There was no slow start for LSU in its home opener, as they jumped out to a big lead early against the Sam Houston State Bearkats. Anthony Jennings connected with Travin Dural for three scores and two of the Tigers’ highly touted freshmen shook loose for big runs and the Tigers went into halftime up 35-0.

LSU safety Dwayne Thomas picked off SHSU quarterback Jared Johnson on the Bearkats’ first drive, and the flood gates opened from there. Jennings lofted a deep ball to Dural on the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage, and the receiver hauled it in and took it 94 yards to pay dirt. Jennings and Dural hooked up again on the following drive, with Dural snagging a pass over tight coverage coming over the middle of the field. They had their third connection of the game early in the second, with Dural bobbling the ball on a deep route before coming down with it in the end zone. Jennings finished the half 7-of-12 for 188 yards and 3 TDs, while Dural’s three catches went for 144 yards. Kenny Hilliard did some strong running for the Tigers after his dominant fourth quarter a week ago, racking up 53 yards on 10 carries.

After a lackluster debut, Leonard Fournette shook loose in the first quarter. He took a handoff 41 yards deep into SHSU territory, showing off his speed and power and carrying multiple defenders inside the five yard line. He followed that up by plowing into the end zone on a short toss, striking a Heisman pose in celebration and earning an earful from Les Miles. Fournette had 47 yards on the ground in the first half and added another 15 through the air.

Freshman QB Brandon Harris got his chance to shine in the second quarter and made the most of it. Though he didn’t complete a pass, sailing his only attempt far out of bounds, Harris powered the drive with his legs. He carried twice for 54 yards and scored on a 46-yard run, breaking out of a gang tackle and taking off down the sideline.

The Tigers’ defense looked much stronger against SHSU’s spread offense than they did early on against Wisconsin’s power run game. They limited the Bearkats’ fast-paced attack to 134 total yards and just 5-of-15 passing, giving up 9 first downs and 1-of-7 third down conversions.

Of concern for LSU: the extra point unit. The Tigers missed their first point after attempt, and had another one blocked that was called back thanks to an offsides call on SHSU. Additionally, center Ethan Pocic, starting with senior Elliott Porter suspended, suffered an apparent ankle injury. Reserve Mike Dodd came in, botching one snap to Jennings.

In all, the Tigers totaled 399 yards of total offense, converted 7-of-8 third downs.