BATON ROUGE — LSU quarterback Max Johnson threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns Saturday night to lead the Tigers to a 27-14 win over UL Monroe in Tiger Stadium.
LSU improved to 5-6 with the victory, while ULM dropped to 4-7 on the year. The Tigers close the regular season next Saturday by playing host to Texas A&M at 6 p.m. CT in Death Valley.
Freshman wide receiver Malik Nabers caught four passes for 143 yards as the Tigers recorded 411 yards of total offense, while the LSU defense limited the Warhawks to 311 yards from scrimmage.
Butkus Award candidate Damone Clark led the Tigers’ defense with seven tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one pass break-up and one quarterback hurry.
Tyrion Davis-Price rushed for 82 yards on 21 carries to pace LSU’s ground attack.
The Tigers’ defense forced a three-and-out on ULM’s first possession, and after a punt, LSU moved 64 yards in five plays as quarterback Max Johnson capped the march with a three-yard touchdown run, his first rushing TD of the season.
The drive was highlighted by a 48-yard completion from Johnson to Nabers to the Warhawks’ eight-yard line.
On its next possession, ULM moved 74 yards to the LSU two-yard line, but on fourth-and-goal running back Malik Jackson was stopped at the one-yard line after catching a pass from quarterback Rhett Rodriguez.
The Tigers drove 73 yards in 12 plays on their next possession; however, the march ended on a missed 44-yard field goal by Cade York.
After safety Jay Ward intercepted a Rodriguez pass and returned it to the ULM 33-yard line, York connected on a 27-yard field goal to give LSU a 10-0 lead with 12:05 remaining in the second quarter.
The Tigers extended the advantage to 17-0 at the 9:19 mark of the second period when Johnson fired a 67-yard scoring strike to Nabers.
Facing a fourth-and-four at its own 39 with 4:14 left before halftime, LSU attempted a fake punt, but punter Avery Atkins’ pass was intercepted by Josh Newton and returned to the LSU 28-yard line.
The Warhawks took advantage of the opportunity when Rodriguez threw a 28-yard TD pass to wide receiver Boogie Knight, reducing the deficit to 17-7 with 3:45 remaining before intermission.
LSU accumulated 254 yards of total offense in the first half, while limiting ULM to 130 with four tackles for loss and one interception.
The teams exchanged scoreless possessions to start the second half before LSU executed an eight-play, 82-yard march that was culminated by a 42-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr., giving the Tigers a 24-7 lead with 1:29 remaining in the third quarter.
The Warhawks narrowed the gap to 24-14 with 3:20 left in the game when quarterback Chandler Rogers fired a 27-yard scoring pass to tight end Zach Rasmussen to complete a 10-play, 58-yard drive.
ULM attempted an onside kick, but the Tigers’ Chris Hilton Jr. covered the football at the Warhawks’ 45-yard line.
From there, LSU advanced to the ULM 32, and York drilled a 50-yard field goal to account for the final margin.