By Jeff Palermo
LSU did not win by three touchdowns as the odds makers in Las Vegas predicted, but the Tigers did enough to get their third win of the season with a 35-26 victory over Syracuse.
The Orange had more first downs than LSU, but the Tigers produced big plays for their 49th straight victory over a non-conference opponent in Tiger Stadium.
The big plays started right away. On the first play from scrimmage, Greedy Williams intercepted a pass to the flat by Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey and returned to the one-yard line. One play later, Derrius Guice scored to give LSU a very quick 7-0 lead.
Guice only had eight carries for 14 yards as he didn't look himself, because of a knee injury.
LSU didn't score again until the 2nd quarter. Tigers starting quarterback Danny Etling hit Stephen Sullivan over the middle of the field for a 43-yard touchdown strike.
The Tigers led 14-3 at halftime and on the first play of the 2nd half, Etling threw a bomb to Drake Davis who caught the ball in stride and raced 87 yards for a touchdown.
After Syracuse scored a touchdown, true freshman Myles Brennan came in at quarterback. Brennan hit running back Darrel Williams for a 43-yard pass, which set up a Williams 20-yard touchdown run and a Tigers 28-10 lead.
But the Orange did not give up. A great punt by Syracuse's Sterling Hofrichter pinned LSU at its own 1-yard line. On the next play, Williams was tackled in the end zone for a safety.
That play gave the Orange a spark. Syracuse scored touchdowns on its next two drives as Dungey ran for one score and threw for another to make it 28-26.
LSU put the game away on the next drive, a Williams 24-yard run got the ball to the Syracuse 28-yard line. A few plays later, DJ Chark would run around the left end and score from 20 yards to win 35-26.
The Tigers allowed 308 passing yards, but they were only penalized three times. LSU rushed for 151 yards as the offensive line struggled to not only open holes, but provide pass protection.
We might also see a two-quarterback system for the rest of the way. Etling was 10-17 for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Brennan was 4-of-6 for 75 yards and an interception. That's the first turnover of the season for the Tigers.
Up next, the Troy Trojans at Tiger Stadium next Saturday.