BATON ROUGE — LSU running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Nick Brossette combined for 214 yards and five touchdowns, as the No. 6-ranked Tigers improved to 4-0 with a 38-21 victory over Louisiana Tech.
The Tigers remain at home this week and will face Ole Miss at 8:15 p.m. CT on Sept. 22. The game will be televised by ESPN and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at www.LSUtix.net.
After LSU jumped out to a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter, Louisiana Tech (2-1) gave LSU all it could handle. The Bulldogs scored 21-unanswered points including a 42-yard touchdown pass from J’Mar Smith to Adrian Hardy with 12:57 to play.
However, LSU responded with two touchdowns in a six-minute span, which sandwiched a defensive stop and turnover on downs in Bulldogs territory.
Sophomore Edwards-Helaire had career-bests of 20 carries, 136 yards and two touchdowns, while Brossette tallied 78 yards on 20 carries and scored on runs of 1, 1 and 2 yards.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow completed 16-of-28 passes for 191 yards, as the Tigers amassed 409 yards of total offense. Burrow’s 21-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase setup Brossette’s first touchdowns.
Linebacker Jacob Phillips had a team-high 13 tackles, while White added 11 including 2.5 behind the line of scrimmage and three pass breakups. Safety Todd Harris Jr., who started in place of John Battle, had nine tackles.
Louisiana Tech quarterback J’Mar Smith finished 27-of-50 passing for 330 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. His top target was Adrian Hardy, who had 10 catches for 181 yards with touchdowns of 20 and 42 yards.
LSU opened the scoring on its second possession of the game, driving 78 yards on 11 plays and capping the drive with a one-yard TD burst by Brossette at the 9:20 mark of the first quarter.
The march featured a 22-yard strike from Burrow to wideout Ja’Marr Chase that placed the football at the Louisiana Tech 1-yard line.
The Tigers extended the lead to 14-0 on the first play of the second quarter when Brossette bulled his way over the goal line from one yard out.
The score was set up when LSU linebacker Devin White picked up a fumble by Bulldog wide receiver Adrian Hardy and returned the ball to 29 yards to the Tech three-yard line. The fumble was caused by cornerback Kristian Fulton after Hardy caught a pass from quarterback J’Mar Smith.
The Tigers moved 68 yards on nine plays during their next possession before Cole Tracy connected on a 24-yard field goal to give LSU a 17-0 advantage with 9:17 remaining in the first half. The successful three-pointer was Tracy’s ninth in 10 attempts this season.
LSU safety Ed Paris intercepted a Smith pass on Tech’s next possession, giving the Tigers the ball at the Bulldogs’ 28-yard line. LSU capitalized on the turnover on the next play, as running back Clyde Edwards-Helairedashed 28 yards to the end zone at the 8:22 mark of the second quarter.
Louisiana Tech got on the scoreboard late in the first half when Smith hit Hardy on a 20-yard touchdown pass, narrowing LSU’s lead to 24-7 with 4:23 remaining before halftime. The play capped a 75-yard, 11-play march for the Bulldogs.
LSU committed its first turnover of the season with 35 seconds left in the first half when Burrow fumbled while being sacked by Jaylon Ferguson, and the ball was recovered Keontaye Garner at the Tigers’ 36-yard line.
The LSU defense, however, did not allow the Bulldogs to take advantage of the miscue, as a 49-yard field goal attempt by Bailey Hale bounded off the upright, and the Tigers took a 24-7 lead into the locker room at intermission.
The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 75 yards on 13 plays to reduce LSU’s lead to 10 points. Smith connected on a fourth-down, 1-yard TD pass to running back Bobby Holly to complete the possession.
Smith hit Hardy on a 42-yard scoring strike with 12:57 remaining in the game to bring Louisiana Tech within three points of the lead, 24-21. The touchdown capped a seven-play, 71-yard drive for the Bulldogs.
LSU responded with its first scoring drive since the second quarter, marching 70 yards in 12 plays and converting three third downs. A third-and-goal touchdown run by Broussette gave LSU a 31-21 lead with 8:06 to play. Burrow’s 28-yard pass to Anderson was the highlight of the drive that featured eight Brossette runs.
Trailing by 10 and faced with a fourth-and-1 from its 46, Louisiana Tech’s Smith was stymied on a sneak attempt, as LSU’s defensive line duo of Ed Alexander and Glen Logan came up with the stop it needed to put the victory on ice.
With a short field ahead, LSU used its running game to add another touchdown by Edwards-Helaire from the 1-yard line with 2:23 to play.