LSU football, LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels led the Tigers to a dominant 65-17 victory over Southern in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. He completed 10-of-11 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns in barely over a quarter of the game.
With the win, LSU improved to 1-1 on the year while Southern fell to 1-1. The Tigers will host Mississippi State at 5 p.m. CT on ESPN the following Saturday to open conference action.
When LSU’s Zavier Carter forced the Jaguars’ Reginald King to fumble the game’s opening kickoff, Sage Ryan recovered the ball at the Southern 21. On the Tigers’ third play from scrimmage, Daniels sprinted 18 yards to the end zone as LSU profited from the error.
Josh Williams’ five-yard touchdown run made it 14-0 for the Tigers after the LSU defence stopped Southern’s opening offensive possession after forcing a three-and-out. Armoni Goodwin’s 38-yard sprint to the Jaguars’ five-yard line was the highlight of the drive.
At the 7:16 mark of the first quarter, LSU’s second possession saw the Tigers advance 71 yards in five plays and score on a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Daniels to wide receiver Jack Bech. Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte ran 41 yards in the drive on an end-around.
On the following play from scrimmage, LSU linebacker Micah Baskerville intercepted Southern quarterback BeSean McCray’s ball and sprinted 29 yards to the end zone to extend the Tigers’ lead to 28-0 with 7:07 left in the opening round.
Desmond Little, a linebacker for LSU, recovered Southern running back Jerodd Sims’ fumble and returned it five yards to the Jaguars’ 24. This was another first-quarter turnover for LSU. Daniels found wide receiver Malik Nabers for a five-yard touchdown pass four plays later.
With 1:31 remaining in the first quarter, Baskerville once again made his presence known when he blocked a Southern punt, resulting in the ball skipping through the end zone for a safety. Since James Foster was sacked by Texas A&M’s Neil Farrell Jr. on November 30, 2019, and the ball was recovered by the Aggies in their own end zone, the play marked LSU’s first safety.
Since Jarvis Green blocked a punt out of the back of the end zone against Kentucky on October 16, 1999, Baskerville’s play was LSU’s first blocked punt for a safety.
LSU scored 37 points in the first quarter, which is a school record for a single quarter. The previous record, 35 points, was established against Rice in the third quarter of 1977 and against Tulane in the fourth quarter of 1958.
Early in the second quarter, the Tigers increased their lead to 44-0 when Daniels completed a 44-yard touchdown throw to wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr., capping a five-play, 65-yard drive.
Late in the second quarter, LSU backup quarterback Garrett Nussmeier orchestrated a six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, which was finished by running back Noah Cain’s two-yard touchdown run. The highlight of the possession was a 60-yard pass from Nussmeier to Nabers that brought the ball to the Southern 20.
The Tigers scored 51 points in the first half, which ranked third in school history for a single half. In the first half of its games against UL Lafayette in 1936 and Tulane in 1958, LSU scored 52 points.
With 8:42 left in the third quarter, Goodwin’s two-yard touchdown run gave the Tigers a 58-0 advantage and finished an eight-play, 59-yard drive. Since September 14, 2019, when Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Joe Burrow, John Emery Jr., and Tyrion Davis-Price each rushed for six points against Northwestern State, LSU had not had four different players rush for a touchdown.
The Tigers advanced to the Jaguars’ six-yard line after Ryan recovered his second fumble of the contest at the Southern 41, but Nussmeier’s pass was intercepted by defensive back Benny McCray, who returned it 94 yards for a score.
With 14:01 remaining, Goodwin completed a 10-play, 75-yard drive for his second rushing touchdown of the game, bringing the score to 65-7.
With 8:15 remaining in the game, Southern’s offence made its first trip to the end zone when Karl Ligon rammed through the goal line from the one to cap a 78-yard, 11-play drive.