BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Noah Cain scored on three short runs, Jayden Daniels had touchdowns rushing and passing, and sixth-ranked LSU methodically pulled away from UAB for a 41-10 victory on a cold, wet Saturday night.
Daniels completed 22 of 29 passes for 297 yards and ran for 111 yards on 12 carries. His top target was receiver Malik Nabers. who caught seven passes for 129 yards, including a 47-yarder on LSU’s first touchdown drive. Brian Thomas also had a late TD catch for LSU (9-2).
The comfortable victory meant LSU could continue to climb in the The AP Top 25 Poll after No. 5 Tennessee’s 63-38 loss at South Carolina — depending on whether the Tigers are leapfrogged by No. 7 USC, which won at rival UCLA 48-45.
LSU is already locked into the Southeastern Conference championship game against No. 1 Georgia on Dec. 3.
Temperatures in the 40s and a pelting rain kept many fans away from Tigers Stadium for LSU’s home finale — a non-conference matchup against a team listed by FanDuel SportsBook as a two-touchdown underdog.
But those who showed up saw a relatively competitive first half.
After LSU drove for John Emery Jr’s short touchdown on the game’s opening possession, the Blazers (5-6) responded with the help of Jermaine Brown Jr.’s 66-yard kickoff return. That set up DeWayne McBride’s 5-yard TD run to tie it.
LSU took a 14-7 lead on Cain’s 5-yard run, but UAB quarterback Dylan Hopkins completed passes of 20 and 27 yards to quickly lead the Blazers inside the Tigers’ 10. But Ali Gaye’s third-down sack led UAB to settle for a field goal to make it 14-10 at the beginning of the second quarter.
LSU widened its lead to 21-10 on Cain’s second TD with 5:20 left in the half and Cain scored a third time to make it 28-10 just before halftime.
UAB: The Blazers came in with one of the highest ranked running games in the country, averaging nearly 250 yards per game. They mustered just 48 yards rushing against LSU. McBride, who came in with a nation-leading 156.3 yards rushing per game, finished with 34 yards on 13 carries.
LSU: Cain, a Penn State transfer, leads all LSU running backs with seven touchdowns rushing. He trails Daniels, who rushed for his team-leading 11th score this season. John Emery Jr. scored LSU’s opening TD from 2 yards out but fumbled inside the UAB 10 on the Tigers’ next series and lost a second fumble in Blazers territory early in the fourth quarter.
UAB: At Louisiana Tech on Nov. 26.
LSU: At Texas A&M on Nov. 26.
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