In front of a sold out Tiger Stadium, the No. 8 ranked Tennessee Volunteers handed No. 25 ranked LSU a 40-13 defeat. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Tigers.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Things went wrong right from the start as Jack Bech fumbled the ball on the opening kickoff. Tennessee needed only five plays to find the end zone as Jabari Small scored on a one-yard rushing touchdown.
After a quick three-and-out by LSU, Tennessee added to its lead with a 35-yard field goal by Chase McGrath.
LSU’s offense got into a groove on its next drive as the Tigers went 73 yards on 11 plays. Instead of trying a field goal, LSU opted to go for it on fourth and four from the Tennessee 14-yard line. Jayden Daniels completed a pass to Kayshon Boutte but he was a yard short of getting the first down.
Tennessee then drove 68 yards but LSU’s defense held the Volunteers to a 38-yard field goal by McGrath.
LSU managed to pick up 20 yards on its next psosession but failed to pick up the first down on fourth and one. The very next play, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker found Jalin Hyatt open for a 45-yard touchdown.
LSU finally got on the board shortly before halftime.
The Tigers put together a 12-play, 96-yard touchdown drive as Daniels found tight end Mason Taylor for a 17-yard completion and then capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Josh Williams.
After Tennessee had a drive stall and then McGrath missed a 50-yard field goal, LSU drove the ball to the Tennessee 45-yard line but the Tigers opted to go for it on fourth down again. This time Daniels was sacked.
Tennessee took advantage, went 32 yards and McGrath made a 32-yard field goal as time expired. At the break, LSU trailed 23-7.
The Volunteers opened up the second half with yet another scoring drive as Hooker capped it with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Hyatt.
Tennessee would add another touchdown later in the third as Small scored on a five-yard touchdown run. LSU got on the board in the fourth quarter as Daniels found Boutte in the back of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good as Daniels was sacked on the attempt.
Tennessee added a 32-yard field by McGrath with 2:39 left in the game to make it 40-13. In the final minute, LSU drove to the three-yard line but Daniels’ pass to Malik Nabers was intercepted in the corner of the end zone.
BIG NUMBER: 0-FOR-3
The LSU Tigers went for it on fourth down three times in Saturday’s lopsided defeat to the Volunteers, and all three times LSU failed to convert.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: JABARI SMALL
Tennessee’s quarterback may get all the headlines but the Volunteers running back gave the Tigers fits. Small led all rushers with 127 yards on 22 carries, including a 49-yard run in the fourth quarter. Small also scored two rushing touchdowns.
UP NEXT: LSU (4-2, 2-1 SEC) travels to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and it can be heard on THE GAME 103.7 Lafayette and 104.1 Lake Charles.