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LSU 48, Furman 16

The SportsXchange

BATON ROUGE, La. - Odell Beckham Jr. caught six passes for 204 yards, including scoring receptions of 37 and 63 yards, to power No. 13 LSU to a 48-16 rout of pesky but overmatched Furman Saturday night at Tiger Stadium.

Jeremy Hill and Terrence Magee combined for 251 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns each for the Tigers.

With a road game against No. 1 Alabama looming on Nov. 9, LSU (7-2) looked sluggish early against Furman, a second-tier Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team, leading only 20-16 at half.

But the Tigers got their running game rolling and scored 28 unanswered points in the second half. LSU finished with a season-high 672 yards in total offense.

Hill piled up 143 yards on 14 carries, including touchdown runs of 55 and 4 yards in the first quarter, and Magee added 108 yards on seven carries, scoring on a 1-yard burst to open the second half and adding a 39-yard burst to open the fourth quarter.

Beckham's big night gave him 1,009 yards and eight TDs on 48 catches this season. With a bye week coming up, LSU now has two weeks to prepare for undefeated Alabama.

The Tigers broke open the game in the third quarter, piling up 11 first downs and 223 yards while holding Furman without a first down and limiting the Paladins to just 14 yards in total offense.

The Paladins took advantage of an obviously flat LSU team to control the clock and the line of scrimmage in the first half, and they trailed only 20-16 at intermission.

Furman ran 44 plays to LSU's 24 in the first half and controlled the clock for 22:09 of the first 30 minutes.

Mettenberger's pick-six on LSU's first series gave Furman a 7-0 lead. He thought Beckham would check down to a quick out, but he kept racing downfield, allowing cornerback Reggie Thomas an easy interception on the left sidelines. Thomas picked off the pass at the LSU 26 and raced 74 yards untouched for the score.

Even though LSU scored touchdowns on its next three series to take a 20-10 lead, Mettenberger looked shaky and indecisive. He almost had another pass intercepted one play before Jeremy Hill broke three tackles on his way to a 55-yard touchdown that tied the game, 7-7.

After Ray Early capped a 13-play, ball-control drive that put Furman back on top, 10-7, Mettenberger's 53-yard completion to Beckham set up Hill for a 4-yard scoring run, giving LSU a 13-10 lead. Colby Delahoussaye pulled the extra point attempt wide left.

Mettenberger got a break on the next series. His pass into double coverage easily could have been picked off, but Beckham timed his leap to out-jump Thomas and Marcus McMorris for a 37-yard score.

LSU led, 20-10, but Furman scored the final six points of the half on field goals of 31 and 23 yards by Early. The Paladins had their second 13-play drive of the half on the first of those two drives.

Delahoussaye continued his woeful night, pushing a 31-yard field goal try wide right with 4:07 left in the half, and LSU came up empty.

NOTES: Beckham recorded his fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season with 132 yards on four first-half catches, but he made another critical mistake in the kicking game, fumbling a punt at the LSU 28 at the end of the first half to set up chip shot field goal that drew Furman within 20-16 at halftime. ... LSU has an open date before traveling to Tuscaloosa to take on top-ranked Alabama on Nov. 9 ... Furman has not beaten an SEC team since 1963.
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