(Saturday, September 5th)
Final Score: (11) LSU 31, Washington 23
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Jordan Jefferson threw three touchdown passes as 11th-ranked LSU beat Washington, 31-23, extending the futility for the Huskies in the beginning of the Steve Sarkisian era.
It was a successful end to a long road trip. The Tigers last appeared on the West Coast in 1984, when they defeated USC, but that trip wasn't as far as their current 2,550-mile trek for this weekend's opener. LSU has won 20 straight games against non-conference foes. That dates back to 2005.
Jefferson connected on 11-of-19 passes for 172 yards for LSU (1-0), which got four receptions for 117 yards from Chris Toliver. The Tigers won despite being outgained in total yardage, 478-321.
"I don't think the long trip hurt," said Toliver. "They were just more prepared than us in the first half and they came ready to go. I mean, like I said, we just had to make some halftime adjustments and we came out with the victory."
Sarkisian, who previously served as an assistant head coach at USC, inherited a team that went 0-12 a year ago and is currently riding a school-record 15 game losing streak. That's one loss from tying Oregon State's Pac-10 record for consecutive defeats.
"I'll say first, there's no moral victories, but I'm very proud of our football team," said Sarkisian. "They played hard, they played physical, they fought through adversity, they competed until the last second on the clock and that's all we could have asked for coming into this ball game. I think the initial goal I set earlier in the week is that when this game was done, that other football team respected us. I have a feeling they respect the Washington Husky football team."
Jake Locker went 25-of-45 for 321 yards passing with a pair of TDs and a costly interception for the Huskies (0-1), who had two big turnovers in the first half that sent the game's momentum in LSU's direction.
Locker found James Johnson with a 17-yard TD pass to finish off the game- opening 85-yard drive.
Josh Jasper kicked a 24-yard field goal with just over six minutes left in the first quarter, and the Tigers went ahead 10-7 on the ensuing play from scrimmage when Jacob Cutrera picked off Locker and ran 29 yards to the end zone.
The Huskies drove from their own 27 to the LSU five, but Chris Polk fumbled the ball away.
Erik Folk's 34-yard field goal tied the game early in the second, and the Huskies caught a break when Charles Scott fumbled inside Washington's 20 later in the period.
Washington was unable to move the ball in field goal position, and Jefferson's 45-yard TD pass to Toliver gave the Tigers the lead for good at 17-10 with 1:15 left in the half.
Folk made a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the half, but Jefferson's 39-yard scoring strike to Toliver expanded the lead to 24-13 with 5:50 left in the third.
Folk's 32-yard field goal with 5:24 left in the game had Washington within eight points, but Jefferson connected with Brandon LaFell on a six-yard TD pass with about two minutes to go for a 31-16 margin.
Locker found Kavario Middleton with a nine-yard scoring strike on the game's final play.
The only previous meeting between LSU and Washington on the gridiron took place in 1983, with the Tigers scoring a 41-14 victory in Baton Rouge...The Tigers improved to 5-0 in season-openers under head coach Les Miles...Polk had 21 rushes for 90 yards.
09/06 03:50:17 ET