No. 1 LSU 10-0 for First Time Since 1958
On Homecoming, LSU head coach Les Miles won his 100th career game
BATON ROUGE -- No. 1 LSU
took the better part of a half to put its epic victory over No. 2
Alabama in the rear-view mirror. After four second-half touchdowns, the
Tigers improved to 10-0 for the first time since 1958 with a 42-9
victory over Western Kentucky.
Saturday's Homecoming crowd was
announced as 92,917 for the first "Purple Game," where LSU's Les Miles
won his 100th career game as a head coach. Seventy-two of those
victories have come in six-plus seasons in Baton Rouge against 18
LSU (10-0, 6-0 SEC) next travels to Oxford, Miss., to face the Ole Miss Rebels (2-8, 1-6 SEC) on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.
Kentucky (5-5, 5-1 Sun Belt), which saw its five-game winning streak
snapped, gained 140 yards in the first half to keep within a touchdown
of the Tigers at halftime. The Hilltoppers managed only 86 in the
LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson started for the
first time in 2011 and finished 8-of-14 passing for 168 yards and a
touchdown. He added 20 net yards rushing, though one of his two sacks
resulted in a safety for intentional grounding. Jarrett Lee entered for
the Tigers final two drives of the game and finished 2-of-4 passing for
15 yards including a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kadron
Running back Alfred Blue led the Tigers' ground attack
with 119 yards on nine carries, scoring on touchdown runs of 45 and 4
yards. Michael Ford added 62 yards on 11 carries, while Spencer Ware
had 39 yards on six attempts. Kenny Hilliard made the most of his
opportunities, as the freshman scored two 1-yard touchdowns on four
Rueben Randle led the receiving corps with 76 yards on
three catches including a 59-yard touchdown pass from Jefferson for
LSU's first score. Odell Beckham Jr. had two catches for 42 yards.
LSU linebacker Kevin Minter had a game-high 11 tackles while Ryan Baker added nine.
outgained Western Kentucky 474-226 despite nearly an 11-minute deficit
in time of possession. The Tigers were 8-of-11 on third down.
Kentucky quarterback Kawaun Jakes was 11-of-24 passing for 97 yards.
Running back Bobby Rainey had 85 net yards rushing on 28 carries, while
tight end Jack Doyle had five catches for 44 yards.
Hilltoppers won the coin toss and elected to defer the decision until
the second half. LSU received the opening kickoff and, with Jefferson
under center, marched into WKU territory with a 21-yard run by Ware.
However, a sack of Jefferson on first down and a personal foul after
the play foiled LSU's first drive.
Brad Wing's punt was downed
at the Western Kentucky 6 by gunner Tyrann Mathieu. The Hilltoppers
gained a pair of first downs when Doyle caught passes of 12 and
4-yards, but a third-and-6 pass by Jakes fell incomplete and led the
WKU's first punt.
Beckham Jr. returned the punt 12 yards to the
LSU 41, where Jefferson uncoiled a long pass toward Randle along the
left sideline. The junior receiver caught the ball in stride at the 10,
regained his balance after an ankle tackle and completed a 59-yard
After the one-play drive, LSU took a 7-0 lead with 6:18 left in the opening quarter.
32-yard kickoff return by Derrius Brooks put WKU in good field position
to start the most impressive drive of the half by the Hilltoppers.
Jakes led his team to the LSU 2 with a 14-yard pass to Doyle. A 2-yard
touchdown run by Simpson tied the game at 7-7 with 1:26 left in the
LSU, which entered the game second in the nation with a
plus-15 turnover ratio, made its only major mistake of the contest when
Beckham Jr. fumbled after a 27-yard kickoff return. Vince Williams
recovered for Western Kentucky at the LSU 44.
The error didn't cost the Tigers, as the its defense stiffened and forced a punt.
in the second quarter, Jefferson connected with Beckham Jr. for 13
yards to the 24 but consecutive incomplete passes and a short punt by
Wing gave WKU possession at its 38.
The Hilltoppers converted a
fourth-and-1 at the LSU 40, but a sack by LSU defensive end Sam
Montgomery stopped the drive and forced a 49-yard field goal attempt.
Casey Tinius missed the try short and right, and LSU took over at its
On third-and-5, Jefferson found Ware out of the backfield
for a 6-yard gain and a first down at the LSU 43. Jefferson tacked on a
29-yard catch and run to Beckham Jr. and a 24-yard pass to tight end
Chase Clement to setup first-and-goal at the 2. On third down, Hilliard
poked the ball over the goal line for his first touchdown of the game.
led 14-7 with 3:32 left in the half. The Tigers took that lead into the
lockerroom after Jefferson's Hail Mary pass to Randle was tipped away
to end the half.
Western Kentucky gained a first down on its first drive of the second half, but was forced to punt from its 34.
29-yard return to the WKU 46 setup a short field for the Tigers, as
Blue had consecutive runs of 15 and 13 yards to the 14. A 9-yard pass
from Jefferson to Randle was reviewed and ruled to be down just short
of the endzone. On the next play, Hilliard bowled across the line for
his second touchdown and a 21-7 lead with 8:58 left in the third
A 73-yard kickoff return by Antonio Andrews gave
Western Kentucky a perfect opportunity to come away with points.
However, they gained them in a strange way. The LSU defense put up a
great goal-line stance in the south endzone to give the Tigers
possession at its 1-yard line. On third-and-7 from the 4, Jefferson was
unable to unload a pass to a covered Randle and was sacked for a safety.
Western Kentucky cut the LSU advantage to 21-9 with 5:22 left in the quarter.
with third-and-7 on the ensuing drive, Jakes was chased out of the
pocket and his pass along the right sideline was tipped by Mathieu and
intercepted by linebacker Tahj Jones at the WKU 42.
later, Ford bolted up the middle of the field for a 45-yard touchdown.
With 2:53 remaining in the third quarter, LSU led 28-9.
Barkevious Mingo's sack of Jakes on third-and-3 led to another Hilltoppers punt, which Mathieu returned 10 yards to the LSU 28.
opened the next drive with a 20-yard run along the left sideline, and
the Tigers got 15 more after a face mask penalty. Jefferson then
scrambled out of trouble at the WKU 37 and found wide receiver Jarvis
Landry for 20 yards to the 17. Blue ran three-straight times for 17
yards and completed the drive with a 4-yard touchdown. With 13:52 to
play, LSU led 35-9.
After a quick three-and-out by Western
Kentucky, Lee entered to lead the Tigers on a 14-play, 83-yard scoring
drive that took 6:15. Ford ran four times for 41 yards to midfield
where Lee escaped from the pocket for a 15-yard run of his own. Lee's
10-yard pass to tight end Travis Dickson setup first down at the 11. On
third-and-4 from the 5, Lee connected on a slant route to Boone for the
Tigers' final touchdown.