Charles Scott keeps breaking loose for long gains and LSU's running game looks as powerful as ever. If the seventh-ranked Tigers don't find a passing game to match, they may not have it so easy when they begin Southeastern Conference play at Auburn next weekend.
Scott ran for touchdowns of 39 and 43 yards, Trindon Holliday scored on a 92-yard punt return, and LSU cruised to a 41-3 victory over winless North Texas on Saturday night.
The dominant victory came at a price. Starting linebacker Darry Beckwith left the game with an apparent right knee injury. Beckwith could not put any pressure on his injured leg as two trainers helped him to the sideline, where he was given crutches. LSU officials did not specify the extent of the injury.
For the second time in as many games, LSU (2-0) didn't need much of a passing game to win big. However, coach Les Miles said earlier in the week that he hoped to see his new quarterbacks complete more passes downfield in their second game, and that didn't happen often.
LSU's longest reception was a 28-yard gain by running back Richard Murphy on a quick screen from Jerrett Lee. This against a team that had yielded 726 yards passing in its opening two losses.
Andrew Hatch, who started and got most of the snaps, finished 10-of-17 for 145 and threw his first career interception. His only touchdown came on a 7-yard keeper. Lee was 10-of-18 for 84 yards. Both quarterbacks were guilty of missing badly on throws down field to receivers who appeared open.
Scott wound up with 102 yards on seven carries.
Holliday, a track standout who nearly made the U.S. Olympic team as sprinter, also had a 59-yard punt return and finished with 163 return yards.
North Texas never got closer to LSU's end zone than the Tigers' 16-yard line. That drive, which started at the LSU 25 after Kylie Hill's interception, produced the Mean Green's only points on Jeremy Knott's 33-yard field goal.
North Texas starter Giovanni Vizza was 22-of-40 for 149 yards. Backup Riley Dodge, inserted for a trick play, was intercepted on his only throw by Curtis Taylor
After opening the season with a 41-13 victory over Appalachian State, LSU had an unexpected weekend off after Hurricane Gustav pounded Baton Rouge two days later and forced the postponement of the Tigers' game against Troy from Sept. 6 to Nov. 15. But with generator power at their indoor field, the Tigers didn't miss any practice time and still looked sharp in the running game and on defense.
Scott's first touchdown came on LSU's fourth offensive play and the Tigers finished with 216 yards rushing. Fullback Quinn Johnson barreled over tacklers on a 5-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Colt David had field goals of 41 and 37 yards, the second giving LSU a 27-3 halftime lead.
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