With 18 seniors playing in Tiger Stadium for the final time, LSU improved to 9-2 on the season with a 42-10 dismantling of Rice University.
LSU made it a point on Nov. 17 to get its seniors involved in the offense as much as possible with tight end Foster Moreau hauling in three catches in the first half for 55 yards and a touchdown. Running back Nick Brossette handled the bulk of the carries.
It took four minutes for the Tigers to score their first touchdown as they marched 79 yards capped off by running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s inside handoff from three yards. LSU would score again at the six-minute mark of the first on a 38-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Joe Burrow to wide receiver Stephen Sullivan, and the route was on.
Coach Ed Orgeron said it was important for the offense to rediscover its identity and thought they did as they re-established the passing attack.
"We had a good week of practice and had a chance to evaluate what we were doing wrong on offense," Orgeron said. "We have to put the ball in our athlete's hands, and I thought we did a better job of that tonight."
Burrow was efficient in his time on the field, completing 20-of-28 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns. LSU scored on four of its five possessions in the first half — all touchdowns.
"Coach [Steve Ensminger] came to me this morning and told me he wanted to throw the heck out of the ball," Burrow said. "I think it was important for us as an offense to come together and move the ball without any hesitation.”
Sullivan was also heavily utilized in the first pass, catching for a career-high 94 yards in the first half alone, including a touchdown that put LSU up 14-0.
With the lead at 28-3 and 1:55 to go in the first half, LSU kept Burrow on the field for a two-minute drill. With the Tigers driving for seemingly another score, Burrow dropped a beautiful pass into the chest of Jefferson, who dropped his second touchdown pass of the half.
Orgeron said earlier in the week LSU fans could expect some surprises in the Rice game, and the first one went horribly wrong. LSU went “Wildcat“ with Jontre Kirklin in the first quarter, and the receiver fumbled the ball at the Tiger 35-yard line. The turnover didn’t result in any Rice points, but it was nonetheless a failed experiment.
The LSU defense did its part, holding Rice to 59 yards, three sacks and six tackles for a loss of in the first half. Sophomore safety Grant Delpit said it was important to come out and play for the seniors.
"You always want to send the seniors out with a win," Delpit said. "We want to finish the season strong and take care of business on the road."
The second half was more of the same as a Tiger defensive stop led to another touchdown drive, including Moreau catching another pass for a season-high 73 yards. Brossette capped off the drive with his second touchdown of the night as LSU took a 35-3 lead.
Enter Myles Brennan.
Brennan saw most of the work in the second half, going 4-for-6 on the night for 65 yards. Brennan’s first drive started with a couple of first downs but ultimately stalled at the 50 after a pass was thrown behind the intended receiver Kirklin.
"Myles is always ready to go when his number is called," Burrow said. "I told him run the show, it's your show, and I think he did that."
Lanard Fournette had a productive fourth quarter as the driving force behind the Tigers last score of the game. Fournette carried the ball six times on the drive for 42 yards and finished with a goal line touchdown.