Tigers trounce Hokies at home, 48-7
BATON ROUGE, La. - Defense was supposed to be the story in Saturday night's matchup between LSU and Virginia Tech.
It ended up being only half of the story... the LSU half.
The Tigers held the Hokies the 149 yards of total offense on their way to a 48-7 win at home. The win was the 14th straight at Tiger Stadium for LSU. They have not lost a game in Baton Rouge since a 30-27 overtime loss to Tennessee in September 2005.
Virginia Tech's offense didn't get into a groove the entire game. LSU held the Hokies to 40 yards in the first half, and Virginia Tech finished the game 2-of-14 on third-down conversions.
'What a good football team," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "They really took it to us and played extremely well. They didn't make mistakes or turn the ball over. We are certainly disappointed in how we played, but I think you can probably give LSU a lot of credit for that."
The Hokies are coming off a 2006 in which they finished No. 1 in the nation in total defense. That statistic seemed like a distant memory Saturday as the Tigers racked up 28 first downs and 598 yards of total offense.
Despite what might be on the stat sheet, LSU coach Les Miles remained humble after the game.
"You can save the accolades for later in life because we have only won two games," Miles said. "We have a lot of football left to play."
Saturday was a career night for several Tigers. Quarterback Matt Flynn, running backs Keiland Williams and Jacob Hester and wide receiver Brandon LaFell all had posted career highs in yardage.
Flynn passed for 217 yards, Williams ran for 127, Hester rushed for 81 and LaFell caught seven passes for 125 yards.
"I think the plan to mix tailbacks and to mix styles benefited us," Miles said. "Matt Flynn had a really good game. He did some things that we need our quarterback to give us in terms of leadership."
One reason for the Hokies' poor offensive performance could have been the atmosphere of Tiger Stadium. The venue was packed with a record 92,739 fans, beating the previous record of 92,664 against Auburn in 2005.
Some Hokies' players, however, said the noise and atmosphere wasn't a factor.
"It was almost like Lane Stadium and al the other places we have played," defensive end Orion Martin said. "There was no difference."
LSU used big plays to gain the advantage early. LaFell set up an early score with a 56-yard reception and Williams' 67-yard scamper into the endzone in the second quarter put the Tigers up 24-0.
Virginia Tech tried to get back in the game in the third quarter, but freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor's 1-yard run was the only score the Hokies' would get on the night.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Brandon LaFell. After having only five catches this past season, the sophomore caught seven balls for 125 yards against the Hokies. His one catch in the season opener against Mississippi State came in the fourth quarter and was thrown by LSU backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Williams' 67-yard touchdown run. The play was an option and it appeared Flynn pitched the ball to Williams too late.
Even Williams said he was thrown off by the pitch.
"It was really unexpected when I got the pitch," Williams said. "[Matt] pitched in kind of hard, not knowing the distance between us."
NEXT UP: LSU faces Middle Tennessee at home this Saturday, while Virginia Tech returns home Saturday to take on Ohio.
NOTES: Saturday's loss was Virginia Tech's first loss in a road opener in 14 seasons... Beamer replaced quarterback Sean Glennon with freshman Tyrod Taylor midway through the game. Taylor completed 7-of-18 passes for 62 yards... The win was LSU's first home win against nationally-ranked competition since a 20-17 overtime game against Auburn in 2005... Virginia Tech's third-quarter score was the first points LSU allowed since the second quarter of January's Sugar Bowl matchup against Notre Dame... Fans in the LSU student section began chanting "We're number one" toward the end of the game... No. 1 USC, the only team ranked above LSU in both the AP and Coaches Polls, was off this week.