October 16, 2006
Baton Rouge, LA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- LSU junior quarterback JaMarcus Russell needed only one half to post numbers worthy of a full game stat sheet.
Russell went 14 for 17 in the opening half, throwing for 213 yards and two touchdowns to senior wide receiver Dwayne Bowe as the LSU Tigers defeated the University of Kentucky 49-0 Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
Russell finished 15 for 18 with 226 yards and two touchdowns in a one-sided contest in which the Wildcats could not muster a point.
Russell said the solid effort was nice to see after last week's sloppy performance against the University of Florida.
"It started with a good week of practice," Russell said. "After last week we had to get that filthy taste out [of our mouths]."
The LSU defense held the Wildcats to 227 yards of total offense, allowing Kentucky to cross midfield only once in the first half.
Senior defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey said the defensive emphasis was on pressuring the Kentucky offense.
"We try to get pressure on the quarterback," Dorsey said. "When you let the quarterback get comfortable back there, that's when they can hurt you."
The LSU defense kept Kentucky's passing offense from establishing a rhythm. Kentucky junior quarterback Andre Woodson finished 14 for 37 with 151 yards passing and one interception.
Kentucky's top receiving duo of junior Keenan Burton and sophomore Dicky Lyons Jr. combined for only 119 yards on 11 catches.
Lyons said the Wildcats struggled to take advantage of LSU mistakes.
"They're a good football team; don't get me wrong," Lyons said. "I've played against a lot of them, and they're all five-star athletes. We made them look better than they are."
Russell and the LSU receiving corps picked up the slack. Bowe finished with 111 on six receptions for three touchdowns, including a 43-yard touchdown reception that all but ended the game in the second quarter.
Russell said his connections with Bowe were a welcome sight.
"It's been a while since Dwayne and I hooked up for one that long," Russell said. "It was great for our team and the spirit of our fans."
LSU coach Les Miles said this week's game was a win the Tigers needed.
"It's nice to be back on track," Miles said. "They needed victory. This team came out today in a fashion that they were needy. They needed victory. You could see that they were not going to be denied tonight."
Junior running back Jacob Hester began the scoring for the Tigers in the first quarter, finishing an eight play, 71-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run.
After a 7-yard touchdown reception by Bowe capped a 63-yard drive, Hester finished another drive with a 4-yard run to score.
Hester finished with 44 yards rushing on 13 carries for two touchdowns and two receptions for 19 yards.
Hester said the Tigers were glad to get the Florida game behind them.
"It is tough any time you lose, especially when we felt like we had a chance to win going into the game," Hester said. "We have to focus on next week because every team we face is going to be tough down the road."
The second half began just as the first half ended, with LSU marching downfield on a four-play, 65-yard drive ending with a 12-yard touchdown run by junior wide receiver Early Doucet.
Junior quarterback Matt Flynn replaced Russell under center on LSU's next drive. He led the Tigers on another touchdown march, finding Bowe for his third score from 8 yards out.
Kentucky spent the rest of the third quarter unsuccessfully trying to get on the scoreboard. The Wildcats came away with no points on two-consecutive trips to the red zone.
The Tigers finished scoring with a 93-yard drive, ending with a touchdown pass from Flynn to junior fullback Shawn Jordan from 2 yards out.
(C) 2006 The Daily Reveille via CSTV U-WIRE