BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- A soft home schedule? Perhaps.
But No. 14 LSU cannot be accused of taking any game in Death
JaMarcus Russell was perfect passing for nearly the entire first
half and Dwayne Bowe caught three touchdown passes to spearhead the
Tigers' 49-0 victory over Kentucky on Saturday night.
It was the fifth blowout in as many home games for LSU (5-2, 2-2
SEC), which returned to Tiger Stadium after a humbling loss at
Florida a week earlier. The Tigers have beaten Louisiana-Lafayette,
Arizona, Tulane, Mississippi State and now Kentucky a combined
"You could see how they played they were not going to be denied
tonight," LSU coach Les Miles said. "There was an edge to this
football team. ... They played a pretty good football team tonight
and made it look easy."
Bowe caught six passes for 111 yards and moved into second-place
on LSU's career list for touchdown receptions with 20. His first
two TDs, thrown by Russell, went for 7 and 48 yards. Backup
quarterback Matt Flynn threw the last from 8 yards out in the third
quarter, making the score 42-0.
Bowe now has one touchdown catch fewer than former teammate
Michael Clayton, who plays for Tampa Bay in the NFL. Bowe surpassed
the marks of Devery Henderson and Wendell Davis, who both had been
tied for second with 19 TD catches.
"I just made adjustments and made great catches and got into
the end zone," Bowe said. "At home, we really just like the
atmosphere and the surroundings. On the road we just have mistakes
we've got to correct."
LSU has struggled in both of its road games, losing the first
7-3 at Auburn and the second 23-10 at Florida -- a game decided in
large part by five LSU turnovers.
That sloppiness prompted biting criticism on local sports
call-in shows throughout the past week, and LSU responded by
scoring touchdowns on its first four possessions to jump out to a
28-0 lead by halftime.
Russell, pilloried for his three interceptions at Florida,
completed his first 12 passes against the Wildcats (3-4, 1-3).
Removed from the game with LSU leading 35-0 in the third quarter,
he finished 15-of-18 for 226 yards.
"They threw the ball at will on us," Kentucky coach Rich
Brooks said. "We were not covering tightly. We were not rushing
the passer well. That combination is deadly against a team with as
much talent and with a quarterback who can do the things (Russell)
Jacob Hester, getting his first start at tailback, scored two
touchdowns, a single-game best for him.
LSU's slimmest margin of victory at home so far is 31 points
against Mississippi State.
"It's hard to understand that they're sitting here with two
losses at this point because they've got some really good
players," Brooks said. "They can throw it, they can run it, and
their defense was as good as advertised."
Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson was intercepted once and
finished 14-of-37 for 145 yards, or about 100 yards below his
average coming in. He was relieved after three quarters. The
Wildcats managed only 61 yards rushing.
Needing to avoid mistakes against an LSU squad favored by more
than three touchdowns, Kentucky did just the opposite on its first
punt. LSU's Craig "Buster" Davis was interfered with as he caught
the kick at the Tigers' 14, then another Kentucky player was called
for a personal foul after the whistle. The 30 yards in penalties
allowed LSU to open its first offensive series at its own 44-yard
Eight plays later, the Tigers had a 7-0 lead on 7-yard run by
Hester, who had sustained the drive with a 2-yard gain on
LSU needed only six plays to go 63 yards for a score on its next
possession. Trindon Holliday did most of the work, running 30 yards
on a reverse. Russell found Bowe shortly after on a short rollout
to make it 14-0.
Hester scored his second touchdown on a 4-yard run to give LSU a
21-0 lead early in the second quarter. The big play on the drive
was a middle screen from Russell to Davis, who broke several
tackles on a 32-yard gain.
Bowe's second touchdown, his longest, came on a wide open catch
behind the coverage and an easy sprint to the end zone.
Early Doucet's 12-yard touchdown run after he took a direct snap
made it 35-0 early in the third quarter.
LSU racked up 546 total yards in the game, compared to 227 for
Kentucky. The Wildcats penetrated deep into LSU territory twice in
the second half but saw one drive stall on an interception and the
other on a failed fourth-down play.
"Obviously, we weren't interested in playing, or we weren't
ready," Brooks said. "And that's my responsibility."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... The game kicked off. It was pretty clear at halftime -- when the Tigers led 28-0 -- that there would be no "Bluegrass Miracle" in this edition of the LSU-Kentucky series.
Gameball goes to... JaMarcus Russell. LSU's QB was on fire, connecting on 15-of-18 passes for 226 yards and two TDs. Dwayne Bowe caught six passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
Stat of the game... 32: The Tigers stats are all inflated, but their 32 first downs stick out the most. Of course, to finish with 546 total yards on offense, you'd need quite a few first downs.