July 12, 2020

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LSU opened SEC play against SEC East opponent Vanderbilt in Nashville. The scheduled kickoff for the game was 11am CST. Some fans felt that the early start might give Vanderbilt the edge as they are accustomed to playing in the earlier time block, and the Tigers are used to a 6:30 kickoff. The Tigers also had to travel to Nashville, and again some feared that early kickoff would deter LSU fans from doing what they are known for, not just traveling with their beloved Tigers, but taking over the host city. This fear was short lived, however, as reports started coming in via Twitter that some bars in the downtown area had already run out alcohol. Some as early as 8:30am. Tiger fans showed up for their team, and en masse. Vanderbilt Stadium looked like a home game for LSU, there was more Tiger purple and gold, than Commodore black and gold in the seats.

Vanderbilt came into the game fresh off a bye and looked to add some wrinkles offensively that the Tigers have not seen yet. “Obviously it’s an advantage for them, I would imagine the coach (Derek Mason) went back and tries to fix them first, I think that’s the big key.” Coach Orgeron said earlier this week regarding Vanderbilt’s offense coming off the bye. Coach Mason did go back and fix a few things with the Commodores offense, as they took the opening kick-off and proceeded to drive the length of the field on their opening possession for a touchdown, 75 yards in eight plays. Senior running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn busted a big run of 41 yards right out of the gate, and it looked like the Commodores might have found their wrinkle against the Tigers.

The Tigers received the kick-off and went 75 yards in five plays in less than a minute and a half. Capping off the drive with a four yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Justin Jefferson. The Tigers would then go on a historical touchdown frenzy. Scoring 28 points in the first quarter of play, the most in school history against an SEC opponent. The Commodores would not be within striking distance of the end zone again until about midway through the second half, having to settle for a field goal.

Quarterback Joe Burrow continued to pour it on in the first half. Going 18 of 24 and throwing for 357 yards and four touchdowns. Setting another school record with most touchdowns thrown in a half by an LSU quarterback. The game would be seemingly out of reach for the Commodores as time waned in the final minute of the first half, but a muffed exchange between quarterback Joe Burrow and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was recovered by Vanderbilt in the end zone for a touchdown. Giving the Commodores a shred of hope before the half. Score 38-17 Tigers.

Coming out after halftime the Tigers would receive the opening kickoff. Commodores head coach Derek Mason, thought he would catch LSU off guard and called an onside kick. Sophomore linebacker Micah Baskerville, who had a huge game on special teams, made a heads up ball on the ball. Catching the kick on the bounce and returned it all the way down to the Vanderbilt 1. Joe Burrow would complete another touchdown pass this time to junior Racey McMath. Five touchdowns passing on the day, Joe Burrow had just tied an LSU single game record for touchdowns thrown in a game, and it seemed like he was done for the day. However, had it not been for the Commodores scoring so quickly, 75 yards in just three plays, I believe we would have seen Myles Brennan after Burrows fifth touchdown. Burrow took the Tigers on a 75 yard, 11 play drive that ended in a touchdown grab by Ja’Marr Chase from 16 yards out. Burrow had just set the single game passing touchdown record for LSU, with six touchdowns. He had also tied the SEC passing touchdown record through the first four games with 17.

Former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, and previous touchdown record holder, was in attendance to see Burrow break the record. Burrow has now thrown for over 350 yards in four games as the Tigers signal caller, under previous head coach Les Miles it was done twice; once by Mettenberger in 2013 and once by Matt Flynn in 2007.