Derrius Guice rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 13 LSU never allowed BYU’s offense to cross midfield in a 27-0 defeat of the Cougars on Saturday night.
While Louisiana native Ed Orgeron was able to celebrate a largely stress-free victory in his maiden season opener as LSU’s head coach, he also saw his offense squander scoring chances that could have made the result even more lopsided.
Operating an overhauled scheme under new coordinator Matt Canada, LSU piled up enormous statistical advantages but stalled four times inside the BYU 20 — twice coming away with no points, once because of a missed field goal and once because of a failed run on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
The Tigers outgained BYU (1-1) 479 yards to 97, and senior quarterback Danny Etling proved right those teammates and coaches who said he has looked more accurate since recovering from offseason back surgery. Etling completed 14 of 17 passes for 173 yards, including completions of 52 yards to D.J. Chark and 32 yards to Russell Gage. He did not have a touchdown pass, but didn’t turn the ball over, either.
The game was supposed to be played in Houston, but was moved because of flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Still, the “Texas Kickoff” logo was on the Superdome field and the LSU band played “Texas My Texas” before kickoff.
Guice scored LSU’s first TD on a 4-yard run through the middle of the line on what was his 10th carry of a 13-play, 66-yard drive. Guice gained 50 of those yards. His second TD was 1-yard run capping a drive that began after Andraez Williams’ interception and which featured Etling’s long pass to Chark.
Cougars QB Tanner Mangum was 12 of 24 for 102 yards while under routine pressure. He was sacked three times. The Cougars also had a fake punt deep in their own territory snuffed out, resulting in Darrel Williams’ 1-yard TD, which capped scoring in the fourth quarter.
LSU led 14-0 at halftime but could have led by more.
The Tigers outgained the Cougars 269 yards to 47 in the opening half while posting advantages of 13-3 in first downs and 21:48 to 8:12 in time of possession.
However, LSU’s Jack Gonsoulin missed his first career field goal attempt from 34 yards out. Other drives stalled because of four pre-snap penalties effectively stalled drives as the Tigers continued to work out the kinks in a new offense known for a wide diversity of shifts and formations.
The good news for LSU was that a defense with four true freshmen in the starting lineup — and without injured top pass rusher Arden Key — shut BYU down. And the last time LSU played in the Superdome, it was the Tigers who didn’t cross midfield during a loss to Alabama in the 2012 national title game.
(At) No. 5 Clemson 56, Kent State 3: Kelly Bryant passed for 236 yards and a touchdown and ran for 77 yards in his first game as Clemson’s starting quarterback.
Bryant had a perfectly placed 61-yard touchdown pass to Deon Cain on his second drive. He also took off for a 47-yard run after all his receivers were covered
The Golden Flashes (0-1) were without coach Paul Haynes, who missed the game for medical reasons. They gained just 119 yards.
(At) No. 7 Oklahoma 56, UTEP 7: Baker Mayfield passed for 329 yards and three touchdowns in one half of action forOklahoma.
Mayfield completed 16 straight passes to start the game. He didn’t miss until just under four minutes remained in the second quarter and completed 19 of 20 overall.
The Sooners rolled up 676 yards of offense in their first game under head coach Lincoln Riley.
(At) No. 12 Auburn 41, Georgia Southern 7: Jarrett Stidham threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score in his debut for Auburn.
The Tigers used a smothering defense to overcome three turnovers — including a fumble returned for a touchdown — plus an injury to tailback Kerryon Johnson and the absence of top runner Kamryn Pettway. Pettway, wide receiver Kyle Davis and backup quarterback Sean White all were held out for undisclosed reasons in the opener for both teams.
(At) No. 15 Georgia 31, Appalachian State 10: Freshman Jake Fromm led three first-half touchdown drives for Georgia after starting quarterback Jacob Eason hurt his left knee.
Fromm completed 10 of 15 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.
Nick Chubb ran for 96 yards, including scoring runs of 1 and 7 yards. Sony Michel added 87 yards rushing and a touchdown for Georgia in the opener for both teams.
Eason was injured on a late hit in the first quarter and needed help leaving the field.
(At) No. 18 Miami 41, Bethune-Cookman 13: Malik Rosier passed for 217 yards and three touchdowns in his debut as Miami’s full-time starting quarterback, and Mark Walton ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns for the Hurricanes.
Rosier completed 17 of 28 passes for Miami (1-0), which scored on five of its first six possessions. He spread the ball to nine different receivers and went 12-for-14 in one stretch in his first start since Oct. 31, 2015.
(At) No. 19 South Florida 31, Stony Brook 17: Quinton Flowers threw for 186 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns to help South Florida shrug off a slow start.
Tyre McCants’ 65-yard TD reception put USF (2-0) ahead for good with 11:23 remaining. Mazzi Wilkins’ interception set up a late TD that ended any hopes for Stony Brook (0-1) to rally for an upset.
(At) No. 20 Kansas State 55, Central Arkansas 19: Jesse Ertz threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns in only three quarters of work for Kansas State.
Byron Pringle had three catches for 121 yards and a score, and Isaiah Harris had three catches for 118 yards and a TD, as seven different Wildcats reached the end zone.
(At) No. 24 Washington State 31, Montana State 0: Luke Falk threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns, setting the school career touchdowns passing record, as Washington State beat Montana State in the season opener.
Montana State managed just 143 yards in the game, mostly on the ground. Montana State suffered eight tackles-for-loss and three sacks and was unable to move the ball.
Falk completed 33 of 39 passes and was not intercepted. James Williams caught 13 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns.