UPDATED, 10 p.m.
BATON ROUGE, LA. • Louisiana State’s greatest football coach once said LSU’s Tiger Stadium, the place they call Death Valley, is “truly a place where opponents’ dreams come to die.”
Missouri can now agree. Les Miles was never more accurate.
After its first ever game at Death Valley, Mizzou will gladly wait another 12 years for its return visit. Missing its most valuable player and biggest star, LSU manhandled MU with a punishing running game and sent Barry Odom’s team into its bye week smarting from a 42-7 defeat. It was Mizzou’s most lopsided loss since joining the Southeastern Conference in 2012, the program’s biggest margin of defeat since a 41-point loss to Oklahoma in the 2008 Big 12 championship game.
Miles wasn’t on the LSU sideline chewing grass or directing a listless offense Saturday night at Tiger Stadium — the school fired him last Sunday — but his former team did just fine without the program’s career wins leader and star running back Leonard Fournette. Out with an ankle injury, Fournette watched from the sideline as understudy Derrius Guice did his best Fournette impression, shredding the Tigers (2-3, 0-2 SEC) for 163 yards and three touchdowns. By halftime, Guice had already eclipsed Fournette’s season rushing total.
With 102,071 on hand, LSU unveiled a few new offensive wrinkles under interim coach Ed Orgeron and newly promoted coordinator Steve Entsminger, but the difference in the game was measured by pure muscle along the line of scrimmage. LSU’s offensive line punctured gaping holes through the Missouri defense, wide enough that Guice waltzed untouched through traffic on a few of his runs. He gave LSU (3-2, 2-1) an early lead on a 42-yard gallop in the first quarter. Guice found a cutback lane just past the line of scrimmage, then outraced linebacker Joey Burkett and safety Thomas Wilson to the end zone.
Guice got it going a possession later, this time with a 22-yard dash through at least two missed tackles, both by safeties Anthony Sherrils and Wilson. Guice continued to trample Mizzou in the second quarter with two more scores. He finished off a 93-yard touchdown drive with a 37-yard dash straight through the middle of MU’s defense. Not a single defender got a hand on him.
Third-string running back Darrell Williams got into the action, too, running for 130 yards and three touchdowns. Just for good measure, fourth-stringer Nick Brossette added a 60-yard run late in the fourth quarter. LSU piled up 418 yards rushing, the most allowed by Missouri since Auburn clobbered the Tigers for 545 yards in the 2013 SEC championship game. All six of LSU’s touchdowns came on the ground.
Missouri’s offense didn’t do its defense any favors with quick, hapless possessions. Drew Lock came into the weekend leading the SEC in passing yards per game but had his worst outing of the season. Just when the Tigers got something going offensively in the second quarter with a couple of Ish Witter runs, Lock launched what might have been his worst pass of the season. Flushed out of the pocket to his right, Lock had tight end Sean Culkin wide open down the seam to his left but lofted the throw well beyond Culkin, an easy popfly for cornerback Tre’Davious White, Lock’s fourth interception of the season. Lock completed 17 of 37 passes for a season-low 167 yards. Wideout J’Mon Moore, the SEC’s leader in receptions, yards and touchdown catches, was held to one catch.
Mizzou’s only score came on a trick play midway through the fourth quarter, a 21-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Eric Laurent to Lock. Backup quarterback Marvin Zanders took the snap, flipped it to Laurent on a reverse and the former quarterback tossed a strike to Lock for the score.
By then, the most of the stands had emptied as LSU fans left to celebrate the first win of the Orgeron era.
• Box score: LSU 42, Mizzou 7
It's more of the same at Tiger Stadium, where LSU is a quarter away from beating Mizzou into submission, leading 28-0. LSU outgained MU 465-194 in total yardage through three quarters and held a 20-minute advantage in time of possession.
Darrell Williams' 1-yard touchdown run on LSU's first possession of the half pushed the home team ahead by four touchdowns.
It’s all LSU at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers are manhandling Mizzou without their best player. Leonard Fournette had a front-row view of Derrius Guice’s dominant first half as the understudy running back scored all three touchdowns in LSU’s 21-0 first half onslaught.
Missouri saved its only fight for the final play of regulation. After making his first and only catch of the half, MU’s J’Mon Moore jawed back and forth with LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White and poked him in the facemask, setting off shoving between both teams. Coaches had to separate the teams as they headed to the locker rooms. Both teams were flagged for offsetting unsportsmanlike penalties.
LSU outgained Mizzou 357-110 in yardage and gained 19 first downs to MU’s five.
Just when Missouri got something going on offense in the second quarter, Drew Lock threw what might have been his worst pass of the season. Flushed out of the pocket to his right, Lock had tight end Sean Culkin wide open down the seam to his left, but Lock lofted the throw well beyond Culkin, an easy popfly for White, Lock’s fourth interception of the season.
Meanwhile, Guice continued to trample the Missouri defense with two more touchdowns in the second quarter. He finished off a 93-yard touchdown drive with a 37-yard scoring dash straight through the middle of MU’s defense. Not a single defender touched him on his way to the end zone. The score pushed LSU ahead 21-0 with 4:40 left in the half and put Guice at 136 yards on just 13 carries.
Leonard who? With SEC rushing leader Leonard Fourentte watching from the sideline nursing his left ankle, backup running back Derrius Guice juked his way to the end zone on a 42-yard touchdown gallop to put Louisiana State ahead 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
LSU maintained that 7-0 lead when the second quarter began.
Guice found a cutback lane just past the line of scrimmage, then outraced linebacker Joey Burkett and safety Thomas Wilson to the end zone, his second rushing touchdown of the season. That finished off a nine-play, 84-yard drive by LSU.
Guice got it going a possession later, this time with a 22-yard dash through at least two missed tackles, both by safeties Anthony Sherrils and Thomas Wilson. Missouri stopped fullback J.D. Moore on a fourth-and-2 conversion attempt with defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. blowing up the middle of LSU's offensive line.
Missouri punted on its first three possessions but finished the quarter with Ish Witter runs of 12 and 7 yards. .
On defense, Mizzou played without senior cornerback Aarion Penton for LSU’s first three offensive possessions for undisclosed reasons.
Greetings from Death Valley, also known as Tiger Stadium, where the home team's best player is in sweatpants and won't be carrying the ball tonight for Louisiana State against Missouri. The status of SEC rushing leader Leonard Fournette has been considered a game-time decision because of an ankle injury. The decision apparently has been made. Fournette did not take part in pregame warmups and is expected to watch from the sideline.
LSU is expected to start sophomore Derrius Guice, who's run for 239 yards on 29 carries this season.
Missouri's five game day captains are quarterback Drew Lock, right guard Alec Abeln, defensive tackle Hatley and linebackers Mike Scherer and Brandon Lee. Lock and Hatley have been captains for all five games.