NASHVILLE – Honestly, it played out the way a game should when the winning team has 15 starters rated as 4 or 5-star recruits and the losing team has only one 4-star recruit.
No. 20 LSU, for the most part, played up to its talent level here Saturday night, scoring 27 consecutive points in a 41-7 victory over outmanned Vanderbilt.
Myles Brennan became the first Tigers’ QB ever to throw for more than 300 yards in first two games with 337 yards and four TDs, running back John Emery Jr. ran for 112 yards and one TD, wide receivers Terrace Marshall Jr. and Jontre Kirklin caught two TD passes each and LSU’s defense limited Vanderbilt 63 yards in the second half and intercepted two passes.
It was a gradual and steady beatdown for LSU (1-1 overall, 1-1 SEC West), bouncing back from a 44-34 season opening loss to Mississippi State.
The Tigers return home next Saturday for an 8 p.m. game against Missouri (0-2 overall, 0-2 SEC East).
LSU 41, VANDERBILT 7
LSU was coming off an unexpected 44-34 season opening loss to Mississippi State as MSU QB K.J. Costello threw for 623 yards and five TDs. Tigers’ coach Ed Orgeron said his team “did some good things, there parts of it but parts of it don’t cut it.” Vanderbilt freshman quarterback Ken Seals was encouraged by his team’s 17-12 season opening at Texas A&M in which the Aggies lost three fumbles. I do think that it puts notice to a lot of people around the league that this isn’t the same Vanderbilt that they’ve been playing in the past,” Seals said.
HOW IT PLAYED OUT
LSU junior QB Myles Brennan looked more decisive in his second college start as the Tigers led the Commodores from start to finish. Though Vanderbilt converted Brennan’s only interception into Vandy’s only TD of the first half, he seemed more confident and less hesitant than in the season opening loss to Mississippi State. Brennan threw for 337 yards and four touchdowns and fired some absolute laser beams. Even with usual starting running back Chris Curry not playing because of an injury, LSU’s rushing attack gained 161 yards thanks to John Emery Jr., who ran for 103 yards averaging 8.6 yards per attempt. LSU’s defense was largely unimpressive in the first half, allowing 203 yards including 107 on the ground. In the second half, LSU’s defense stepped up its game in the second half giving up 63 yards.
After Vanderbilt cashed in Brennan interception with a 58-yard TD drive to cut LSU’s lead to 14-7, the Tigers used just three plays to cover 75 yards for another TD on Brennan’s 51-yard scoring strike to Marshall for a 21-7 lead they took to halftime. The TD started a string of 27 consecutive points.
LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Brennan completed 23 of 37 passes for 337 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He looked much more comfortable, made good decisions and stepped up in the pocket and threw when pressure crashed from around the ends.
LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Safety JaCoby Stevens had 11 tackles but you can’t ignore end Ali Gaye who had 3 tackles including one for loss and two QB hurries.
9: TD catches by LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr. in his last five games, including two or more TDs in four of them.
11: Tigers caught 23 Myles Brennan completions
92: Punt return yards by Derek Stingley Jr. on three returns. In 15 games last season, he had 163 punt return yards.
103: Rushing yards on 12 carries by Tigers’ sophomore running back John Emery Jr., a career high in both categories.