BATON ROUGE -- Ninth-ranked LSU amassed a season-best 455 yards of offense including 267 on the ground, as the Tigers won their 18th-straight over in-state rival Tulane on Saturday night at Tiger Stadium, 42-0.
LSU (7-1) scored four rushing touchdowns for the first time since its Chick-fil-A Bowl blowout win over Georgia Tech last December, while running back Charles Scott broke out with 112 yards and touchdown runs of 4 and 8 yards.
The Tigers' win setup a 2:30 p.m. CST clash with the No. 2-ranked and undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. The game will be televised nationally by CBS.
Tulane (2-6) was shutout for the first time in 85 games. The last time the Green Wave were held scoreless was Sept. 28, 2002, against Texas in the Louisiana Superdome, 49-0.
The Tigers defense continued to smother its opponents. LSU allowed only 216 yards of total offense, including 26 yards rushing on 20 attempts. When the Green Wave entered LSU territory, cornerback Patrick Peterson intercepted a pass at the LSU 5-yard line and placekicker Ross Thevenot missed a 43-yard field goal.
While the Tigers worked on their rushing game, starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson threw for 163 yards, completing 11-of-17 passes with two touchdowns and an interception. Touchdown passes of 19 and 13 yards went to wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who moved into second place on the school's career receiving touchdowns list with 22.
LaFell caught four passes for 85 yards, while Terrance Toliver added 59 yards on four catches.
Backup Jarrett Lee led the Tigers on a 98-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter, completing 2-of-3 passes for 25 yards. Running back Stevan Ridley rolled up 73 yards in the final quarter and scored from 10 yards with 1:12 to play in the game.
LSU freshman all-purpose back Russell Shepard scored for the second-straight game, putting the Tigers on the board with a 19-yard run with 8:05 left in the first quarter. Shepard ran five times for 48 yards and caught a pass for no gain.
Ryan Griffin, the starter and first of three Tulane quarterbacks, completed 21-of-29 passes for 163 yards. His longest completion went for 21 yards. Wide receiver Jeremy Williams had eight catches for 78 yards, and wide receiver Casey Robottom added seven catches for 63 yards.
Tulane leading rusher Andre Anderson attempted 11 rushes for 27 net yards.
LSU scored its first touchdown on a short field when Daniel Graff blocked Thevenot's punt at the Tulane 28-yard line and Stefoin Francois recovered at the 23. Two plays later, Shepard weaved for a 19-yard score.
A 50-yard punt return by LSU's Trindon Holliday gave the Tigers positive field position again at the Tulane 30, but Jefferson was intercepted by Adam Kwentua at the 16.
After a Tulane punt, Scott moved the Tigers to the Tulane 39 with runs of 9 and 15 yards. On third-and-10, Jefferson found LaFell wide open in the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 2:32 left in the opening quarter.
The teams traded punted before Tulane advanced to the LSU 14-yard line on consecutive receptions by fullback Antoine Duplessis of 21 and 6 yards. Three plays resulted in 12 yards lost, and Thevenot pulled his 43-yard field goal attempt to the left.
The Tigers took over at their 26 and used Scott five times to get to the Tulane 18. After a 14-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Rueben Randle to the 4, Scott barreled into the endzone for a 21-0 lead.
Late in the third quarter, the Tigers increased the lead to 28-0 on another short-field touchdown following another 50-yard punt return by Holliday to the Tulane 20.
Scott ran three-straight times, the last an 8-yard touchdown run.
In the fourth quarter, Jefferson and the Tigers continued to concentrate on the running game, as Scott, Jefferson and Williams combined for 44 yards to setup a 13-yard touchdown pass to LaFell. LaFell caught the ball at the Tulane 1, then reached the ball over the goalline before stepping out of bounds.
LSU led 35-0 with 9:55 to play.
With Lee at quarterback, Ridley powered and cut through the Tulane defense eight times for 73 yards, completing the effort with a 10-yard touchdown run with 1:12 left.
Fans are reminded to set their clocks back one hour tonight, as Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday.
LSU vs. Tulane
October 31, 2009
LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES QUOTES
Opening Statement ...
“We wanted this game just like it is. We wanted to be tested by a good club and answer those challenges. We wanted to rush the football better and get some other guys in the game, and we were able to do that and still run the ball efficiently. Certainly 450 yards is the best total output we’ve had. On defense we played well, played stingy, and tackled well. I think defensively we got better. On special teams we felt like we could have some big plays. We had the opportunity to block a punt and return balls, and we did that. Our coverage units, in my opinion, were very, very tough. In all three phases we needed this game. We understand that it’s just a step, just a game that we needed to finish the way it did as we go forward. We’re looking forward to the rest of this season to play well and play our best.”
On how the team looks going into Alabama ...
“I think you can always want to be better and certainly that’s us. I think there will be some improvement in this practice week. I think our guys will look forward to preparing. We look forward to viewing this film that we just played and look forward to preparing this week for our next opponent.”
On the LSU linebackers ...
“I think our linebackers understand what we want from them. There were some mistakes this week and some things that need to be addressed, but I think there are simple corrections to be made. I think we played very well at linebacker, but I think we have room to improve.”
LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
LSU RB Charles Scott
On improving the running game...
“We had a point to try to come out here and focus on things we could improve on going into the next game and going into the backstretch of the season. One (of those things) was to run the ball and I feel like we did that pretty well today.”
On the offense’s improved play in the games following the bye week...
“It feels good any time the offense is putting up points. With a defense like ours, we don’t really give teams too many chances to come back and score on us. I feel like we made strides toward being the team that we want to be.”
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson
On goals the offense accomplished against Tulane...
“Tulane showed a lot of blitzes and we made some great blitz pickups. The offensive line gave me great time whenever I needed to pass and our running game looked really good. We’re just looking real good right now.”
On WR Brandon LaFell...
“His preparation throughout the week is great. He’s a great receiver, a great leader on this team, and we expect a lot from him (LaFell). I know he’s going to get the ball. He always makes the great catches and gets the yards for us.”
RB Stevan Ridley
On being able to score a touchdown...
“It’s an awesome feeling to score anytime in Tiger Stadium. I’m just looking forward to trying to get back out there.”
On the team’s attitude...
“We’ve got great people on this team, and that’s the big thing. I came from a small school where the team was close. The guys on this team really are a close-knit group. When it all counts, we come together on that field. We come together as a team, and we know we mean business.”
LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
DE Lazarius Levingston
On the overall performance of the defense ...
“We were pretty good. We prepared for Tulane like we prepare for any other opponent. We take no team lightly. We come out and give it our all every chance we get.”
On the progress of the defense this season ...
“We are proud of ourselves. Our goal is to just get better every game and that is what we are doing.”
On the execution of the offense the past two weeks ...
“We feel really good. We practice together every day and we tell the offense that we will pick up their slack no matter what is going on; no matter what the outcome is. We will just keep getting better as a team and that is what they have been doing. They keep getting better every day at practice and it is showing up at games on Saturday’s.”
LB Jacob Cutrera
On the first shut-out of the season ...
“It was a good feeling. That is something that our defense has been working towards every week. It was a good feeling for us to finally get that goose-egg up there. It has given us a lot of confidence going into Alabama week.”
On how this game prepared them for next week’s game vs. Alabama ...
“It gives us a lot of confidence. They had a bye-week and Coach Miles always says that he hates bye-weeks because we don’t getter better that week. He would rather play a game. We definitely got better this week and it was a good week for us.”
TULANE HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO QUOTES
“Let me start by saying that we just lost to a very good football team. As I mentioned in the course of the week, they were very physical and very athletic. We got a couple of opportunities early to kick a field goal, and we moved down the field again. We might have had another opportunity to kick a field goal or score a touchdown, and we didn’t. We had a punt blocked early which hurt us. We had a bad snap and a bad kick. It was hard slowing them. They were very physical at the end. They just wore us down. Offensively we couldn’t run the ball very well against them. I was pleased with the fact that our protection was pretty good. (QB Ryan) Griffin threw the ball pretty well. I thought that we caught the ball well. They’re a good opponent. Let’s put it that way. They were tough for us to beat. We had a few of our guys get hurt. Our center Joey Ray broke his hand. Tyler Rice ended the game. David Kirksey pulled his hamstring. Adam Kwentua had a slight separation of the shoulder. All-in-all we’re looking forward to putting this one behind us and finishing up with four league games, games which we hope we can be very competitive in.”
On frustrations with special teams...
“The punt block was disappointing, then they score in two plays. We kicked a bad field goal. That could have given us some points and a little momentum. (Trindon) Holliday has been running up the field in every game. He does it against everybody. We tried to angle-kick it and kick it away from him. We didn’t kick the ball well enough. He’s lightning in a bottle. If you don’t get him quick enough, he’ll go around you. He’s a great athlete. His picture was on the cover of the program today, and there is a reason for it. He’s got great, great speed. The kicking game is something we’ve worked hard on. It continues to fail us.”
On red-zone offense...
“They haven’t given up many points. They’ve given up 13 points a game in the last few games. They’re good. We couldn’t run the ball against them. It’s obvious we couldn’t run the ball. On the interception, one of our guys came off the block and actually got hit, and that’s what caused the interception.”
On keeping the game competitive at the end of the half...
“At the half we kept it competitive. That was my main thing going into the game. I told the team, let’s be as competitive as we can. Let’s play hard and physical. Let’s play for 60 minutes, four quarters and try to gain some respect. It’s a little bit of a mismatch, regardless of what people want to say. They’re good. They are bigger, faster and stronger than we are. Their X’s are bigger than our X’s, and their O’s are bigger than our O’s, plain and simple.”
TULANE OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
On how he felt Tulane played against LSU tonight and their recent losses ...
“It definitely gets really frustrating, it’s kind of like an every week type thing, and it’s the same mistakes that we do. False starts, interceptions, and other big mistakes, like when Ryan (Griffin) got hit. I wonder if there is anything that I could have done to jump on that ball.”
On if he came away feeling any better this week than last week
“We definitely knew we couldn’t get anything on the ground, and like coach said going into the game that we weren’t going to be able to run the ball. Personally, I don’t feel like the score reflected the game. The score got ran up at the end, but we played them pretty well.”
RB Andre Anderson
On if he feels Tulane played harder tonight than in the past ...
“I think the team did play harder, but I’m tired of saying we played hard and we didn’t win. That doesn’t matter to me. We have to win some games down the road. This is one that we needed to win. Of course LSU is a great football team, we just have to not make as many mistakes and have some confidence. We have to win these games.”
On what Tulane can do to improve ...
“Just finish. We have to finish. We have to score in the red zone. We can’t hurt ourselves. Time and time again we do that with a punt, block, fumble, drop, touch or whatever it is. If we want to win close games or games, period, we have to turn that around and fix that.”
On if he feels if Tulane’s schedule has made playing tougher ...
“I mean, I have no control over the schedule. I show up and play when they tell me to. Of course, it’s tough playing most of your home games early and your late games on the road, but you can’t do anything bout that. You just have to show up and play. You can’t complain over your schedule. That has nothing to do with it. You have to play football no matter who it is, whether we mix it up or not. You have to show up on Saturday and play your hardest so that you can win the game.”