariz. – Some pregame prognosticators said it could be a close game – so what if they were a little off the mark. LSU left very little to the imagination Saturday night soundly whipping Arizona 59-13. <br><br> It's not like it mattered anyway that some predictions were a bit off the mark – a far cry from the 11-point spread that was set, Arizona fans didn't care. And it was obvious form the 9,000 empty seats at Wildcat Stadium.

Of the 46,110 that did take the time to show up, more than half were long gone by the time Devery Henderson gave the 13th-ranked Tigers a 38-0, second quarter lead on a 55-yard pass from backup quarterback Marcus Randall.


"I'm really pleased with how we came out and played in the first half," said LSU head coach Nick Saban. "I think we answered some questions tonight about being ranked so high and if we could play on the road. We came into someone's house and played dominant football."



LSU seized control of the game from the opening kickoff driving 80 yards on 15 plays capped by a 1-yard Joseph Addai touchdown run. The Tiger defense held the Wildcats to –5 yards of offense in the first quarter, while in the meantime, LSU generated 125 yards and a 17-0 lead in the first 15:00 of the game.


"LSU is a very good football team," said Arizona head coach John Mackovic. "We shouldn't take that for granted. They came and they played very well."

There is little doubt the Tigers played possibly their best half of football in Saban's tenure as head coach.


"I know we scored the first six times we had the ball," Saban said.


Leading 7-0, LSU forced the Wildcats into a three and out situation. Shyrone Carey put forth an impressive 35-yard return of an Arizona punt giving LSU field position at the Wildcat 29. Four plays netted no yards and the Tigers settled for a 47-yard, Ryan Gaudet field goal.


"When you jump on a team like that early in the ballgame, I think that affects a team psychologically, and that's what happened tonight," LSU head coach Nick Saban said after the win.


The LSU defense did not waste any time halting Arizona's next drive prematurely. On third and 10 from the UA 20, Wildcat quarterback Nic Costa has the ball stripped away by linebacker Lionel Turner. Kirston Pittman pounced on the loose ball at the Arizona nine and two plays later the Tigers were back in the end zone on a 1-yard dive by Addai. Gaudet's extra point put LSU on top 17-0.


Again the Wildcats could get nothing going on offense. The Tigers mounted a 9-play, 57-yard drive, which spilled over into the second quarter. A 21-yard strike to Michael Clayton and some hard running by Carey allowed quarterback Matt Mauck to call his own number on a 4-yard scoring jaunt and a 24-0 LSU lead.


From that point, things got ridiculously ugly.


Arizona did manage it's first, first down of the game when Michael Bell rambled 16 yards on a second and 15 play. However, just three plays later the Cats were punting the ball back to LSU.


Mauck went to the air and found Clayton on a 48-yard TD toss capping off a 5-play, 80-yard march to a 31-0 lead.


Mauck gave way to Randall on LSU's next possession and he too played along with the Tigers aerial assault. Randall completed 3-of-4 passes on LSU's final scoring drive of the first half, the last completion being a 55-yard scoring strike to Henderson for a lopsided 38-0 halftime tilt.


When the first half fireworks had ended, LSU tallied 331 yards of total offense on 46 plays for five touchdowns.


Arizona finished the half with just 67 yards on 25 plays. Wildcat quarterbacks Costa and Ryan O'Hara combined for 1-of-12 passing for 19 yards and an interception. Arizona had picked up just three first downs.


In the third quarter, the carnage continued as LSU continued to score at will.


The Tigers' seventh-straight scoring drive came on a 1-yard run by Carey with 10:41 to play in the third quarter giving LSU a 45-0 lead.


Randall led the Tigers down the field in nine plays after a Arizona punt and running back Justin Vincent scored his first touchdown as a Tiger on a 1-yard run to give LSU a 52-0 lead.


Arizona scored its first fourth-quarter touchdown of the game when Broussard fumbled at the LSU two. Wildcat cornerback Zeonte Sherman picked up the ball at the one and fell into the endzone with 10:22 to play. The turnover was LSU's fourth of the contest. The game was in hand, but the Wildcats had finally dented the scoreboard trailing 52-7.


The Tigers continued the onslaught when sophomore Skyler Green motored for a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown with 5:40 to play in the game giving LSU a 59-7 lead.


Arizona capped scoring with its first offensive touchdown with 4:03 left in the game. Clarence Farmer ran 11 yards around the left side to cut the margin to 59-13. After a 15-yard penalty for unsportsman-like conduct, Arizona missed the PAT.


"(LSU) capitalized on every field opportunity," Arizona head coach John Mackovic said. " They had a terrific return game. They just thoroughly whipped us. Out coaches have to do a better job, and our players have to do a better job."


Mauck completed 9-of-10 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown, while Randall added 10-of-15

passing for 162 yards and a touchdown. Mauck also ran for a touchdown.


Clayton was on the receiving end of six passes for 109 yards with a touchdown while Henderson added three catches for 75 yards and also chipped in touchdown reception. Eight Tigers caught at least one pass.


Addai (18 carries for 86) and Carey (10 carries for 49) combined for 135 yards on 28 carries (4.8 per carry), as the Tigers outrushed Arizona, 182-91.


On the defensive side of the ball, the results were equally as dominating.


The Tigers allowed only 182 yards of total offense, including 97 in the fourth quarter the game was so out of reach that at least 64 of the 70 players who made the trip had seen action.


For the Wildcats, Costa was 3-of-11 for 21 yards, while O'Hara hot on only 7-of-20 passes for 70 yards and an interception.

Arizona rushed 27 times for 91 yards. Farmer led the way with 61 yards on six carries and was credited with the Wildcats' only offensive touchdown.

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