By Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
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BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU Tigers racked up over 500 yards of total offense in their 2012 debut and soundly defeated the North Texas Mean Green in Death Valley by a score of 41-14. Junior tailback Kenny Hilliard was an integral part of the Tigers’ well-oiled offensive machine on Saturday night, running for 141 yards on only 13 carries.
LSU (1-0) wasted very little time putting points on the board against the Mean Green. The Tigers needed just 1:28 to cover 66 yards on their first scoring drive thanks to a 38-yard touchdown run by Hilliard. Sophomore receiver Odell Beckham then followed up with an explosive 70-yard punt return to the house to give LSU a two-score cushion.
Hilliard found the end zone again on the first play of the second quarter, this time toting it in from five yards out for the score. It looked like LSU would head into the half with a shutout intact, but North Texas (0-1) quarterback Derek Thompson found Brelan Chancellor on a short slant that turned into an 80-yard touchdown that cut the deficit to 24-7.
The Tigers were comfortably in control throughout the game, and outscored North Texas by 10 points in the second half on their way to victory. Zach Mettenberger threw for 192 yards and one touchdown in his first career start for the Bayou Bengals.
Passing – Zach Mettenberger, 19-of-26, 192 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing – Kenny Hilliard, 13 car, 141 yards, 2 TD
Receiving – Jarvis Landry, 8 rec, 82 yards
Passing – Derek Thompson, 8-of-21, 143 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing – Brandin Byrd, 14 car, 40 yards
Receiving – Brelan Chancellor, 4 rec, 114 yards, 2 TD