It was already a tall order when LSU entered the Fiesta Bowl with seven starters out on defense because of injuries, suspension and the NFL Draft. But incredibly, the Tigers lost two more defenders in the first half.

The expected absences were Greedy Williams, Kristian Fulton, Kelvin Joseph, Ed Alexander and Breiden Fehoko. But Terrence Alexander and Grant Delpit exited for throwing a punch and targeting in the first half in a spirited matchup against UCF.

Frustrated near the sideline, Alexander punched a UCF player in the facemask in front of a referee. Alexander was sent to the locker room, ejected from the game. Alexander was the fourth LSU cornerback out for the game.

Then S Grant Delpit was ejected for targeting on a play that was difficult to avoid.

The LSU defensive line picked up the slack with the absences and exits, and largely held UCF in check. The Knights had just 115 passing yards and were 3-for-6 on third downs. DL Rashard Lawrence, for example, had two sacks, including one with 11 seconds remaining.

UCF got a boost with a Hail Mary touchdown with four seconds remaining that went for 32 yards on third down to cut the LSU lead to 24-21.