Football Makes Quick Strikes, Beats Syracuse, 35-26
BATON ROUGE – The 25th-ranked LSU Football team took advantage of early opportunities and amassed more than 400 yards of total offense for the third time this season in a 35-26 victory over Syracuse on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
On the first play from scrimmage, cornerback Andraez "Greedy" Williams intercepted Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey, returned it for 26 yards. On the next play, running back Derrius Guice put the ball in the end zone on a 1-yard carry. It marked the quickest score in an LSU game since Oct. 12, 1985, when LSU's Norman Jefferson intercepted a pass and returned it 26-yards for a touchdown only eight seconds into the contest.
LSU (3-1) had 263 yards passing and 151 yards rushing for a combined 414 yards of total offense.
Darrel Williams tied his season-high with 92 yards rushing and hit the 1,000-yard career mark on his second carry of the game early in the second quarter. He scored his fifth rushing touchdown of the season with 5:22 left in the 3rd quarter to give the Tigers a 28-10 lead. He finished the evening with 142 all-purpose yards.
Danny Etling finished the evening with 188 yards and two touchdowns passing on 10-of-18 completions. Etling connected with wide receiver Stephen Sullivan in the second quarter on a 43-yard pass to make the score 14-3 at the 1:15 mark.
Only 15 seconds into the second half, Etling connected with an 87-yard score to Drake Davis to push the lead to 21-3. For Davis, it was his second receiving touchdown of his career and a career long.
Syracuse (2-2) posted 384 yards of total offense. Dungey was 32-of-52 for 265 yards and one passing touchdown. Syracuse's primary targets were Steve Ishmael and Ervin Philips, who each had 11 receptions and a touchdown with 123 and 93 yards, respectively. The Orange did not get into the end zone until the second half when Philips went 30 yards on a reception from Devin Butler. Ishmael scored his lone touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 22-yard pass from Dungey, cutting the LSU lead to 28-26.
Defensively for LSU, linebacker Devin White recorded a career-high 13 total tackles, passing his previous mark of 11 set last week at Mississippi State. John Battle also hit a career-high with 11 total tackles before he left the game in the third quarter with an injury. Rookie Tyler Taylor earned 1.5 quarterback sacks on the evening, his first stops behind the line of scrimmage this season.
LSU returns to action on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. CT when the Tigers host Troy for Homecoming at Tiger Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPNU.
Eric Dungey was intercepted on the Orange’s first play from scrimmage. LSU’s Andraez Williams returned the ball 28 yards to the Syracuse 1-yard line. Darrius Guice took the ball in for the touchdown, followed by a Jack Gonsoulin PAT, 7-0. The last time that the Tigers scored on the first touch of the first possession was on October 2, 2010, when Jordan Jefferson ran for an 83-yard touchdown against Tennessee in Death Valley.
Syracuse converted three third downs and one fourth down over 17 plays for 52 yards, but ended up settling for a 42-yard field goal by Cole Murphy to cut the LSU lead, 7-3, with 7:58 left in the first quarter.
End of 1st Quarter: LSU 7, Syracuse 3
With his second carry of the game, Darrel Williams surpassed the 1,000-yard career rushing mark early in the second quarter. He is the 47th LSU player to reach the milestone and accomplished the feat in the 39th game of his career.
Sophomore Stephen Sullivan earned his first touchdown of the season on a 43-yard reception from Danny Etling with 1:15 left to go in the second quarter. Jack Gonsoulin’s PAT was good to bump the Tiger lead to 14-3. The score capped a 71-yard scoring drive of six plays.
LSU freshman Tyler Taylor recorded the first quarterback sack of his career with 47 seconds left in the first half.
End of 2nd Quarter: LSU 14, Syracuse 3
Drake Davis scored on 87-yard reception from Etling on first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Gonsoulin added the PAT, 21-3 with 14:44 left in third quarter.
With 12:20 left in the third quarter, Syracuse added a score with a touchdown by Ervin Phillips on a 30-yard pass from Devin Butler. The Orange went 75 yards on eight plays for the score. Murphy added the extra point, 21-10.
Myles Brennan came into the game at quarterback with 8:46 to go in the third quarter. He proceeded to execute a 91-yard scoring drive over six plays. Darrel Williams scored on a 20-yard run with 5:22 left in the quarter. Gonsoulin’s kick was good, 28-10. Brennan completed a 43-yard pass to Darrel Williams to set up the score.
The Tigers gave up a safety to Syracuse when Darrel Williams was tackled by Parris Bennett at the 3:29 mark, 28-12. The last time LSU had a safety scored against them was Nov. 12, 2011, by Western Kentucky.
Syracuse cut the lead to 28-19 with seven seconds left in the third quarter with a 13-yard run by Dungey. It was a 72-yard scoring drive over 10 plays. Murphy’s extra point attempt was good.
End of 3rd Quarter: LSU 28, Syracuse 19
Syracuse’s Juwan Dowels intercepted Brennan at the Orange 20-yard line to stop a Tiger drive with 10:41 left in the game.
The Orange took 5:01 off the clock on an 80-yard scoring drive, capped by a 22-yard pass from Dungey to Steve Ishmael. With 5:40 left in the game, Murphy’s point after kick was good, cutting the LSU lead to 28-26.
Following a Syracuse timeout, DJ Chark completed a 56-yard scoring drive with a 20-yard run. It was his fourth career-rushing touchdown. The kick by Gonsoulin built the LSU lead to 35-26.
Final Score: LSU 35, Syracuse 26
LSU extends its home win streak against non-conference opponents to 49 games. The last loss to a non-conference foe in Tiger Stadium came in 2000 vs. UAB.