LSU Wins 800th Game in Big Win Over Demons
BATON ROUGE — No. 4-ranked LSU Football amassed 610 yards of total offense to become the 12th program in NCAA Division I history to win 800 games, as the Tigers defeated Northwestern State, 65-14, on Saturday in Tiger Stadium.
LSU (3-0), which passed for at least 300 yards for the fourth-straight game, scored 48 unanswered points to end the contest including a 41-0 second-half shutout.
The Tigers return to action on Sept. 21 when traveling to Nashville to face Vanderbilt. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT on the SEC Network. Following an open date on Sept. 28, LSU’s next home games are Oct. 5 and 12 when Utah State and Florida come to Tiger Stadium.
Tickets for the remaining game of the home slate are available at www.LSUtix.net.
Senior quarterback Joe Burrow led the way for the nearly unstoppable Tigers offense, completing 21-of-24 passes for 373 yards with two touchdowns and an interception that led the the Demons’ second-quarter touchdown. Burrow’s backup, Myles Brennan, entered in the fourth quarter and completed 8-of-9 passes for 115 yards.
The Tigers quarterbacks combined for 488 passing yards, LSU’s second-highest in program history (528 vs. Alabama in 2001).
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson led the way with 124 yards on five carries, while Terrace Marshall Jr. caught touchdown passes of 14 and 6 yards on his way to 75 receiving yards on a team-high six receptions. Jontre Kirklin and Jaray Jenkins had career nights with 75 and 67 yards, respectively.
The Tigers’ 65 points are its most in a regulation game since 1991, when LSU scored 70 against Arkansas State. LSU has now scored 165 points in its first three games of the 2019 season, the program’s most in the SEC era and second-most in its history (232 points in first three games of 1930 season).
LSU trailed 7-3 following a 17-yard touchdown pass from Northwestern State quarterback Shelton Eppler to Quan Shorts with 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The Tigers responded with consecutive touchdown-scoring drives to lead 17-7, but the Demons were able to answer the score with a 26-yard touchdown reception by David Fitzwater.
Edwards-Helaire scored on a 3-yard run before the half and LSU scored six second-half touchdowns including a 54-yard punt return by freshman Trey Palmer.
LSU played without seven starters – defensive ends Rashard Lawrence and Glen Logan, linebackers K’Lavon Chaisson and Michael Divinity Jr., wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, tight end Thaddeus Moss and starting left tackle Saahdiq Charles.
Northwestern State managed 200 of its 278 yards in the first half, but was outgained in the second half 333-78. The Demons of the Southland Conference were led by quarterback Shelton Eppler, who was 21-of-38 passing for 225 yards with two touchdowns. NSU had only 46 rushing yards, with Stadford Anderson leading the Demons with 30.
Blow-by-Blow Recap (by Bill Franques)
After LSU forced a turnover on downs on the Demons’ first possession, the Tigers drove 57 yards in 10 plays for the game’s first score, as placekicker Cade York connected on a 26-yard field goal.
Northwestern State responded with a 17-yard TD pass from quarterback Shelton Eppler to wide receiver Quan Shorts to culminate an eight-play, 75-yard drive.
The Tigers regained the lead at the 12:38 mark of the second quarter when Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed four yards to the end zone, capping a 69-yard, eight-play march.
LSU extended the advantage to 17-7 with 8:50 remaining in the first half when quarterback Joe Burrow connected with wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. on a 14-yard scoring pass. The play completed a 77-yard, seven-play drive and marked Burrow’s 10th TD aerial of the season.
The Demons narrowed the deficit to 17-14 at the 5:38 mark of the first half when Eppler hit tight end David Fitzwater with a 26-yard touchdown pass, completing a 75-yard, six-play possession.
LSU raced down the field in just 2:02 to re-establish a 10-point lead with 3:27 left in the second period, as Edwards-Helaire’s three-yard TD rush capped a 70-yard, six-play march.
Northwestern State cornerback Dylan Wilson intercepted a Burrow pass near the end of the first half, giving the Demons possession at the LSU 17-yard line with 58 seconds left before intermission. The LSU defense, however, kept the Demons off the scoreboard as placekicker Scotty Roblow missed a 34-yard field goal attempt.
The Tigers struck quickly at the outset of the second half, moving 74 yards on four plays and scoring on a five-yard TD run by Burrow, who surpassed the 1,000-yard passing mark for the season during the drive. Placekicker Cade York missed a PAT for the first time this season, leaving the LSU advantage at 30-14.
The LSU defense forced a three-and-out on Northwestern State’s next possession and the Tigers widened the margin to 37-14 with 9:36 left in the third period when Burrow fired a six-yard TD strike to Marshall. The scoring pass completed a 33-yard, seven-play drive that was set up by a 26-yard Derek Stingley Jr. punt return.
Burrow connected with wide receiver Jontre Kirklin for 65 yards to the Demons’ 13-yard line before running back John Emery Jr. blasted over the goal line from four yards out, culminating a four-play, 78-yard drive and increasing the margin to 44-14.
A one-yard TD burst by running back Tyrion Davis-Price capped a 55-yard, seven-play march and gave the Tigers a 51-14 lead with 2:16 left in the third period. The drive was engineered by backup quarterback Myles Brennan, who replace Burrow after the Tigers’ starting signal-caller completed 21-of-24 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns.
Burrow extended his streak of completing 20+ passes to six-straight games, and his 87.5 percent completion percentage was the third-highest single-game mark in LSU history. The Tigers surpassed the 300-yard passing mark for the fourth straight game – beginning with last season’s Fiesta Bowl win over UCF — for the first time in school history.
With the game in-hand and substitutes in place, the Tigers added two more fourth-quarter scores. Palmer earned punt-return duties for the first time in his brief career at LSU, and took advantage of the opportunity with a 54-yard touchdown return.
Davis-Price then added his second touchdown run of the night on a 2-yard dash that was setup by a 37-yard catch-and-run by Jenkins.