BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It was a "Bearcat Beatdown," as No. 12 LSU thumped Sam Houston State from the opening whistle and never looked back in a 56-0 win.
Quarterback Anthony Jennings and wide receiver Travin Dural gave fans plenty to celebrate in the first game in the expanded Tiger Stadium. Not only was it the new-and-improved Death Valley, it was also big play after big play from the outset.
Sam Houston State attempted a flea flicker early in the game, but defensive end Danielle Hunter was able to get to quarterback Jared Johnson just as he threw the ball. Cornerback Dwayne Thomas intercepted the pass and it looked like he had a chance to run the ball back, but the officials ruled his forearm was down.
The Tigers started at the 6-yard line and the first play on offense resulted in a school record. The Jennings to Dural hookup went 94 yards. It broke the record for the longest pass play ever in Tiger Stadium and tied the record for longest play from scrimmage. The pair was not done for the night, as Jennings found Dural in the end zone from 28 yards out for the score. The touchdown gave LSU a 13-0 advantage.
There were several freshmen players who starred in the game. Wide receiver Malachi Dupre scored a touchdown and running back Darrel Williams scored a touchdown. However, it was the highly-touted Leonard Fournette who will probably be the main freshman name to pop up in conversations. Fournette broke loose for a 40-yard run to put the ball on the 4-yard line. On the next play, he punched it in to put the LSU up 28-0. It was his first touchdown as a Tiger. He then flashed a Heisman Trophy pose, even though Dural was the one scoring all of the touchdowns for the Tigers. His third touchdown catch of the game was in the second quarter from 18 yards out.
LSU racked up 584 yards of total offense, while the defense held SHSU to only 206.
"We had some young guys out there making tackles and catches and runs, and young guys throwing to young guts," Miles said. "I really liked to way Anthony Jennings played. I felt like he managed the game and did the things he was supposed to do. [He] just plays with a nice even keel to him and I felt like if there was a spot that improved significantly, I felt like he did."
LSU will next face UL-Monroe in Tiger Stadium.