TUCSON, Ariz. -- No. 13 LSU scored on its first seven offensive drives of the game and completely dominated both sides of the ball to hand Arizona its worst home loss in 45 years, 59-13, late Saturday night in Arizona Stadium.
"When you jump on a team like that early in the ballgame, I think that affects a team psychologically, and that's what happened tonight," LSU head coach Nick Saban said after the win.
The victory was the most lopsided at Arizona Stadium since the Wildcats lost to Arizona State, 47-0, in 1958. It was LSU's biggest road victory since a 47-0 defeat of Mississippi State in Jackson, Miss., in 1986. Also, it was the largest margin of victory on an opponent's home field since defeating Tulane, 62-0, at Tulane Stadium in 1958.
"I think we answered some questions tonight about being ranked so high and if we could play on the road," Saban said. "We came into someone's house and played dominant football."
LSU starting quarterback Matt Mauck completed 10-of-11 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown, while his backup Marcus Randall added 9-of-14 passing for 149 yards and a touchdown as the Tigers dominated through the air. Mauck also ran for a 4-yard touchdown.
"I was please with the play of Matt Mauck and with how we ran the ball," Saban said. "We had some balance on offense."
Wide receiver Michael Clayton was on the receiving end of six passes for 109 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown run. Devery Henderson added three catches for 75 yards and a 55-yard touchdown reception. Eight Tigers caught at least one pass.
LSU running backs Joseph Addai (18 for 86) and Shyrone Carey (10 for 49) combined for 135 yards on 28 carries (4.8 per carry), as the Tigers outrushed Arizona, 182-91.
LSU's Donnie Jones punted only twice, while Arizona punted 10 times including one that was returned 62 yards by Skyler Green for a touchdown.
The LSU defense stymied the Wildcats throughout the contest, but most of all when its first two -- and sometimes three -- units were in the game over the first three quarters. The Tigers allowed only 182 yards of total offense, including 97 in the fourth quarter the game was so out of reach that at least 64 of the 70 players who made the trip had seen action.
For the Wildcats, starting quarterback Nic Costa was 3-of-11 for 21 yards , while backup Ryan O'Hara was only 7-of-20 passing for 70 yards and an interception.
Arizona rushed 27 times for 91 yards, as Clarence Farmer led the way with 61 yards on six carried with the Wildcats' only offensive touchdown.
"(LSU) capitalized on every field opportunity," Arizona head coach John Mackovic said. "They had a terrific return game. They just thoroughly whipped us. Out coaches have to do a better job, and our players have to do a better job."
After losing the coin toss, the Tigers took the ball first and promptly drove 80 yards in 15 plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard run by Addai. Addai's first touchdown of the season and fifth of his career capped a drive that wiped 6:25 off the first-quarter game clock.
On the opening drive, the Tigers ran the ball 12 times for 55 yards, while Clayton caught two passes for 27 yards.
A dominant defensive showing by the Tigers on Arizona's first drive included a tackle behind the line by left defensive end Marquise Hill, a pass batted down by right defensive end Marcus Spears and a pass breakup by Jack Hunt.
The Wildcats were forced to punt, leading to a 35-yard return by Carey to the Arizona 29-yard line.
LSU was forced to settle for a field goal by freshman Ryan Gaudet, who made the first of his career from 47 yards to give LSU a 10-0 led with 5:21 to play in the first quarter.
Arizona continued to struggle on its ensuing drive, as Hunt recorded another pass breakup and a tackle before Lional Turner sacked Costa and jarred the ball loose. Freshman linebacker Kirston Pittman recovered the ball at the Arizona 9.
Two plays later, Addai scored his second touchdown of the game, an 8-yard run over right tackle, to push the LSU lead to 17-0 with 4:23 to play in the quarter.
LSU held Arizona to minus-5 yards of total offense in the first quarter.
Another three-and-out for the Wildcats led to positive field position for the Tigers after a 6-yard Carey punt return.
Mauck was sacked for the second time, setting up a third-and-18 from the LSU 45 yard line. Mauck hit Clayton streaking down the left sideline for 21 yards to give the Tigers a first down. Five plays later, Mauck took the ball himself on an option play to score from four yards out.
LSU led 24-0 with 13:52 to play in the second quarter on Mauck's fifth career touchdown run.
For the fifth time in as many drives, the Tigers put points on the board against a Arizona defense that seemed to be a step behind. This time, Justin Vincent caught the first pass of his career for 13 yards to set up a 48-yard touchdown reception by Clayton from Mauck.
Clayton's long touchdown reception put him over 100 yards for the fifth time in his career, good for seventh on LSU's all-time list of 100-yard games.
The lead grew to 31-0 with 9:32 to play in the second quarter.
Although Arizona entered LSU territory for the first time, the Wildcats were held just short of field goal range after a delay penalty and were forced to punt.
LSU reserve quarterback Marcus Randall took over at the 20 yard line and quickly reached the middle of the field on a 21-yard pass from Randall to tight end David Jones.
Three plays later, Randall replayed his "Bluegrass Miracle" connection by finding Devery Henderson behind the Arizona defense for a 55-yard touchdown reception. Gaudet's fifth PAT of the game gave LSU a 38-0 lead.
Before the first half horn had blown, LSU tallied 331 yards of total offense on 46 plays for five touchdowns.
Arizona, which had minus-5 yards of offense in the first quarter, finished the half with 67 yards on 25 plays. Costa and O'Hara combined for 1-of-12 passing for 19 yards and an interception. Arizona had three first downs.
The 38-point halftime lead was the largest for an LSU team since scoring 41 against UL-Lafayette in 2002. It was also the most points in a half on the road since scoring 43 in the second half at Kentucky in 1997.
After halftime, the Tigers continued their streak of consecutive scoring drives. The seventh-straight came on a 1-yard run by Carey with 10:41 to play in the third quater. The PAT gave LSU a 45-0 lead.
A fumble by freshman Alley Broussard at the Arizona 14 yardline kept the LSU off the scoreboard on the next possession.
However, Randall led the Tigers down the field in nine plays after a Arizona punt and Vincent scored his first touchdown as a Tiger on a 1-yard run to give LSU a 52-0 lead.
Arizona scored its first fourth-quarter touchdown of the game when Broussard fumbled at the LSU 2 yardline and Wildcat cornerback Zeonte Sherman recovered in the endzone with 10:22 to play. The turnover was LSU's fourth of the contest.
LSU led 52-7.
The Tigers completed the offensive battering with a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown by sophomore Skyler Green with 5:40 to play in the game. LSU led 59-7.
Arizona capped scoring with its first offensive touchdown with 4:03 left in the game. Clarence Farmer ran 11 yards around the left side to cut the margin to 59-13. After a 15-yard penalty for unsportsman-like conduct, Arizona missed the PAT.
The Tigers returned to Baton Rouge immediately after the game and will next face Division I-AA powerhouse Western Illinois (2-0) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. Tickets are available online at www.lsusports.net.
LSU vs. Arizona
Sept. 6, 2003 -- Arizona Stadium
- LSU's game captains are WR Devery Henderson, SS Jack Hunt and OG Stephen Peterman.
- Arizona won the toss and elected to defer. LSU will receive to open the game.
- OT Rodney Reed (36 straight), OG Stephen Peterman (21 straight), OT Andrew Whitworth (15 straight) and WR Michael Clayton (15 straight) all extended their consecutive games started streak.
- LSU's scored a touchdown on its first possession of the game (Addai's one-yard touchdown run), the first time the Tigers have done so since the opening drive of the Arkansas game last season (Skyler Green's 67-yard touchdown reception).
- LSU's 38 points in the first half are the most in a half since the Tigers posted 41 in the opening half against UL-Lafayette last season. LSU went on to win that game 48-0.
- LSU's 38 points in a half are the most on the road in a half since the Tigers scored 43 in the second half at Kentucky in 1997. LSU won that game 63-28.
- LSU is now 26-0 under Nick Saban when scoring more 25 points in a game.
- LSU is now 16-0 under Nick Saban when holding opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing. Arizona finished the game with 91.
- LSU's 59-13 victory was the largest victory on the road since a 47-0 victory at Mississippi State (in Jackson) in 1986, and the largest in an opponent's home stadium since a 62-0 victory over Tulane at Tulane Stadium in 1958.
- With WR Michael Clayton's 12-yard reception in the first quarter, the WR extended his consecutive games with a catch streak to 28, every game of his career.
- RB Joseph Addai's 1-yard touchdown run with 8:35 left in the first quarter was the first of the season and fifth of his career. His second touchdown of the first quarter with 4:23 was the sixth of his career.
- Addai's became the first back to score two rushing touchdowns in one quarter since Domanick Davis scored twice in the third quarter against UL-Lafayette last season. Addai crossed the goal line twice the first quarter tonight.
- WR Michael Clayton played on defense for the first time this season on the third-down play of Arizona's opening drive of the game.
- PK Ryan Gaudet's 47-yard field goal in the first quarter was the first of the red-shirt freshman career.
- DL Kirston Pittman recorded his first career fumble recovery in the first quarter after LB Lionel Turner forced the fumble.
- QB Matt Mauck's 4-yard touchdown run with 13:52 left in the second quarter was his first of the season, fifth of his career and first since he scored on a 2-yard against Mississippi State last season.
- RB Justin Vincent's 13-yard reception with 10:35 left in the second quarter was the first reception of the freshman's career.
- WR Michael Clayton's 48-yard touchdown reception with 9:32 left in the second quarter gave him 109 yards on six catches, giving him his fifth career 100-yard receiving game.
- With Clayton's 100-yard game, he moves into a tie for seventh-place on LSU's career 100-yard receiving games in a career.
- Clayton finished the game with 109 receiving yards on six catches and one touchdown. He is now in a tie for seventh-place in career touchdowns with 14, 10th-place in career receptions with 116 and eighth in career receiving yards with 1,764.
- RB Shyrone Carey's 5-yard punt return in the third quarter gave him over 100 all-purpose yards for the game for the second time in his career. He finished the game with 107. He had 148 all-purpose yards against UL-Lafayette last season.
- Shyrone Carey's 1-yard touchdown run with 10:41 left in the third quarter was the second of the season and third of his career.
- Freshman TE Keith Zinger's 9-yard reception in the third quarter was the first of his career.
- Freshman RB Barrington Edwards' two-yard run in the third quarter was the first of his career.
- Freshman RB Justin Vincent's 1-yard touchdown run with 12:49 left in the fourth quarter was the first of his career.
- CB Ronnie Prude's interception with 10:50 left in the fourth quarter was the first of his career.
- Sophomore Skyler Green returned a punt 62 yards for a the first return touchdown of his career and LSU's first since Domanick Davis ran a punt back 78 yards for a score against Mississippi State on Sept. 28, 2002.