Football Comeback Comes Up Short, 24-21
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE -- A late LSU comeback fell short on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium, as Troy scored 14 points off four LSU turnovers to hand the Tigers a 24-21 defeat.
The loss snapped LSU's 49-game non-conference winning streak at home dating to a 2000 loss to UAB.
LSU (3-2) returns to action Saturday, Oct. 7, when the Tigers travel to face Florida in Gainesville. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS.
Troy (4-1) was outgained by LSU, 428-363, but converted 10-of-18 third downs while the Tigers were 0-for-9. The Trojans also held a 9:28 advantage in time of possession.
LSU's Danny Etling was 17-of-25 passing for 198 yards with two touchdowns and an interception on the game's final play. Freshman quarterback Myles Brennan, who played in the second half before Elting's return, was 4-for-7 with a touchdown and an interception.
DJ Chark was LSU's leading receiver with 105 yards on four catches, while Russell Gage had three catches including a 34-yard touchdown. Tight end Foster Moreau had his first career two-touchdown game and finished with three catches for 41 yards.
Defensively, end Christian LaCouture led LSU with a career-best 12 tackles including two sacks and a pass breakup. Linebacker Devin White added 11 tackles, while end Greg Gilmore had nine tackles and a sack.
Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers finished 16-of-28 passing for 157 yards, but the running of Jordan Chunn kept the Trojan offense moving. Chunn ran 30 times for 191 yards with a touchdown. Silvers also ran for a touchdown following an LSU turnover.
After fumbling on the first snap of the game, the Tigers fell behind 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.
Just before the half, the teams were called back onto the field after it was initially ruled that time had expired, allowing the Trojans to bounce a field goal off the crossbar for a 10-0 halftime lead.
On the second play of the second half, Troy's Jordan Chunn ran 74 yards to the LSU 1 then scored on a fourth-and-1 run that gave Troy a 17-0 lead.
Troy struck first after a fumble by LSU running back Nick Brossette on the first play of the game at the Tigers’ 30-yard line. The Trojans covered 30 yards on five plays, with the drive culminating on a 1-yard run by quarterback Brandon Silvers at the 13:13 mark of the first quarter.
The fumble lost by the Tigers was their first in 315 rushing attempts, dating back to the second quarter of last season’s game versus Florida on November 19.
After Troy missed a 36-yard field-goal attempt, the Tigers drove to the Trojans’ 18-yard line, but LSU placekicker Jack Gonsoulin missed a 35-yard field goal attempt with 2:32 left in the first half.
Troy extended its lead to 10-0 on the final play of the first half, when placekicker Evan Legassey connected on a 37-yard field goal. The kick capped an 11-play 60-yard drive for the Trojans.
Troy running back Jordan Chunn broke loose on a 74-yard run on the opening drive of the second half, giving the Trojans a first-and-goal at the LSU two-yard line. The Tigers stopped Troy shy of the goal line on three straight plays before Chunn scored from the one-yard line on fourth down to give the Trojans a 17-0 lead.
LSU responded by driving 67 yards on six plays, but the drive stalled when wide receiver Derrick Dillon fumbled and the Trojans recovered at the Troy seven-yard line.
The Tigers, however, forced a turnover of their own on the ensuing drive when Chunn fumbled and LSU safety John Battle recovered at the Troy four-yard line.
LSU quickly took advantage of the miscue when quarterback Myles Brennan connected with tight end Foster Moreau on seven-yard TD pass to narrow the gap to 17-7 with 4:00 remaining in the third quarter.
LSU moved into Trojan territory early in the fourth quarter, but cornerback Marcus Jones intercepted Brennan at the Troy 28-yard line to halt the march.
The Trojans then drove 64 yards on 10 plays to take a 24-7 lead, as the drive was capped by Josh Anderson's 7-yard run to paydirt.
Following a short kickoff and a 24-yard return by Moreau to the LSU 49, Etling returned to the contest and threw passes of 17 and 34 yards to Russell Gage to pull within 10, 24-14, with 7:41 left.
LSU's on-side kick was recovered by the Trojans at their 45. Troy drove to the LSU 11 before linebacker Donnie Alexander ripped the ball away from Chunn and Michael Divinity Jr. recovered at the LSU 8.
Etling saved the drive with two fourth-down convertions - a 12-yard run and a 4-yard pass to Stephen Sullivan - before completing a 20-yard touchdown catch and run to Moreau that moved LSU within the final margin.
LSU's second on-side kick was also recovered by Troy. Though the Tigers forced a three-and-out, Troy was able to run the clock to 23 seconds before punting from the LSU 47.
With only 18 seconds remaining from his 9-yard line, Etling connected with Chark for 27 yards with 11 seconds to play. His final heave in Chark's direction was intercepted at the Troy 42.