Kent State falls hard to No. 8 LSU, 45-13
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Colin Reardon and the Kent State offense accounted for minus-14 yards in their first two series against LSU.
By the time the Golden Flashes broke even late in the first quarter, they were down 21-0 and on their way to a 45-13 loss to the eighth-ranked Tigers. Kent State had given up nearly 600 yards in a loss a week earlier to Bowling Green, so there was a chance it would only get worse for the Golden Flashes down on the bayou.
"We knew what they were going to run. They obviously weren't trying to hide anything," Kent State safety Jordan Italiano said of LSU. "We didn't do a good job executing — fundamental stuff, some tackling, gave up big plays. We just need to correct that."
LSU (3-0) covered a five-touchdown point spread against UAB the previous week, and might have done so again against Kent State if not for Miles' decision to run out the clock deep in Golden Flashes territory.
Kent State (1-2) gave up 307 yards on the ground. LSU had two 100-yard rushers.
Jeremy Hill had 117 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries, all in the first two quarters, including a career-long 58-yard run for a score on the Tigers' opening series. Terrence Magee rushed nine times for 108 yards, scoring the Tigers' final touchdown on a 12-yard run.
Kent State struggled with the run, gaining a total of 89 yards on 32 attempts. Trayion Durham carried 18 times for 36 yards.
Reardon completed 20 of 29 passes for 190 yards, ran for a short touchdown and was not intercepted. However, the Golden Flashes allowed at least 570 yards for a second straight week.
LSU gained 571 yards, 10.4 yards per play, the second-highest average in Tigers history.
Kent State's only touchdown came on a 2-yard end run by Reardon in the second quarter. Anthony Melchiori's 37-yard field goal made it 31-10 shortly before halftime. Although Kent State managed only a field goal in the second half, they sustained several drives into Tigers' territory, giving coach Paul Haynes hope his team would fare better at Penn State next week, and in the Mid-American Conference thereafter.
"We've got to stick together. We've got to make sure we continue to get better and we will," Haynes said. "Our guys are still hungry, and every goal that we wanted to accomplish, we still can.
"When you come into an atmosphere like this — and this is by far to me one of the top five programs in the country — you go out there and you battle, and our guys did," Haynes continued. "They fought like crazy and we will learn from this game. ... I love this locker room, and I love this team."
Zach Mettenberger was 13 of 18 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns — two to Jarvis Landry.
Landry's first touchdown came on a leaping catch in a crowd on a ball Mettenberger threw under pressure from 21 yards out. Landry's second score came after what would have been Hill's third TD of the first half was wiped out by an illegal block. Mettenberger hit Landry cutting across the middle, and the receiver easily turned the corner near the right sideline to complete a 31-yard scoring play that made it 31-7 in the second quarter.