(Saturday, October 15th)
Final Score: (1) LSU 38, Tennessee 7
Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - The top-ranked LSU Tigers used Jarrett Lee's arm and the legs of Jordan Jefferson to crush the Tennessee Volunteers, 38-7.
Lee completed 10-of-14 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers (7-0, 4-0 SEC), who are off to a 7-0 start for the second straight year.
Jefferson carried the ball 14 times for 73 yards and a score for LSU, which completed its second straight sweep of the SEC Eastern Division. For the first time in school history, LSU has swept teams from the other half of the league in back-to-back years.
"I liked using both quarterbacks, I think that's what's best, what we need to do, and I think both guys do different things and we like to do that," LSU head coach Les Miles said. "We will continue to do that. There is a want for both guys to have success and have team success."
Spencer Ware rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for the Tigers, who have won all seven of their games this season by double figures. He also caught a 13-yard TD pass.
With starting quarterback Tyler Bray (thumb) sidelined, Matt Simms completed just 6-of-20 passes for 128 yards and two interceptions for the Volunteers (3-3, 0-3), who have lost three of their last four since opening the season with back-to-back wins.
Despite a sore hamstring, Tauren Poole carried the ball 19 times for 70 yards and a score in defeat.
"My hamstring is good. I stretched the whole game and continued to the stretch each quarter," Poole said. "My hamstring was hurting Monday and Tuesday, and I could not explode off of it. God is good. We have great trainers. They did a great job of attacking my hamstring all week and got it to where it needed to be."
Tennessee kept it a scoreless game early on and seemed to block a field goal late in the first quarter. With 57 seconds left, LSU set up for a field goal on 4th-and-1 at the 30. The Volunteers celebrated after blocking the field- goal attempt, but a flag was down on the field. The play clock ran out before the Tigers got off the snap. Thus, a delay of game penalty pushed LSU back five yards. A second consecutive delay of game call forced the visitors to punt.
On the first play of the ensuing Tennessee possession, Rajion Neal made a juggling 38-yard catch along the right sideline. Following a review, it was determined that Neal got one foot in before going out. Simms went deep down the left side on the next play, but Morris Claiborne intercepted the pass. An 89-yard return put the ball at the Tennessee five-yard line.
The first play of the second quarter resulted in a touchdown. Lee dropped back and found Rueben Randle on a slant for a five-yard score and 7-0 lead.
The Tigers got the ball back after the Volunteers went three-and-out. Faced with a 3rd-and-11 at the Tennessee 13, Lee found Ware out in the flat. Ware sprinted into the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the half.
The Volunteers used a 44-yard catch by Da'Rick Rogers on their next possession to get into LSU territory. Poole followed with six straight runs to get the ball inside the 10. A defensive pass interference penalty on third down put the ball at the two. Poole got the ball again and rumbled into the end zone to cut the gap to 14-7 with under 2 1/2 minutes to go.
LSU used a big play to help take the momentum back. Randle's 45-yard catch- and-run down the right sideline put the ball at the 10. Following a two-yard rush by Ware, Deangelo Peterson caught a seven-yard pass. The Tigers settled for an 18-yard Drew Alleman field goal with 15 seconds left.
The Tigers opened the second half with a 12-play, 66-yard scoring drive that took over seven minutes off the clock. Odell Beckham and Randle both caught key third-down passes on the march, which Ware capped with a one-yard TD run for a 24-7 margin.
A 22-yard run by Poole put the ball at the LSU 30. But two incomplete passes around a loss of seven yards set up a 4th-and-17 situation. Tennessee decided to punt and downed the ball at the one-yard line.
The Tigers used their effective ground game to run almost nine minutes off the clock. To make things more impressive, LSU went with the run 14 times on a 16- play, 99-yard drive. Jefferson capped the march with a three-yard TD run for a 31-7 lead with 8:55 remaining.
Russell Shepard's 14-yard TD run with 1 1/2 minutes remaining gave LSU its largest margin of victory over Tennessee in school history.
Although Tennessee owns a 20-9-3 series lead over the Tigers, LSU has won the last four meetings...LSU has now won eight straight games by double-digits, counting the Cotton Bowl win against Texas A&M, which ties the school record of eight set back in 1936...The Tigers also ran their winning streak against the SEC East to six, tying the school record...The Tigers had 260 yards rushing, compared to 111 for the Volunteers...Randle caught five passes for 86 yards...Rogers hauled in three passes for 63 yards.
10/15 20:36:49 ET