LSU (4-6) looking to keep their bowl game hopes alive, plays their final non-conference game of the season tonight against ULM (4-6) in Tiger Stadium. The Tigers come into the game after another big defensive effort, dropping their last outing in overtime to No. 25 Arkansas 16-13. On the flipside ULM fell to Arkansas State 27-24.
The Tigers have won 33 straight games against in-state opponents, with its most recent coming in week 2 with a 34-7 victory over McNeese.
Tigers won the toss and elected to defer until the second half, they will defend the North end zone.
Already the defense looks to pick up where it left off. Damone Clark has a TFL of three yards, and the Tigers have forced a 3-and-out to start the game.
On their opening Max Johnson and Malik Nabers combined for two receptions and 55 yards. Ty Davis-Price had a pitch off the left side that set up LSU at the three yard line that allowed Johnson to scramble in for the first points of the game.
The War hawks would go 74 yards on their next drive, and on 4th and goal from the two yard line, Rhett Rodriguez would complete to Malik Jackson, in very tight coverage to the one yard and no further. Tigers ball at the one yard line.
Jaray Jenkins and Malik Nabers both have big receptions to start the drive. Jenkins 17 yards, and Nabers 21. Ty Davis-Price caught two passes out of the backfield this drive to move the sticks. On 2nd and 1 at the ULM 34, Jack Bech put his defender on skates and came down with a 14 yard pick up. Two plays later Johnson to Hilton for six on a fumblerooski type play. After review it was determined that Johnsons’ knee was down. Cade Yorks’ 44 yard attempt was no good.
Jay Ward intercepted Rodriguez, and it was originally ruled a touchdown. But after review Ward was seen to have stepped out at the ULM 33. A delay of game penalty on the ULM defense would move the ball five yards to their 28. The Tigers would eventually stall at the nine yard line and settle for a 27 yard field goal.
The Tiger defense would force another 3-and-out on the Warhawks, and get the ball on their own 29. Three plays later Malik Nabers would be streaking to the end zone on a 67 yard crossing route. The Tigers up by 17.
ULM has switched quarterbacks, Rogers is in at QB and scrambles for 13 to move the chains. Tigers would hold off the Warhawks and make them punt.
Trey Palmer would get the Tigers set up in excellent field position on the punt return, however, a holding penalty negated that yardage and backed LSU up to the 21. Ty Davis-Price again would pick up the first down on the ground and move the chains. But the Tigers went away from the running game and passed three straight times.
Atkins in to punt, and the Tigers run a fake. It’s picked off by Josh Newton. The feeling inside the stadium is Coach O is definitely playing his final two games here. He would have never faked a punt inside his own 40. Newton returned it to the LSU 22. “We were going to throw the ball to Jontre (Kirklin)” said Orgeron. “It was fourth and three and ULM’s corner played off. All we had to do was catch the ball and throw it four yards. He would’ve been wide open, but Jontre (Kirklin) slipped. It was wide open.”
Working with a short field, the Warhawks scored in two plays. Rodriguez passed to receiver Boogie Knight who broke off a big catch and run from the 15 to the end zone.
End of the first half.
The Tigers came out looking like gangbusters. Starting at their own 25, LSU would drive all the way to the ULM 14. On 4th and 3 the Tigers went for it only to have Johnson sacked for a loss of 10. ULM would take over at their own 24.
The next ULM drive would only produce 22 yards and they would punt back to the Tigers.
Starting at their own 18 the Tigers would get Kiner involved in the rushing attack up the middle for 6 yards. Bech would catch a pass on the right to move the chains for 16 to the LSU 40. Five plays later from the ULM 42, Brian Thomas would catch a pass at the ULM 34 yard line and fly down the right sideline for the touchdown. The PAT by York, good. Tigers up 24-7
In the 4th quarter, the Tigers seemed to let things slip away. “That’s not the standard” said Damone Clark. “At the end of the day, the victory feels good, but we have to get back to the drawing board.” ULM marched down the field on a 10 play 58 yard drive that ended with a Rasmussen 27 yard touchdown. The Warhawks seemed to be back in the game, and with Tiger Stadium mostly empty, the momentum was swinging in their direction as well.
The onside kick was recovered by Chris Hilton, Tigers ball at the ULM 45. Ty Davis-Price would move the chains on 4th and 1 in ULM territory. Also taking time off the clock. The Warhawks would call all three of their timeouts on consecutive plays. Leaving just 0:53 on the clock, Cade York came in to kick a 50 yard field goal to put the Tigers ahead by 13. Kick was good.
Final score LSU 27 – ULM 14