BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Terrence Magee amassed a career-high 220 all-purpose yards and rushed for two touchdowns, Tre’Davious White scored on a 67-yard punt return and LSU routed Kentucky 41-3 on Saturday night.
Travin Dural caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Jennings and Leonard Fournette added a short scoring run for the Tigers (6-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference), who raced to a 27-3 halftime lead en route to becoming bowl eligible for a school-record 15th straight year.
The Wildcats (5-2, 2-2) came to LSU in the thick of the SEC East race, only to be handed their fourth lopsided loss in as many trips to Death Valley since 2000.
Kentucky also saw freshman running back Stanley ”Boom” Williams, their all-purpose yards leader, knocked from the game on a helmet-to-helmet hit during a kickoff return.
Magee’s night included a season-high 127 yards rushing, 44 yards receiving and 49 yards on kickoff returns. His touchdowns came on second-half runs of 9 and 23 yards.
The Tigers ran the ball 51 times for 303 yards and outgained the Wildcats 423-217. Jennings attempted only 14 passes, hitting seven for 120 yards, and did not turn the ball over.
Patrick Towles completed 19 of 36 passes for 146 yards and Austin MacGinnis kicked a 33-yard field goal for Kentucky.
LSU raced to a three-score lead on the strength of its return game and a pair of strong defensive series.
Magee brought back the opening kickoff 49 yards to the UK 44, and a facemask penalty gave the Tigers starting field position on the Kentucky 29. A roughing-the-passer penalty on what would have been LSU’s only pass attempt of the drive moved the ball to the 14. Fournette’s 1-yard touchdown came soon after.
LSU’s second possession started near midfield after White’s 17-yard punt return, leading to a short field goal.
Another three-and-out left Kentucky with minus-3 yards through its first two possessions and forced a second punt from its own territory. White fielded it at the LSU 33 and found a seam angling to his right, helped by safety Jamal Adams’ crushing block. He then turned the corner and broke into the clear near midfield, making it 17-0 before 10 minutes had elapsed.
Kentucky finally started moving the ball on its third series, driving 66 yards on 13 plays for a short field goal.
The Wildcats threatened to trim their deficit further in the second quarter, but LSU defensive end Danielle Hunter and Adams stuffed Jojo Kemp’s run out of the `wildcat’ formation on fourth-and-2 from the Tigers 29.
Jennings did not have his fifth completion until less than a minute remained in the half. That’s when he spotted Dural sprinting past a defender down the right sidelined and lofted a pinpoint pass to the end zone.
LSU squibbed the ensuing kickoff, and the ball somehow bounced away from the Wildcats until LSU’s Lewis Neal recovered what amounted to a successful, however unintentional, on-side kick at the Kentucky 37. That set up Colby Delahoussaye’s 35-yard field goal seconds before halftime.
LSU’s defense opened the second half by forcing a quick punt, then drove 64 yards in five plays, capped by Magee’s 9-yard scoring run to make it 34-3.