No. 13 LSU dominates 2nd half, downs Furman 48-16
Unhappy as Les Miles was with two turnovers in the first half
which helped an overmatched foe keep it close through halftime, the
coach could only criticize his team so much.
Odell Beckham Jr., Terrence Magee and Jeremy Hill still had
their share of long, explosive scoring plays, LSU’s offense piled
up nearly 700 yards and the 13th-ranked Tigers walked out of Death
Valley with a comfortable 48-16 romp over Furman on Saturday
”We cannot continue to play like we played in the first half. I
think our team understood and I think the coaches made the point
that, basically, `Let’s focus and let’s go play,” Miles said.
”Eventually we caught speed and played like we’re supposed
Beckham caught six passes for 204 yards and two scores, Magee
added two second-half touchdowns, including one from 39 yards out,
and Hill highlighted a 143-yard night with a 55-yard scoring run
for LSU (7-2), which held a tenuous 20-16 lead at halftime before
outscoring the Paladins (3-5) 28-0 in the second half.
Hill said LSU’s mood in the locker room at halftime ”wasn’t
anything serious or panicking. We already knew what we were capable
of. … You can see in the second half, if we don’t turn the ball
over, what we’re capable of doing.”
Hill finished with an average of 10.2 yards on 14 carries.
Beckham’s TDs went for 63 and 37 yards, he also had a 53-yard catch
and run to set up Hill’s 4-yard score in the first half. Magee
finished with 108 yards on only seven carries, a whopping average
of 15.4 yards per carry.
”In the second half, physically, they were just able to take
over the game with their offense,” Furman coach Bruce Fowler said.
”We just had trouble stopping the run and when you mix in the pass
that is an offense that is hard to stop. We just kind of got run
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger passed for 328 yards and three
scores, but threw two interceptions, the first of which was
returned 76 yards by Reggie Thomas to give Furman a 7-0 lead. Late
in the third quarter, Mettenberger found fullback Melvin Jones for
a 7-yard TD.
Mettenberger said his first interception resulted from a
miscommunication with Beckham. The second, Miles noted, was tipped
and probably not the quarterback’s fault. After throwing three
interceptions a week earlier in a loss at Mississippi, Mettenberger
appeared frustrated when asked if he was forcing some passes
”I don’t know. You tell me,” Mettenberger said. ”We will see
what y’all think when you watch the game film.”
Hank McCloud rushed for 78 yards for Furman, while quarterback
Reese Hannon was 16 of 28 for 104 yards and was intercepted
Yet, as close as the Paladins stayed in the first half, they
wound up being outgained by LSU 672-198 in total yards.
The Tigers, who played in each of the first nine weeks of the
season, finally get a week off before visiting No. 1 and unbeaten
Alabama on Nov. 9.
The sloppiness plaguing LSU in the first half included
Mettenberger’s first interception, a personal foul penalty that led
to a field goal, a missed field goal, missed extra point, and
Beckham’s fumble on a punt return that led to another field
After Furman took the first lead, the Tigers quickly tied it on
Hill’s long TD run. Furman then went back up 10-7 on Ray Early’s
46-yard field goal.
Hill’s second TD put LSU up 13-10, but kicker Colby Delahoussaye
missed the point-after.
With LSU leading 20-13 late in the half, the Paladins were given
the ball within striking distance of a tying TD when Beckham muffed
a knuckling punt. A couple plays later, Furman had a first-and-goal
on the 1 with 1:19 left in the quarter. But with no timeouts, the
Paladins were stuffed on first down and then committed a false
start, leaving them only enough time for one incomplete pass before
Early had to come on for a field goal on third-and-goal.
That was as close as it got.
”We know that we were not playing good in the first half and we
needed to pick it up,” Beckham said. ”That’s exactly what we came
out and did.”