Blaze of glory: No. 9 LSU torch UAB in home opener

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
LSU's Quinton Thomas, Ronald Martin and Lamar Louis converge on a fumble in the second quarter of the No. 9 ranked Tigers' 56-17 victory over UAB on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

BATON ROUGE - Zach Mettenberger became the first quarterback in the 120-year history of LSU football with five touchdown passes in a single game, as the senior led the Tigers past UAB, 56-17, on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

Mettenberger led an efficient offensive attack, completing 16-of-19 passes for 282 yards. He broke a record of four touchdowns passing set 11 times previously, most recently by Matt Flynn in the 2008 BCS National Championship against Ohio State.

The prime recipient of Mettenberger's historic night was Odell Beckham Jr., who caught five passes for 136 yards with touchdowns of 29, 22 and 27 yards. Jarvis Landry had the other two touchdown receptions of 24 and 14 yards, finishing with five catches for 71 yards.

Beckham also had a record-setting evening, returning a missed 59-yard field goal from the back of the LSU endzone for a 100 yard scrimmage kick return. The rare return gave him 331 all-purpose yards, third-best in school history behind Kevin Faulk's 376 against Houston in 1996 and Josh Reed's 338 at Alabama in 2001.

On the ground, Kenny Hilliard led the way with 54 yards on 11 carries, while Jeremy Hill saw his first action of the season and totaled 50 yards on six rushes with a 3-yard score.

LSU outgained UAB, 445-296. Of the Blazers' 296 yards, 182 came in a second-quarter outburst when UAB scored all 17 of its points.

Defensively, linebackers Lamin Barrow and Lamar Louis each led LSU with seven tackles. Defensive end Jordan Allen had his first career sack, while fellow end Jermauria Rasco had six tackles, a sack and two quarterback hurries.

Safety Ronald Martin, a White Castle High School product, totaled five tackles and one breakup.

“We have had a lot of games against a lot of teams that frankly came down to the wire,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “It’s nice to have a game where you really distance yourself from your opponent and you play quality football for the most part for four quarters. For a lot of young players, they went away with a very significant victory.”

The Tigers return to action at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday, Sept. 14, for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff against Kent State. The game will be televised by ESPNU.