No. 12 Football Runs Past Mocs, 45-10
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE -- The 12th-ranked LSU Football team used a balanced attack to amass 454 yards of total offense in a 45-10 victory over Chattanooga on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
LSU (2-0) had 222 rushing yards and 232 passing yards, as the Tigers won a home opener for the 70th time in Tiger Stadium (since 1925).
Derrius Guice led LSU in rushing with 102 yards on 15 attempts, as the junior running back became the 16th Tiger to surpass 2,000 career yards. Nick Brossette added 63 yards on a career-high 11 carries in relief of Guice, whose night was complete after the first drive of the second half.
Quarterback Danny Etling used five passes of more than 25 yards to finish 8-of-14 passing for 227 yards with a touchdown. DJ Chark, who scored on a 65-yard punt return, caught three passes for 103 yards including receptions of 46 and 48 yards.
Chattanooga (0-2) had 122 of its 242 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter, as the Mocs ended LSU's streak of not allowing a touchdown at 12.
Mocs starting quarterback Nick Tiano was 15-of-32 passing for 174 yards with two interceptions. Joseph Parker was on the receiving end of a 67-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter that setup the Mocs' only touchdown. Darrell Bridges rushed for a touchdown and finished with 88 yards on 15 carries.
LSU, which forced two turnovers on interceptions by Andraez Williams and a one-hander by Kary Vincent Jr., did not committ a turnover for the second-straight game to start the season. The Tigers were plagued by penalties early on, committing 10 of its 11 before halftime.
LSU returns to action on Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. CT when the Tigers travel to Starkville, Miss. for the Southeastern Conference opener against Mississippi State. The game will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2.
The Mocs took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards to the LSU 5-yard line, where quarterback Nick Tiano fired an incomplete pass on third down. Chattanooga placekicker Victor Ulmo then connected on a 22-yard field goal to give the Mocs a 3-0 lead. The 14-play scoring march consumed 6:00 on the clock.
LSU responded by driving 72 yards on six plays to grab a 7-3 advantage. The march culminated with a 36-yard TD pass from quarterback Danny Etling to wide receiver Drake Davis, who made the second catch of his collegiate career and his first this season. A 17-yard run by Etling on third-and-eight from the LSU 30-yard line kept the drive alive for the Tigers.
LSU extended the lead to 14-3 on a one-yard TD burst by running back Derrius Guice with 11 seconds left in the first quarter. The four-play, 57-yard drive was ignited by a 46-yard pass from Etling to wide receiver Stephen Sullivan that gave the Tigers a first down at the Mocs’ 11-yard line. The reception was the first of Sullivan’s college career.
The Tigers advanced to the Chattanooga 11-yard line early in the second quarter on a 46-yard aerial from Etling to wide receiver DJ Chark, but the Mocs’ defense stiffened, and LSU placekicker Jack Gonsoulin was wide right on a 40-yard field goal attempt.
The Tigers recorded their first turnover of the contest when LSU cornerback Andraez Williams picked off a Tiano pass at the Chattanooga 38-yard line at the 7:42 mark of the second quarter. LSU charged to paydirt in four plays, as Guice scored on a six-yard run to widen the margin to 21-3.
LSU increased its lead to 28-3 with 3:22 remaining in the first half when Chark dashed 65 yards to the end zone on a punt return. It was LSU’s first punt return for a touchdown since September 15 of last season, when Tre’Davious White scored against Jacksonville State in Tiger Stadium.
Freshman nickelback Kary Vincent Jr. intercepted a Tiano pass at the Chattanooga 34-yard line on the Mocs’ ensuing possession, but the Tigers couldn’t convert the turnover into points when Connor Culp was short on a 47-yard attempt.
LSU held a 28-3 halftime lead despite being penalized 10 times for 69 yards and missing two field goals. The Tigers, however, rolled up 233 yards in total offense, and Etling was 5-of-9 through the air for 164 yards.
Etling completed a 48-yard pass to Chark at the Chattanooga 19-yard line late in the third quarter, and the Tigers scored three plays later on Williams’ 3-yard burst to cap a 69-yard drive.
Chark recorded 103 receiving yards, marking a career high, and Etling finished the night 8-of-14 passing for 227 yards and one touchdown, averaging 16.2 yards per attempt.
Chattanooga drove 86 yards on three plays and scored on a 16-yard run by Darrell Bridges with 12:18 remaining in the contest, reducing the deficit to 42-10. The key play in the march was a 67-yard Tiano completion to wide receiver Joseph Parker, which advanced the ball to the LSU 19.
Connor Culp tacked on a 45-yard field goal - the first of his LSU career - to cap the scoring.