NASHVILLE -- The 11th-ranked LSU football team overcame four turnovers and 14 penalties to turn in a brilliant defensive performance in beating Vanderbilt, 34-6, in front of 37,309 in Vanderbilt Stadium.
LSU statistically dominated the game with 479 yards of total offense but had little to show for it until a 22-point fourth quarter due to miscues. The Tigers had five fewer penalty yards than Vanderbilt's total offense (138-133).
Meanwhile, the LSU defense came up big for the second straight week, holding the Commodore offense that led the SEC in passing offense and ranked second in total offense to only 138 yards of total offense.
The Tigers also recorded six sacks of Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler, giving the Commodores 25 net yards rushing on 26 attempts for the game. The final play of the game was a 40-yard run.
Quarterback JaMarcus Russell finished the game 21-of-32 passing for 285 yards with two touchdown passes. Dwayne Bowe caught five passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, while Early Doucet added 94 yards on five receptions.
LSU placekicker Chris Jackson had a 47-yard field goal hit the left goal post and a 42-yarder missed to the right to end the first half. He converted from 36 yards in the third quarter.
Vanderbilt managed only 138 yards of offense on 59 plays. Quarterback Jay Cutler, who leads the Southeastern Conference in total offense, was held to 11-of-32 passing for 113 yards with a pair of interceptions.
Vanderbilt won the coin toss and elected to defer until the second half. LSU took the ball to start the game and defended the south endzone.
Russell and Bowe connected three times for 77 yards on the game's first drive, including the second of two 30-yard receptions that went for a touchdown. The Tigers took the early 7-0 lead after only 2:33 of play.
The Tigers' next seven LSU possessions comprised of two punts, two fumbles, two missed field goals and an interception, resulting in a 303-41 advantage in first-half total yardage but only a 9-3 lead.
Cutler was tackled in the endzone by LSU's Chase Pittman for a safety with 5:33 to play in the first quarter giving LSU a 9-0 lead.
The safety was the first recorded by the Tigers since the 2003 SEC Championship game when the Georgia punter muffed a deep snap and was tackled by Alley Broussard in the endzone.
The Commodores' lone score of the half was a 36-yard field goal with 3:37 to play in the first quarter after a David Jones fumble was recovered at the LSU 20.
The Tigers started the second half in the same manner as the first: forcing Vanderbilt to punt from further back than they began a drive before fumbling on the next play.
Russell's fumble on a blind side hit again gave Vanderbilt the ball in LSU territory at the 36-yard line. The Commodores gained only five yards before placekicker Bryant Anderson converted a career-long 48-yard field goal.
The lead was cut to 9-6 with 11:36 to play in the third quarter.
After punting for third time, LSU answered defensively by intercepting Cutler for the second time. Cornerback Chevis Jackson recorded his first pickoff as a Tiger.
LSU was able to match the field goal with a 36-yard conversion by Chris Jackson late in the third quarter to extend the lead back to six points, 12-6.
On their next offensive possession, the Tigers went 62 yards on eight plays to score on a 2-yard run by Addai. The run put Addai at 100 yards rushing. A 30-yard reception by Early Doucet setup the score.
Leading by 12 points, LSU head coach Les Miles decided to attempt the two-point conversion. The pass from Russell to Doucet was completed for LSU's first successful two-point try since Sept. 4, 2004, against Oregon State.
LSU led 20-6.
Russell again connected with Doucet for an 8-yard touchdown with 7:42 to play in the game to put the game out of reach, 27-6. The touchdown was Doucet's second of the season, coupled with his game-winner at Arizona State.
With the game clearly in hand, Miles pulled his first string en lieu of his defensive backups midway through the fourth quarter. With 4:25 to play, LSU linebacker Ali Highsmith sacked reserve quarterback Chris Nickson, forced the ball loose and ran into the endzone for a touchdown.
LSU returns home for four scheduled games at Tiger Stadium including a makeup game against North Texas on Oct. 29. The Tigers will next take on Florida at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, in Tiger Stadium.
LSU at Vanderbilt
Oct. 8, 2005 - Vanderbilt Stadium
1. LSU's game captains are 4 JaMarcus Russell, 5 Skyler Green, 41 Chris Jackson and 90 Melvin Oliver.
2. Vanderbilt won the toss and deferred to the second half. LSU received the opening kickoff.
3. Tigers extending their consecutive starts' streak today were: OT Andrew Whitworth (43), FS LaRon Landry (24) and DT Kyle Williams (24), LB Cameron Vaughn (16) and SS Jessie Daniels (16).
4. DE Chase Pittman sacked Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler in the endzone for a safety with 5:33 left in the first quarter. The safety was LSU's first since recording one against Georgia in the 2003 SEC Championship game. The last time an individual recorded a safety for the Tigers was against Auburn on Sept. 16, 1995 when James Gillyard sacked Patrick Nix in the endzone.
5. LSU extended its sack streak to 41 straight games with a sack on Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler by DE Chase Pittman late in the first quarter.
6. PK Chris Jackson's missed field goal attempt late in the second quarter snapped LSU's streak of consecutive field goal attempts made at eight straight.
7. LSU's successful two-point conversion (JaMarcus Russell pass to Early Doucet) in the fourth quarter was the first for the Tigers since the fourth quarter of the Oregon State game on Sept. 4, 2004 (Russell rush).
8. OT Andrew Whitworth started his 43rd straight game, moving the senior into a fifth-place tie with Chad Lavalais on LSU's all-time starts list. The career record is held by Jerel Myers and Rodney Reed with 48 starts.
9. C Ryan Miller, RG Herman Johnson, Nickelback Craig Steltz and Dimeback Jonathan Zenon (LSU opened the game in a dime package) made their first starts at LSU in tonight's game.
10. QB JaMarcus Russell completed 10 straight pass attempts (the final eight of last week's game at Mississippi State and the first two tonight) before throwing an incompletion.
a. Russell's 15-yard scamper late in the first quarter was the longest rush of his career.
b. Russell reached career-highs in passing yards with 285 tonight. His previous high was 232 at Arizona State earlier this season.
11. WR Dwayne Bowe pulled down the third touchdown reception of the season and eighth of his career on the 30-yard pass from JaMarcus Russell with 12:27 left in the first quarter.
12. With a tackle on LSU's first defensive series of the game, DT Kyle Williams and FS LaRon Landry extended their tackles in consecutive games streak. They each have now made a tackle in 30 straight games.
13. DE Melvin Oliver recorded the 14th sack of his career early in the second quarter.
14. WR Craig Davis pulled in a pass midway into the second quarter to extend his consecutive games with a reception streak to 15.
15. LB Ali Highsmith recorded the first sack of his career late in the second quarter.
16. WR/RS Skyler Green moved into third-place on LSU's career punt return yards list with his 17-yard return late in the second quarter. He moved past Sammy Grezaffi who collected 905 yards during his career. Green finished the game with 34 yards and now has 907 Yards for his career.
a. Green reached the 1,000-yard mark in career receiving yards with a 23-yard reception midway into the third quarter. Green entered the game needing 31 yards to reach the milestone.
17. FS LaRon Landry pulled in the eighth interception of his career late in the second quarter. He leads all active players in the Southeastern Conference.
18. RB Joseph Addai reached the 2,000-yard mark in career rushing yards on an 11-yard run late in the second quarter. Addai entered the game needing 55 yards to reach the milestone.
a. Addai recorded the third 100-yard rushing game of his career and the second this season. He finished the game with 102 yards on 24 carries.
b. Addai's 9-yard reception early in the fourth quarter, the senior has now collected at least one reception in 12 straight games.
c. Addai scored the 14th touchdown of his career on a 2-yard run with 12:32 left in the fourth quarter. The rushing score was the fifth of this season for Addai.
19. CB Chevis Jackson pulled down the first interception of his career with less than six minutes left in the third quarter.
20. PK Chris Jackson booted the 18th field goal of his career (2:29 left in the third quarter), moving him into a tie for ninth-place on LSU's career scoring list with Wendell Harris.
21. WR Early Doucet's 94 receiving yards set his career-high, surpassing his 86-yard effort against Troy last season. He also recorded the second receiving touchdown of the season midway through the fourth quarter.
22. DE Tim Washington recorded first career sack in the second game of his LSU career.