BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU stayed focused long enough to take
care of Appalachian State.
JaMarcus Russell passed for 208 yards and two touchdowns and No.
6 LSU beat Appalachian State 24-0 in a non-conference game Saturday
The Tigers (7-1) extended their winning streak to six heading
into their SEC West showdown at No. 4 Alabama next Saturday. The
Mountaineers (6-3) are ranked No. 7 in Division I-AA and tied for
first in the Southern Conference.
It was LSU's closest game ever against a I-AA opponent,
surpassing a 35-10 victory against The Citadel in 2002. It was
Appalachian State's closest game against a Division I-A opponent
since a 15-7 loss to Auburn in 1999.
"I tried to let our team know that this team we were playing is
a good football team," Tigers coach Les Miles said. "It didn't
make any difference what division they're in. I thought that
considering it was not the emotion that well have in a week, it was
a good outing. We promise you its been very difficult not to look
to the next opponent."
Russell threw 9-yard touchdown passes to Dwayne Bowe on the
first possession of the game and to Keith Zinger early in the
fourth quarter. He also rushed for 42 yards on four carries.
"I thought JaMarcus was sharp," Miles said. "He made good
decisions with the ball. He was also able to pull the ball down and
get us some first downs at times."
Appalachian State's defense kept the game competitive, but its
offense was hampered by poor field position and an ineffective
passing game. The Mountaineers, who rushed for 176 yards, had just
80 passing yards, completing 10-of-22.
LSU led 14-0 at halftime and missed an opportunity to increase
its lead on its first possession of the third quarter. The Tigers
drove to the Appalachian State 21, but Chris Jackson slipped
attempting a 39-yard field goal. His kick was short and wide right.
The Mountaineers had their best drive on the ensuing possession
but also came up short. They drove 64 yards in 14 plays, but Julian
Rauch's 33-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright and
"We don't get into this kind of environment much, and I'm not
sure that we probably didn't feed off that some," Appalachian State
coach Jerry Moore said. "I am really pleased, really proud of the
way that we played."
The Tigers then created some breathing room by driving 80 yards
and taking a 21-0 lead on Russell's 9-yard touchdown pass to Zinger
with 13:22 remaining in the game. Jacksons 34-yard field goal made
it 24-0 with 7:01 left.
Appalachian State's defense kept it in the game in the first
half, though LSU drove 72 yards for a touchdown on the first
possession of the game.
Russell completed all five of his passes on the drive, utilizing
four different receivers, for 54 yards.
The Tigers increased the lead to 14-0 with an 80-yard touchdown
drive on the first possession of the second quarter. Backup running
back Justin Vincent carried six times for 58 yards, which ended
with his 1-yard run.
"We knew that they were a good football team," LSU defensive
tackle Kyle Williams said. "I thought that they played well. They
played a good game and we played well enough to win."