(Saturday, September 12th)
Final Score: (11) LSU 23, Vanderbilt 9
Baton Rouge, LA (Sports Network) - Keiland Williams rushed for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 10 carries to lead 11th-ranked LSU past Vanderbilt, 23-9, in a battle between two SEC foes.
Jordan Jefferson completed 20-of-29 passes for 138 yards for the Tigers (2-0, 1-0 SEC), who won 31-23 over Washington last week. Charles Scott rushed for 49 yards on 13 carries, while R.J. Jackson caught six balls for 55 yards for the victors.
"I certainly enjoyed the victory. Winning is the key piece. I think any time you play imperfectly, and you come to the post-game, you have to recognize that first things first. You'd much rather win than do any other thing that we got, so that being said, I think we have to play better," LSU head coach Les Miles said.
Larry Smith completed 11-of-24 passes for 88 yards and an interception for the Commodores (1-1, 0-1 SEC), who won 45-0 over Western Carolina last week. Zac Stacy rushed for 89 yards on 20 carries, while Austin Monahan brought in three passes for 25 yards in defeat.
Not only did Vanderbilt lose the game, but they also lost offensive lineman James Williams to a broken left ankle. In the third period, the 6-foot-6, 310- pound right tackle got tangled up in a pile of players and wasn't able to get up. The sophomore was carted off the field. He was replaced by freshman Caleb Welchans.
"I want to congratulate LSU. I thought they had a really good game plan and came out and controlled the ball for a long time. They did some really good things. They hurt us on the perimeter running the ball and we never did seem able to stop that consistently," Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson said.
With 2:12 to play in the first quarter, Williams capped off a 10-play, 69-yard drive with a six-yard TD run to put the Tigers ahead 7-0. Vanderbilt failed to do anything with its last drive of the period.
LSU drove down to the field during its next possession, but had to settle for a Josh Jasper 32-yard field with 10:22 to go in the second stanza. The Commodores responded with a 12-play, 80-yard drive to cut the deficit to 10-7. Smith capped the drive off with a six-yard touchdown run with 7:20 left until half.
The Tigers headed into the locker room with a 13-7 lead after Jasper split the uprights from 22 yards out with two seconds remaining in the first half.
LSU topped off its first possession of the second half with a 24-yard field goal from Jasper to go ahead 16-7 with 9:23 left in the third period. Vanderbilt continued to play solid defense, keeping the Commodores in the contest.
Late in the third quarter, the Tigers went three-and-out and were forced to punt after starting the drive at their own 20. However, the snap went way over punter Derek Helton's head and out of the back of the end zone, giving Vanderbilt a safety. LSU held onto a slim 16-9 lead heading into the fourth stanza.
The Tigers' Brandon Taylor stopped a Commodores drive when he intercepted a Smith pass at the LSU 15 in the early stages of the fourth. The Tigers failed to take advantage, though, and were forced to punt.
Williams essentially sealed the win for LSU when he danced his way into the endzone from 14 yards out with about six minutes remaining. The seven-play, 46-yard drive gave the Tigers a 23-9 margin.
Vanderbilt scored on a safety for the first time since 2004 at Navy...The Tigers' Brandon LaFell had seven receptions for 38 yards...LSU outgained Vanderbilt 326-210.
09/13 00:54:11 ET