The LSU Tigers extended both their overall and SEC winning streak to two games Saturday night as they defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 41-3.
It was the Wildcats worst loss of the season.
LSU jumped out to an early 17-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. It was the Tigers’ most points scored in the first quarter of an SEC game since scoring 21 in the opening quarter against Ole Miss in 2011.
The Tigers were led by senior running back Terrence Magee, who rushed for a team-high 127 yards and two touchdowns. He also made a big contribution on special teams as he returned the opening kick off 49 yards and drew a facemask penalty against Kentucky on the play.
“Every time I get the ball I want to go score,” Magee said. “Obviously that doesn’t happen but that has to be your mindset.”
The Tigers utilized a balanced attack as the offense, defense, and special teams all made big plays to get an early lead.
“I think it’s the best overall game of the year we have had thus far start to finish and how wonderful it was to be in Tiger Stadium,” Head Coach Les Miles said.
While the offense scored on its first two possessions the defense forced two straight three-and-outs, one of which led to a 67-yard punt return touchdown by sophomore defensive back Tre’Davious White.
White also had a punt return of 48 yards and finished the night with 114 total punt return yards.
The touchdown by White marked the first special teams touchdown of the year for the Tigers. It also meant that LSU has scored at least one special teams touchdown in all 10 seasons during Miles’ tenure as head coach.
The Tigers decided to run early and often as the team finished with 303 rushing yards. In addition to a good night from Magee, fellow running backs also chipped as Leonard Fournette scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown and Darrel Williams added 61 yards on 10 carries.
The Tigers also converted more than half of their third-down attempts.
While LSU found success running the ball the Wildcats struggled as they managed only 71 rushing yards on 27 carries.
LSU’s defense stifled the Wildcats all game as the Tigers’ defense forced five three-and-outs as well as two turnover on downs. They also finished the game with two sacks.
The Tigers’ defense was led by linebacker Kendell Beckwith and true freshman safety Jamal Adams. Adams finished with eight tackles and a sack while Beckwith finished with nine tackles despite being knocked out off the game early due to injury.
“I can make bigger plays, not just plays that they need, I can make outstanding plays,” Adams said. “Everyday we are just getting better.”
The LSU defense held Kentucky to 217 total yards on offense.
Wildcat’s sophomore quarterback, Patrick Towles completed 19 of 36 passes for 146 yards with his longest being a 33-yard completion to wide receiver Demarco Robinson.
Kentucky managed just 3.4 yards per play.
“We will not let one game define us,” Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said.
The Tigers nearly doubled the Wildcats in total yards despite having only 120 passing yards.
Starting quarterback, Anthony Jennings completed just 7 of 14 pass attempts with his highlight being a 32-yard touchdown pass to Travin Dural. He also managed to rush for 53 yards.
Backup quarterback, Brandon Harris saw his limited playing time late in the fourth quarter, but by that time the game had already been decided.
Harris entered for the remainder following a 31-yard run by Anthony Jennings. Harris’ only pass attempt was intercepted in the end zone.
Although this may have appeared to be an inefficient game for the Tiger quarterbacks, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron believes that progress was made.
“Two guys are growing day by day, snap by snap and just maturing and understanding what we’re trying to get done here,” Cameron said. “As long as they’re learning and growing and taking care of the football, both of these guys will be fine.”
LSU will look to increase its winning streak to three games and upset a division foe on Oct. 25 as the Tigers face the No. 3-ranked Ole Miss Rebels.
The Wildcats will face another tough SEC challenge for their next game as they face the No. 1-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs.