When K.C. Keeler’s Sam Houston State squad took the field at LSU’s Tiger Stadium on Saturday night, many minds pondered the idea of a huge upset in the Bearkats’ favor, as the Huntsville, Texas team converted for a pair of first downs on their first possession.
That idea, however, was quickly disarmed and promptly obliterated by the LSU Tigers.
It started with Dwayne Thomas’ interception that cut short Sam Houston State’s first drive. LSU’s very first play from scrimmage saw a huge 94-yard touchdown reception from Anthony Jennings to Travin Dural. The hype of the moment partly overshadowed the fact that Colby Delahoussaye’s point- after kick inadvertently hit the goalpost; the Tigers had to be content with a brief 6-0 lead.
The Tiger defense then forced the Bearkats to go three-and-out during their next offensive series, and LSU took advantage of the opportunity, going fifty-nine yards in six plays, and scoring on a 28-yard strike from Jennings to Dural.
Sam Houston State gave up the ball on loss of downs on the subsequent series. The Tigers’ next go-around with the football saw the emergence of Leonard Fournette, who saw five touches, including a 40-yard scamper, and his first collegiate touchdown. Following the four-yard score, Fournette struck a Heisman pose, much to the dismay of head coach Les Miles, who was sure to give him a talking-to when he returned to the sideline.
After one quarter, the score was 20-0 in LSU’s favor.
The Tigers started the second quarter strong, continuing a 12-play, 80-yard drive that began in the previous quarter, capping it off with an 18-yard touchdown connection from a now familiar combination: Jennings to Dural.
Following a Bearkat punt, LSU’s Brandon Harris broke costless for a 46-yard touchdown run. During the initial point-after attempt, Delahoussaye’s kick was blocked and seemingly returned for two Bearkat points, but a blatant offside penalty by the player that recorded the block brought it back. Instead, the Tigers handed it to Kenny Hilliard, who converted the two-point conversion for the Tigers, effectively giving them a 35-0 lead.
The sides traded punts, and eventually, halftime was reached with the Tigers still up 35-0.
Early parts of the third quarter were quiet, as neither squad got anything going. That is, until the Tigers’ Darrel Williams punched it in following a Bearkat fumble.
The Tigers entered the fourth quarter with force, showing that they weren’t through just yet. A quick 7-play, 80-yard drive, capped by a connection from Brandon Harris to Malachi Dupre, started the period.
LSU’s next offensive series was powered by the rushing prowess of Fournette and Hilliard, the latter scoring from two yards out to give the Tigers a 56-0 lead.
That score would stand, and the Tigers advanced to 2-0, while Sam Houston State falls to 1-2 on the season.
The Tigers finished the night with 590 yards of total offense, 340 of those on the ground, and 250 through the air.
Anthony Jennings passed for 188 yards and three touchdowns. All three of those touchdowns were caught by none other than Travin Dural, who finished with 140 yards.
Leonard Fournette had a great night, rushing for 92 yards and a touchdown on thirteen carries. Darrel Williams rushed for an additional 65 yards on fourteen carries.
Sam Houston State amassed only 210 yards of total offense, 142 passing and 68 on the ground.
Jared Johnson recorded all of the Bearkats' passing yards for the night, while the leading rusher was Donavan Williams, who rushed for 29 yards on nine carries.
LSU had the large edge on time of possession, logging 34:59 with the ball, to the Bearkats’ 22:01.
The Tigers are looking forward to yet another non-conference matchup next Saturday, taking on Louisiana-Monroe at Tiger Stadium, while the Bearkats' Saturday will be occupied by a tilt with Colorado State-Pueblo.