Vandals battle early, fall to No.3 LSU 63-14

Senior safety Gary Walker

DESPITE BEING DOWN TO THE NO.3 LSU TIGERS AT HALFTIME BY A SLIM 28-14 MARGIN, the Vandals could not keep up in the second half as the Tigers rolled to a 63-14 victory. Idaho had its highlights, including an electrifying 94-yard interception return by safety GARY WALKER to start the second quarter, which led to a Blackman-to-LaGrone TD that cut LSU's lead to 14-7. But the Tigers were too much.

The Idaho Vandals put up an impressive fight with No.3 ranked LSU in the first half (28-14 halftime deficit), but Vandal mistakes coupled with LSU's poise led to the Tigers cruising to a 63-14 final score. With a home date next Saturday against Wyoming, the Vandals can look back on several solid performances, including the following:

Dominique Blackman - The junior signal caller was impressive in the first half, throwing for both of Idaho's touchdowns and engineering an 81-yard drive against the vaunted Tiger defense in the second quarter, which included six completions in a row. He finished with a disappointing four interceptions on the evening, and will need to correct this in order to lead the Vandals to victories in the coming weeks.

Jahrie Level - The newcomer at wide receiver has been stellar in his first three games, and clearly has a connection with Blackman. This is the second week in a row he has led all Idaho receivers, and Saturday caught his first career touchdown pass as a Vandal -- a 21 yard strike from Blackman late in the second quarter that cut LSU's lead to 21-14.

Mike LaGrone - The junior H-Back / Tightend has been one of Idaho's top clutch receivers the past two seasons, and Saturday he hauled in a 4-yard TD pass from Blackman that was Idaho's first score in Baton Rouge. He finished second on the team with five receptions and 36 hard fought yards.

Gary Walker - The Vandal defense has played inspired football this season (despite the lopsided score at LSU and an Idaho offense that has struggled this season), and the senior leadership on this unit is key. Walker ignited a Vandal attack in the second quarter with his interception of an LSU pass at the Idaho 1-yard line that he raced up the left sideline for a 95-yard return before being brought down at the LSU 5-yard line. That play led to Idaho's first score (Blackman-to-LaGrone), as the Vandal D limited LSU to 28 first-half points.

Benson Mayowa - The senior defensive end is asserting himself as a pass rusher to be reckoned with, as he recorded crucial back-to-back sacks late in the second quarter and also forced an LSU fumble. He finished with four tackles, including three solo takedowns.

Maxx Forde - A redshirt sophomore strongside end who has the agility to line up at the rush (weak) side as well, Forde (6-foot-4, 261-pounds) started the game against LSU opposite Mayowa and made two tackles on the night.


GAME SUMMARIES & STORY LINKS

LINK: LSU swamps Idaho (OFFICIAL UI Game Summary)

LINK: LSU student section not-so-secret weapon (Times-Picayune)

LINK: No.3 LSU 63, Idaho 14 (Fox Sports)

LINK: No.3 LSU easily cruises past winless Idaho (ESPN)


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