By T. Scott Boatright
Outresourced. Outoffensed. Outscored.
The numbers didn’t add up for the Grambling State football team Saturday night as the G-Men were outdistanced by No. 14 LSU, which steamrolled to a 72-10 win before a sold out crowd at Tiger Stadium.
Grambling coach Hue Jackson admitted during a pregame press conference earlier this week that it was obvious that LSU had more resources as a Power 5 school playing host to a FCS team.
And it was LSU’s offensive resources that made the difference against Grambling, starting right out of the gate.
“I don’t know if there’s a positive to take away, other than the guys in the locker room — the energy is still good after the defeat,” Jackson said. “I take full responsibility for that. This is my football team and we weren’t prepared enough and didn’t play well enough.
“We’re going to go back to the drawing board and get better.”
LSU (1-1) didn’t have to punt even once, taking the opening kickoff and marching 77 yards on eight plays, with Jayden Daniels firing a 26-yard scoring strike — his first of five touchdowns passes on the night — to put his team on top 7-0 only 2:44 into the contest.
But like a game welterweight willing to trade punches with a heavyweight, Grambling (0-2) fought back as junior quarterback Myles Crawley, a transfer from Alabama State, directed the G-Men on a seven-play, 82-yard touchdown drive.
Passes of 34 and three yards to Antonio Jones were part of the drive, with Crawley connecting with JR Waters on a 13-yard touchdown pass with 9:41 remaining in the first quarter.
LSU regained the lead 51 seconds later, with Daniels directing a three-play drive in which he ran for 12 yards and took advantage of roughing the passer penalty against GSU before launching a 47-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hilton that put LSU on top 14-7 at the 8:24 mark of the opening stanza.
Penalties were something that plagued the G-Men for the second straight game. After being flagged nine times for 79 yards last week in a loss to Hampton, they were hit with 13 calls for 104 yards against LSU, which was penalized only twice for 20 yards.
Once again Grambling shook off that scoring punch by the home team and battled back, cutting LSU’s lead to 14-10 on a 23-yard field goal by Tanner Rinker with 2:21 left in the first quarter. Runs of 36 and 13 yards by Chance Williams helped push that drive, which was also fueled by Crawley’s 34-yard pass to Antonio Jones and 15-yard connection with Nae’Saan Dickerson.
LSU stretched its lead to 21-10 on a five-yard scoring scamper by Josh Williams, and on the ensuing drive, Crawley had the G-Men on the move again, driving 69 yards on nine plays down to the LSU 6-yard line before Tinker attempted another field goal — this one from 23-yards out.
But this time Rinker’s kick attempt was no good, turning the ball back over to LSU’s juggernaut of an offense.
LSU steamrolled its way for 80 yards on nine plays, pushing its advantage to 28-10 with 7:33 left in the first half as Logan Diggs pounded the rock to paydirt on a six-yards run.
From there, the G-Men punted four straight times, turned the ball over on an interception and a fumble, never moving deeper than its own 41-yard line.
LSU stopped one other Grambling possession with a safety on an attempted punt from the GSU 18-yard line.
Crawley finished with 145 yards through the air for GSU on 14-of-25 passing with a touchdown and an interception while sophomore backup Julian Calvez completed one nine-yard pass on five attempts and freshman quarterback Jacob Jones missed on his lone pass attempt while carrying the ball four times for 47 yards.
“Myles is playing great ball for us, he’s our quarterback,” Jackson said. “He played well for us, even on the interception. That was a dropped ball.
“But again, he understands he’s got to be on top of his game and bring up everyone around him.”
Williams led GSU’s ground attack with 106 on only seven carries while Jones topped Grambling receivers with seven receptions for 81 yards.
While Grambling accounted for 320 yards of total offense, LSU nearly doubled that with 622.
Daniels was the spark plug in LSU’s offensive engine, connecting on 18-of-249 passes for 269 yards and five touchdowns while adding another 29 yards on five runs.
It was a balanced offensive attack LSU used to roll over the G-Men, with the home Tigers totaling 302 on the ground and 320 through the air.
Diggs led LSU rushers with 115 yards and his score on 15 carries.
Defensively, Grambling was led by Kevin Thomas with 11 tackles while Norey Johnson added eight takedowns for the G-Men.