NASHVILLE (WAFB) - LSU quarterback Joe Burrow made history Saturday by throwing six touchdown passes to break the school’s single-game record, as the No. 4 Tigers put up big numbers once again in a win over Vanderbilt in Nashville.
LSU (4-0, 1-0 SEC) came away with the 66-38 victory over Vandy (0-3, 0-2 SEC). Burrow finished 25-of-34 for 398 yards and those six touchdowns. He had no interceptions. Burrow became the first LSU quarterback to throw for 350 yards or more in three straight games. His 357 yards passing by halftime was also the most in school history.
Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had 10 catches for 229 yards and four touchdowns. He is just the third Tiger receiver to score at least four touchdowns in a game to go along with 229 receiving yards. Those 229 yards receiving were good enough for fourth-most in LSU history.
Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 14 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown. He also fumbled once. The LSU offense finished with a total of 599 yards.
Vanderbilt started off with a 41-yard run by Ke’Shawn Vaughn. The eight-play drive was capped off with a five-yard touchdown run by Vaughn to put the Commodores up 7-0. LSU was quick to strike back. First, Burrow hooked up with Chase for 20 yards. Then, Edwards-Helaire burst through Vandy’s front and exploded for a 46-yard gain. A couple of plays later, Burrow found wide receiver Justin Jefferson for a 4-yard touchdown to tie it 7-7.
The LSU defense then tightened up and forced a three-and-out. And, the offense wasted no time ... well, it took about :10 for Burrow to find Chase and 64 yards later, the Tigers were celebrating in the end zone again, taking a 14-7 lead over the Commodores. On LSU's next drive, Burrow connected with Terrace Marshall Jr. twice. One pass went 29 yards and the other went 20 yards. However, it was a 9-yard run by Edwards-Helaire that gave the Tigers their third touchdown of the game and a 21-7 lead.
On a fourth down and one yard to go, the LSU defense flexed its muscle and stopped Vandy for no gain to give the ball back to the high-powered Tiger offense. The drive resulted in another Burrow to Chase touchdown, this one from 25 yards out to put LSU up 28-7. In the first quarter, Burrow was 10-of-11 for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Chase had four catches for 113 yards and two TDs in the opening quarter.
At the end of the first quarter into the second, Vanderbilt put together an 11-play drive that gained 52 yards and chewed up a little more than 3:30 minutes on the clock. The Commodores came away with a 41-yard field goal to make it 28-10. After a sack, Burrow came up limping but stayed in the game. LSU failed to reach the first down marker and was forced to punt for the first time in the game.
After another three-and-out by the LSU defense, Burrow got the offense back to the red zone but the Tigers could not reach pay dirt and had to settle for a 25-yard field goal from Cade York to go up 31-10.
Linebacker Michael Divinity went out of the game after suffering an injury. Reports indicated the injury was to his left ankle. Orgeron said he is not sure how bad it is but it looked “significant.” A couple of plays later, after the LSU offense got the ball back, Jefferson was lying on the turf and hobbled off the field slowly after being tended to by trainers. Orgeron said he thinks Jefferson will be okay. In the second half, Marshall went down with an injury. After the game, he was seen on crutches and a boot on his left foot. Orgeron said “it doesn’t look good right now.”
On a third down and 10, Burrow found tight end Stephen Sullivan for the first down. After a Vandy timeout, Burrow connected with Chase on a crossing route and the speedster out of Archbishop Rummel sprinted 51 yards for his third touchdown of the day to put the Tigers up 38-10. LSU's defense forced another three-and-out and more importantly, only allowed the Commodores to eat up :30 of clock. However, on a third and 10 from the 5-yard line, Edwards-Helaire fumbled the ball and Vandy recovered in the end zone to make it 38-17 right before halftime. Burrow finished the first half completing 18-of-24 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns. It was the most passing yards put up in the first half against an SEC defense in 15 years, according to the SEC Network. Chase had seven catches for 199 yards and the three touchdowns previously mentioned. The LSU offense amassed a total of 419 yards in the first half.
LSU received the second-half kickoff and Vandy tried some trickery that did not work out the way head coach Derek Mason intended. The Commodores decided to go with an onside kick but Micah Baskerville caught the ball on a bounce and returned it 46 yards to the 1-yard line. After a false start penalty, Burrow tossed a 6-yard touchdown to wide receiver Racey McMath to make it 45-17. Vandy came right back, though. After a 26-yard pass from Riley Neal to Cam Johnson, Vaughn took a handoff and went 52 yards for the score to make it 45-24.
The Tigers continued to rack up the yards and points, going 75 yards in 11 plays and just under 4:00, capping off the drive with another Burrow-Chase touchdown combo. This one was from 16 yards out to give LSU the 52-24 lead in the third quarter. Then, it was Baskerville coming up big again for the Tigers. First, he blocked the Vanderbilt punt and next, he fell on the ball in the end zone for another LSU touchdown. This one put the Tigers up 59-24.
Freshman phenom Derek Stingley Jr., who played his prep football at Dunham in Baton Rouge, got the first interception of his career as a Tiger. LSU could not do much on its next drive and Vandy refused to lie down. The Commodores went 61 yards on a seven-play drive that culminated in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Neal to wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb to make it 59-31.
Freshman running back John Emery Jr. took a Myles Brennan handoff for a 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to put the Tigers up 66-31. Later, safety JaCoby Stevens, a native of Nashville, got an interception to stop Vandy. However, Brennan threw a pick-six with less than 2:00 left in the game to make it 66-38.
LSU has scored at least 40 points in four straight games this season. ESPN reported it is the third time since 1936 that the Tigers have had a streak like that in a single season. The other two times were 2007 and 2011 when LSU reached the BCS National Championship. The Tigers won it all in 2007.
LSU has an open date on September 28 and will host Utah State on October 5 before jumping back into SEC play when Florida visits Tiger Stadium on October 12.