Louisiana Tech 10

(4-5, 4-2 away)

(7) LSU 49

(8-1, 5-1 home)

Coverage: GamePlan

8:00 PM ET, November 1, 2003

Tiger Stadium (LA), Baton Rouge, LA

1 2 3 4 T
LT 0 3 7 010
#7LSU 28 21 0 049

Mauck perfect in first half

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Matt Mauck kicked off LSU's homecoming celebration early. By the time the king and queen were paraded around the field at halftime, Mauck had already locked up a win.

Mauck was 14-for-14 for 277 yards and four touchdowns in the first half in LSU's 49-10 victory over Louisiana Tech on Saturday night.

"I think that my teammates did such a good job getting open and blocking that they made me look good," the quarterback said. "I didn't have to do a whole lot."

It was the second time this season Mauck passed for four touchdowns. He was replaced by Marcus Randall late in the first half and again early in the second and finished 18-for-20 for 311 yards.

LSU (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) led 49-3 at the half, the most points the Tigers have scored in a half since 1958.

"That was just a fantastic football team we played," Louisiana Tech coach Jack Bicknell said. "If they are not the best team in the country, I'd be shocked. We played Miami and I promise you I feel like they are better than Miami."

LSU (8-1), locked in a three-team fight for the Southeastern Conference's Western Division title, stepped out of the conference for the homecoming game.

The Tigers are tied for second in the SEC Western Division but control their destiny. If they win their remaining three conference games, they'll win the West and play in the SEC championship game for the second time in three years.

LSU was scoreless in the second half as coach Nick Saban sent in players who seldom get into games. Saban was not happy with the way his second string performed, but he said it would have been difficult for them to please him.

"I didn't want to score any more points in the second half," Saban said. "But I want us to play well, so how am I supposed to be happy?"

The Tigers had 653 total yards of offense to 341 for Tech. LSU passed for 365 yards and rushed for 288.

Alley Broussard gained 106 yards for LSU, Skyler Green had 103 yards and a touchdown, Devery Henderson had 96 yards and two touchdowns on two catches and Michael Clayton had 85 yards and a touchdown.

The Bulldogs (4-5) have passed for more yards than any team in Division I-A during the past seven years.

Tech's Luke McCown, who's thrown for over 12,000 yards and 82 touchdowns during his career, is on pace to finish as the No. 2 passer in NCAA history behind BYU's Ty Detmer. McCown averaged 311 yards passing in the Bulldogs' first eight games, but completed 11 of 28 for 152 yards and a touchdown against LSU's stifling defense. He was replaced by Maxie Causey in the fourth quarter.

"Looking at the film I did not think they were as fast as they were on the field," McCown said. They are a great football team. Their defense is obviously as good as Miami's or better."

LSU meanwhile was victimizing the Tech defense, ranked last among the 117 I-A teams in passing defense and 114th in total defense.

LSU needed just four plays to go up 7-0 when Mauck hit Clayton with a 34-yard touchdown pass.

LSU stretched the lead to 14-0 on Justin Vincent's 7-yard run. After Kyle Williams intercepted McCown on the Louisiana Tech 19, Mauck hit Green for an 8-yard score to make it 21-0. An interception and 29-yard return by Jack Hunt made it 28-0 with the first quarter running out.

In the second quarter Mauck hit Henderson for 46- and 50-yard touchdowns. On the Tigers next scoring drive, Mauck did not throw a pass. A 22 yard touchdown run by Broussard made it 49-3.

Tech's only score of the first half came on a 29-yard field goal by Josh Scobee.

Louisiana Tech drove to the LSU 1 in the third quarter. But an unsportsmanlike penalty pushed the Bulldogs back to the 16. Then LSU sacked McCown and Tech's 46-yard field-goal attempt was no good. Tech got its first touchdown when McCown hit Eric Newman with a 49-yard touchdown pass that made it 49-10.

Ryan Moats ran for 124 yards for Tech.