Big, thunderous plays rained down the rest of the evening for the Tigers who pushed back the visiting Bulldogs into the depths of a six-game losing streak with a 38-6 win in front of a rain scattered crowd of about half capacity in Tiger Stadium.
The win improved LSU's record to
6-2 with an extra week in front of it to rest and prepare before traveling to
The game was punctuated by five LSU
touchdowns on plays of 21 yards or more. Highlighting the group was a 77-yard
punt return by Craig Davis in the first quarter and a 58-yard catch by Dwayne Bowe early in the fourth quarter that erased any chance for
"I liked the way we played," LSU Coach Les Miles said. "It was the kind of game we have to have when we go forward from here."
Despite entering the game as a pronounced underdog, the Bulldogs held their own statistically in the first half, giving up just 114 total yards to the highly touted and high powered Tiger offense that had throttled its other five opponents this year in Tiger Stadium by a combined score of 236-30.
Miles said he was impressed by
"It's just a shame that a team with a 6-2 record like that in the way football is right now is considered not being in it," Hill said of LSU. "But that's how we're judged. We're judged by winning and losing. They have a very talented football team. The best vertical passing game we've played against since we've been here."
But the Bulldogs could not hold their own on the scoreboard as LSU held a 17-3 advantage at halftime and more than doubled that spread by the end of the game. The Bulldogs also struggled to find any rhythm offensively against the quick Tiger defense, gaining just 211 total yards.
LSU's offense eventually heated up by turning to the players that had provided the spark to this point. Tiger quarterback JaMarcus Russell completed long touchdown passes to Bowe and Davis in the second half as part of a 15-of-19, 210 yard two touchdown performance. LSU also benefited from hard running from tailback Alley Broussard, who finished the contest with 67 yards and a touchdown on five carries and all-around athlete Trindon Holliday who carried the ball three times for 58 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers gained 394 yards in all, 184 of them on the ground.
LSU scored on their first possession for the sixth time in six home games, this time by reaching deep into the playbook. Holliday lined up at tailback for the first time this season and ran a toss sweep from the Fresno State 38 up the east sideline and into the north end zone. The touchdown run was the fifth play of LSU's first drive and gave LSU a 7-0 lead with 10:52 to play in the first quarter after the point after.
The LSU offense slowed down late in
the first and early in the second quarter giving the Bulldogs chances to cut
into the 14-0 Tiger lead. Place kicker Chastin West gave
But the Bulldog score just lit a spark under the LSU offense, who drove 53 yards in nine plays on the next possession to give Colt David a chance to add three points to the scoreboard. David's 44-yard field goal into the south end zone with 2:21 remaining in the half reclaimed LSU's two-touchdown advantage.
The second half started
inauspiciously for the Tigers as LSU managed no yards on the first drive of the
game and were forced to bring Chris Jackson in to boot a mediocre punt to the
The Bulldogs moved the ball inside the LSU 10-yard line in three plays before the LSU defense stiffened and forced a field goal try thanks largely to a five-yard tackle for a loss by cornerback Chevis Jackson on a third-and-goal at the 7-yard line. Chastin then cut the Tiger lead to 17-6 with a 29-yard field goal with 8:30 to play in the third quarter.
But, again, the
"The offense played great and the
special teams played great,"
Facing a third-and-15 at his 42 on the next drive, Russell found Bowe on a deep slant pass 20 yards down the field and Bowe dodged tacklers on his way to the south end zone.
The 58-yard touchdown grab was the 21st of Bowe's illustrious career, tying him with current Tampa Bay Buccaneer and former Tiger standout Michael Clayton for first place in career touchdown receptions at LSU. It also gave his team a 31-6 advantage with 13:13 remaining in the contest.
Another deep touchdown pass on
LSU's next possession put the game farther out of reach as Russell calmly
retreated into the pocket at his 30-yard line, set his feet and delivered a
"The defense has gone nine quarters
without a touchdown," Miles said. "They are playing extremely well. It was nice
to see Buster Davis play well.