October 16, 2006
Baton Rouge, LA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- The No. 14 LSU Tigers tried to forget about the past week's loss to the University of Florida with an offensive explosion.
The Tigers (5-2, 2-2) scored 49 points and racked up 546 yards of total offense in the team's 49-0 win against the University of Kentucky (3-4, 1-3) on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
After one of its worst offensive showings this season in Gainesville, Fla., which included four offensive turnovers and just 10 points, LSU turned it around in stunning fashion.
LSU coach Les Miles said the way the team played is a sign of the players' character.
"This team has played some teams very well, so for us to handle [Kentucky] as well as we did is nice," Miles said.
The offensive unit for the Tigers accumulated 268 yards on the ground and another 278 through the air, including 213 yards from junior quarterback JaMarcus Russell in the first half alone.
Russell said the team's ability to spread the ball out helped the offense stay on track.
"It is always good when you can get things going in the running and passing game," Russell said. "You never know when something might go wrong, so it is good to have that balance."
Russell took a seat on the bench and gave way to junior Matt Flynn early in the third quarter. He finished the contest, completing 15 of 18 pass attempts for 226 yards and two scores.
Russell's two touchdown passes, both to senior wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, marked the 16th and 17th time the two have hooked up for six points.
Bowe finished the night with six receptions for 111 yards and three touchdowns, including a 48-yard bomb from Russell.
The three touchdowns caught by Bowe marked the first time an LSU wide receiver has hauled in three since Nov. 9, 2002 when Devery Henderson accomplished the feat against the Wildcats in the Bluegrass Miracle.
"I don't really worry about things like that," Bowe said. "I just go out there and do my job and catch the football. I didn't know it had been that long, but now I guess I have to strive for four touchdowns."
Junior tailback Jacob Hester began the night gaining 44 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and gave way to freshmen Charles Scott and Keiland Williams as the third quarter began. Scott and Williams rushed for a combined 106 yards to shoulder the second-half load.
Hester said the way the offense played is a sign that the team is still a top Southeastern Conference team.
"I think we came out and proved that we are still a good football team and still in the hunt," Hester said.
Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said LSU's domination makes it hard to understand why the team has two losses this season.
"We played a very poor football game against a very good football team, and the combination of that was not very pretty," Brooks said. "We didn't stop them. They just took it down the field and just gashed us."
LSU out-gained the Wildcats by 319 yards. The Tigers had 207 more rushing yards, and had more passing yards at 278 than the entire Wildcat offense, who had 227 yards, gained in the contest.
Miles said the numbers show that the team responds well to their second conference loss.
"I think we all came off last week a little stunned, and I think there was an edge to this football team going into the game," Miles said. "And every week that ends like this, whether it's by 49 [points] or by one [point], it's a week worth referring to ... because those weeks that we finish second aren't worth a damn."
(C) 2006 The Daily Reveille via CSTV U-WIRE