LSU Holds On To Defeat Syracuse, 35-26
The 25th-ranked LSU Tigers recorded a non-conference victory on Saturday night, defeating the Syracuse Orange, 35-26, at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge.
With the triumph, LSU extended their non-conference home win streak to 49-straight games, with the last loss to a non-conference foe in Tiger Stadium coming in 2000 at the hands of UAB.
LSU scored touchdowns on their first play from scrimmage in each of the respective halves, went on to open up an 18-point lead, and then held on to record their third win of the season, while moving their home record to 2-0.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard first, scoring on their very first place from scrimmage, when Derrius Guice entered the end zone on a 1-yard plunge, giving them a quick 7-0 lead only :09 into the game.
The touchdown was set-up by the LSU defense, as Andraez Williams intercepted an Eric Dungey pass on the very first play from scrimmage, which, after a return and penalty tacked on, gave the Tigers the football at the Syracuse 1-yard line.
Syracuse drew closer on their very next possession, when Cole Murphy booted through a 42-yard field goal, capping off a 17-play, 52-yard drive, to trim the deficit to 7-3 at the 7:58 mark of the opening frame.
The Tigers extended their lead at the 1:15 mark of the second quarter, when Danny Etling tossed a 43-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Sullivan, culminating a 6-play, 71-yard drive, to make it 14-3, a lead they would take with them into the locker room at halftime.
Syracuse, despite trailing, outgained LSU in the first half, in terms of total yards, 149-141, including a 112-95 advantage through the air, while the Tigers held a 46-37 edge in rushing yards.
Etling led the way for LSU in the first half, completing 8-of-15 passes for 95 yards and one touchdown, while Dungey threw for 99 yards for Syracuse.
The Tigers, just as they had done in the first half, scored on their first play from scrimmage in the second half, when Etling connected with Drake Davis on a long 87-yard scoring strike, to widen their lead to 21-3.
The Orange would respond however, when D.C. Butler hit Ervin Phillips with a 30-yard touchdown pass, culminating an 8-play, 75-yard drive, to make it 21-10.
LSU would add to their lead at the 5:22 mark of the third quarter, when Derrel Williams ended a long 6-play, 91-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown run, to extend their advantage to 28-10.
The Syracuse wouldn't go away however, as they went on to score 16-unanswered points.
The Orange defense came up big at the 3:29 mark of the third period, tacking Williams in the end zone for a safety, to make the score 28-12, before they drew even closer with only :07 left in the third quarter, when Dungey scored on a 14-yard touchdown run, capping off a 10-play, 72-yard drive, to get them to within 9 points, 28-19.
Syracuse continued their attempted comeback at the 5:40 mark of the fourth quarter, when Dungey connected with Steve Ishmael on a 22-yard touchdown pass, culminating a 13-play, 80-yard drive, to make it 28-26.
LSU put the game away at the 1:52 mark of the final frame however, when D.J. Chark scored on a 20-yard scoring run, to make it 35-26, was is how the game ended.
LSU outgained Syracuse, in terms of total yards, 414-384, including a 156-76 advantage on the ground, while the Orange finished with a 308-263 edge in passing yards.
Etling led the way for LSU, completing 10-of-17 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns, while Williams rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
In a losing cause for Syracuse, Dungey threw for 265 yards, while rushing for another 24.
With the victory, LSU improved to 3-1 on the season, while Syracuse dropped to 2-2.
The Tigers return to action next Saturday, when they play host to the Troy Trojans in a non-conference tilt.