BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - ?
It was a defensive struggle for a half, but LSU extended its record to 48 straight wins against non-conference teams with a 31-0 win over UL-Monroe on Saturday.
The Tigers were sluggish early on offense, as they led the Warhawks only 3-0 in the second quarter until freshman running back Darrel Williams broke free for a 22-yard touchdown to put No. 10 LSU (3-0) up 10-0.
The home team was looking to put up more points before halftime. However, as quarterback Anthony Jennings was looking down the field, wide receiver Trey Quinn fell and the pass was intercepted by ULM safety Mitch Lane. The officials initially threw a flag on the play, but picked it up and said there was no interference.
The story of the game for the Tigers was defense. Defensive coordinator John Chavis' group held the Warhawks to just 93 yards of total offense and six first downs. In the third quarter, Williams scored his second touchdown of the game from one yard out. A few minutes later, fellow freshman running back Leonard Fournette struck pay dirt from 24 yards out to put LSU up 24-0.
LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings finished 11 of 18 with 139 yards and one interception. He didn't throw a touchdown, but led his team to the win.
"It was just run the ball, take what the defense gives you [and] get behind those big bruisers up front," Jennings said. "I think we did a great job with that. Sticking to the run and taking it when the pass was there."
The Tigers were slow out the gate, as the first 11 times they tried to run the ball only netted 19 yards. However, by the end of the night, the ground-and-pound had racked up a total of 219 yards.
"We have great confidence in our line. I think we have great confidence in our backs to do what they need to do. Obviously, late, we came in and ran the ball effectively, but I think the running game also helps us out in the passing game and I think that's why we stayed with it," Jennings added.
Williams only carried the ball seven times for 37 yards, but the first two out of three times he touched it, he crossed the goal line.
"He's a great back. I've been saying that since he got here in the summer. He's continued to work. He has a great work ethic and I like him behind me in the backfield," Jennings explained.
Fournette showed burst on his touchdown run. He rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries.
"He's doing a great job. He came in here with high expectations and I think he's living up to them. Every time we get into practice, he tries to get better and that's the thing you can expect," Jennings said.
Jennings also reflected on the interception he threw late in the first half.
"I'll have to look at the film, but just make better decisions with the ball. Right there, I could have thrown the ball away and just got to the next down. We were in scoring position. Learning from that is what I have to do and just don't let it happen again," Jennings said.
LSU will face Mississippi State in Tiger Stadium next week. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN. Jennings said he is excited to begin SEC play.
"I'm definitely looking forward to SEC play and Mississippi State is going to be a great game and I think the Tigers are going to be ready," he added.
The 31-0 win over UL-Monroe was the second straight shutout in Tiger Stadium, which hasn't happened since 1941. The official attendance for the game was 101,194.
LSU RB Kenny Hilliard scores on a 4-yard TD run. (LSU 31, ULM 0 - 4th Qtr.)
LSU RB Leonard Fournette scores on a 24-yard TD run. (LSU 24, ULM 0 - 3rd Qtr.)
LSU RB Darrel Williams runs to score his second TD of the game. (LSU 17, ULM 0 - 3rd Qtr.)
LSU RB Darrel Williams scores on a 22-yard TD run. (LSU 10, ULM 0 - 2nd Qtr.)
LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye hits 21-yard FG. (LSU 3, ULM 0 - 1st Qtr.)