LSU Comes Back To Down Wisconsin, 28-24
Melvin Gordon #25 of the Wisconsin Badgers dives over Jalen Mills #18 of the LSU Tigers for a touchdown in the second quarter at NRG Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Houston, Texas.
The 13th-ranked LSU Tigers won their 2014 season opener on Saturday night, capturing a come-from-behind, 28-24, win over the 14th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Wisconsin led, 24-7, in the with under 8:00 to go in the third quarter, before LSU roared back, scoring 21 unanswered points, to go on to the four-point win.
The Badgers drew first blood, at the 9:05 mark of the first quarter, when Reggie Love capped off 6-play, 76-yard drive, with a 45-yard touchdown run, giving them a 7-0 lead.
Wisconsin made it 10-0 at the 5:07 mark of the period, courtesy of long 51-yard field goal by Rafael Gagliaone, completing a 5-play, 31-yard drive.
On the very next play from scrimmage, the Tigers scored their first points of the game, when quarterback Anthony Jennings hit Travin Dural with a long 80-yard scoring strike, cutting the Wisconsin lead to 10-7 at the 4:47 mark of the first quarter, which is how the scoring in the first frame ended.
The Badgers scored the only points of the second quarter, at the 7:36 mark, when Melvin Gordon scored on a 14-yard run, finishing off a 5-play, 31-yard drive, to make the score 17-7, Wisconsin, a lead they would take with them into the locker room at halftime.
Wisconsin scored on their first possession of the second half, going on a 6-play, 75-yard drive that ended when Corey Clement scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, giving them a 24-7 lead.
That's when the Tigers began their comeback.
LSU got two field goals from Colby Delahoussaye on their next two possessions, one from 30 yards, and the other from 47, to cut the Wisconsin lead to 24-13 at the end of three periods.
The first of those field goals came after a key first down conversion on a fake punt, which turned the momentum in LSU's favor for the first time on the evening.
The Tigers drew to within three points at the 12:08 mark of the fourth quarter, when Jennings tossed a short 1-yard touchdown pass to John Diarse, making the score 24-19, and one play later, after a successful two-point conversion, the score was all of a sudden, 24-21, Wisconsin.
LSU made it 21-unanswered points when they grabbed their first lead of the game at the 9:41 mark of the final quarter, as Kenny Hilliard ran in a touchdown from 28 away, capping off a 3-play, 53-yard drive, to make the score 28-24, Tigers.
The LSU defense came up big after that, denying the Wisconsin offense, as the Tigers hung on for the four-point win, their 46th-consecutive non-conference win.
The Tigers ended the game outgaining the Badgers, in terms of total offense, 368-318, including a 238-50 advantage in the passing department.
Jennings, the sophomore, completed 9-of-21 passes for 238 yards, along with two touchdowns and no interceptions, while Hilliard carried the football 18 times for 110 yards and a touchdown.
In a losing cause for Wisconsin, Gordon accumulated 140 rush yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
With the victory, the Tigers improved to 1-0 on the season, while the Badgers fell to 0-1.
LSU returns to action next Saturday, when they host Sam Houston St..