BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU’s Darrel Williams didn’t remotely generate the recruiting hype of fellow freshman running back Leonard Fournette.
For now, though, Williams is producing more points for the 10th-ranked Tigers.
Williams ran for two touchdowns, Fournette added a score of his own, and LSU posted its second-straight shutout, 31-0 over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night.
Williams scored the Tigers’ first two touchdowns, first on a tackle-breaking, 22-yard run, then on a 1-yard score early in the third quarter. On both plays, he was lined up as a fullback.
Fournette scored from 24 yards out and Kenny Hilliard added a short scoring run for LSU (3-0) early in the fourth quarter, giving him three TDs in as many games.
ULM (2-1) kept the game close for one half, but the Warhawks’ defense eventually wore down while their offense managed just 93 total yards and six first downs against a Tigers defense that has been in suffocating form since second half of their season opening comeback victory over Wisconsin.
LSU, which beat Sam Houston State 56-0 a week earlier, has not allowed a point since yielding a touchdown early in the third quarter against the Badgers.
While the Tigers only got credit for one sack against ULM, they forced numerous rushed and errant throws by Warhawks quarterback Pete Thomas, who finished 16 of 30 for 77 yards — just one week after he’d passed for 384 yards and two scores against Idaho.
Tigers quarterback Anthony Jennings was 11 of 18 for 139 yards and was intercepted for the first time this season late in the first half. As usual, he had his most success throwing to Travin Dural. The pair hooked up for a 32-yard gain that set up Williams short TD.
Dural played less than a week after a car accident that forced him to miss a couple practices with stitches in his forehead. He finished with six catches for 79 yards, but was held out of the end zone for the first time this season.
LSU’s defense allowed only 44 yards in the opening half, when ULM managed only two first downs on offensive plays and crossed midfield only once.
That took pressure off of a Tigers’ offense that was a little slow to get going against the Warhawks, whose defense is loaded with experience and gave little ground early on.
The Tigers needed three possessions just to take a 3-0 lead on Colby Dellahoussaye’s 21-yard field goal. LSU went up 10-0 early in the second quarter when Williams bounced off tacklers at the line of scrimmage and broke into the open for his 22-yard score.
LSU wound up with 202 total yards in the opening half, but one scoring chance evaporated when ULM’s Mitch Lane made a diving interception on the Warhawks 14, keeping the Warhawks within 10 points at halftime.
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