Published September 15, 2013
| Sports Network
Baton Rouge, LA – Zach Mettenberger threw for three touchdowns and Jeremy Hill had two on the ground for No. 8 LSU, which rolled to a 45-13 victory over Kent State to remain unbeaten on the young season.
Mettenberger completed 13-of-18 attempts for 264 yards without a turnover, while Hill racked up 117 yards on just 11 carries to help the Tigers (3-0) to their FBS-record 44th consecutive non-conference regular-season win.
Jarvis Landry was on the receiving end of two of Mettenberger's scoring passes, while Odell Beckham finished with five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in the rout.
"LSU's a very good football team," said Kent State head coach Paul Haynes. "I give them a lot of credit. They had a good game plan, and it was very well coached."
Colin Reardon threw for 190 yards on 20-of-29 efficiency for Kent State (1-2) and scored the Golden Flashes' lone touchdown on a 2-yard run in the second quarter.
The Tigers dominated right from the beginning, putting up points on each of their first five offensive possessions to build a commanding 31-7 lead late in the opening half.
Hill, LSU's leading rusher as a freshman last season who was suspended for the opener, made his first start of the year and began the barrage by ripping off a 58-yard touchdown run just 2:41 into the game.
"He picked up right where he left off," said Mettenberger. "He hit the ground running, and I'm excited to see what he will do in the future."
LSU struck quickly again on its next drive after forcing a swift three-and- out. Mettenberger hit Travin Dural for a 36-yard gain on the second play of the series to move the Tigers deep in Kent State territory, then later capped the 6-play, 57-yard sequence with a 21-yard strike to Landry that put LSU up 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
The Tigers moved the ball with ease on their subsequent trip as well, needing just four plays to churn out 37 yards after receiving good field position when the defense again pinned the Golden Flashes back. Hill found the end zone once more, this time on a 12-yard burst, to extend the margin to 21 points entering the second quarter.
Kent State was finally able to generate some momentum on its third drive of the game, in which Reardon went 5-for-5 for 71 yards and got the Flashes on the board via a 2-yard run just over two minutes into the second period. However, LSU fullback Connor Neighbors took a short pass 52 yards on the Tigers' first play after the ensuing kickoff, setting up Colby Delahoussaye's 25-yard field goal that increased the lead to 24-7.
The Tigers then marched 93 yards in just eight snaps the next time they had the ball. Mettenberger and Beckham teamed up for a pair of big pass plays, and Landry hauled in a 31-yard heave from Mettenberger for his second touchdown of the night 4:14 prior to the intermission.
Kent State was able to pull to within 31-10 at the half, converting a fumbled punt by Dural at the LSU 20 into Anthony Melchiori's 37-yard field goal that came 17 seconds before the break.
Reardon got the Golden Flashes into the red zone on his team's second possession of the second half, though Kent State wound up settling for a 36- yard Melchiori field goal that trimmed LSU's advantage to 31-13 late in the third quarter.
"I still think he's continued to get better each week," said Haynes of Reardon, a redshirt freshman."
Kent State never got any closer, as the LSU offense put together two more long touchdown jaunts to pull away in the final frame.
The Tigers gained 75 yards in nine plays, highlighted by Mettenberger's 28- yard connection with Travis Dickson to the KSU two, and increased their cushion to 25 points when Mettenberger hit Beckham for a 5-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Terrence Magee lengthened the Tigers' lead to 45-13 just over four minutes later, following a 25-yard run with a 13-yard scamper into the end zone with 10:44 left.
Magee finished with 108 yards on nine rushes, with 307 of LSU's 571 total yards coming on the ground ... The Tigers haven't lost to a non-conference opponent in the regular season since a 26-8 setback at Virginia Tech in 2002, and own the nation's longest winning streak in September at 28 games ... Mettenberger has thrown for nine touchdowns over LSU's first three outings ... Kent State fell to 0-12 all-time against SEC members, with eight of those defeats coming by 30 or more points.