8:00 PM ET, November 5, 2005
Tiger Stadium, BATON ROUGE, LA
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU stayed focused long enough to take care of Appalachian State.
JaMarcus Russell passed for 208 yards and two touchdowns and No. 6 LSU beat Appalachian State 24-0 in a non-conference game Saturday night.
The Tigers (7-1) extended their winning streak to six heading into their SEC West showdown at No. 4 Alabama next Saturday. The Mountaineers (6-3) are ranked No. 7 in Division I-AA and tied for first in the Southern Conference.
It was LSU's closest game ever against a I-AA opponent, surpassing a 35-10 victory against The Citadel in 2002. It was Appalachian State's closest game against a Division I-A opponent since a 15-7 loss to Auburn in 1999.
"I tried to let our team know that this team we were playing is a good football team," Tigers coach Les Miles said. "It didn't make any difference what division they're in. I thought that considering it was not the emotion that well have in a week, it was a good outing. We promise you its been very difficult not to look to the next opponent."
Russell threw 9-yard touchdown passes to Dwayne Bowe on the first possession of the game and to Keith Zinger early in the fourth quarter. He also rushed for 42 yards on four carries.
"I thought JaMarcus was sharp," Miles said. "He made good decisions with the ball. He was also able to pull the ball down and get us some first downs at times."
Appalachian State's defense kept the game competitive, but its offense was hampered by poor field position and an ineffective passing game. The Mountaineers, who rushed for 176 yards, had just 80 passing yards, completing 10-of-22.
LSU led 14-0 at halftime and missed an opportunity to increase its lead on its first possession of the third quarter. The Tigers drove to the Appalachian State 21, but Chris Jackson slipped attempting a 39-yard field goal. His kick was short and wide right.
The Mountaineers had their best drive on the ensuing possession but also came up short. They drove 64 yards in 14 plays, but Julian Rauch's 33-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright and bounced wide.
"We don't get into this kind of environment much, and I'm not sure that we probably didn't feed off that some," Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore said. "I am really pleased, really proud of the way that we played."
The Tigers then created some breathing room by driving 80 yards and taking a 21-0 lead on Russell's 9-yard touchdown pass to Zinger with 13:22 remaining in the game. Jacksons 34-yard field goal made it 24-0 with 7:01 left.
Appalachian State's defense kept it in the game in the first half, though LSU drove 72 yards for a touchdown on the first possession of the game.
Russell completed all five of his passes on the drive, utilizing four different receivers, for 54 yards.
The Tigers increased the lead to 14-0 with an 80-yard touchdown drive on the first possession of the second quarter. Backup running back Justin Vincent carried six times for 58 yards, which ended with his 1-yard run.
"We knew that they were a good football team," LSU defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. "I thought that they played well. They played a good game and we played well enough to win."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... LSU drove 72 yards for a TD on its first possession to score the only points it would need.
Gameball goes to... LSU QB JaMarcus Russell, who threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
Stat of the game... 24: The margin of victory was the smallest for the Tigers against a I-AA opponent.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-14||3-9|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-0|
|TD||11:02||DWAYNE BOWE 9 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||11:56||JUSTIN VINCENT 1 YD RUN (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||13:22||KEITH ZINGER 9 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||7:01||CHRIS JACKSON 34 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 39 yards.