Quarterback Joe Burrow continued to build his Heisman Trophy case with six touchdowns Saturday to help lead the No. 5 LSU Tigers to a 42-6 victory over the Utah State Aggies at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
LSU moved to 5-0 with the win to remain firmly in the College Football Playoff conversation as the 2019 season moves toward the halfway mark. The Tigers' resume already features a victory against the Texas Longhorns, but most of the supremely difficult SEC schedule still awaits.
Burrow has been a breakout sensation after an up-and-down first year as LSU's starter in 2018. Now he's put himself alongside Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma Sooners), Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama Crimson Tide), Justin Fields (Ohio State Buckeyes) and Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin Badgers) in the crowded Heisman race.
Utah State, which racked up three straight wins after a season-opening three-point loss to the still-undefeated Wake Forest Demon Deacons, dropped to 3-2 with Saturday's defeat.
Notable Game Stats
QB Joe Burrow (LSU): 27-of-38 passing for 344 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT; 42 rushing yards, 1 TD
QB Jordan Love (USU): 15-of-30 passing for 130 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INT
WR Justin Jefferson (LSU): 9 catches for 155 yards, 2 TDs
WR Ja'Marr Chase (LSU): 3 catches for 54 yards, 1 TD
WR Derrick Dillon (LSU): 4 catches for 42 yards, 1 TD
TE Thaddeus Moss (LSU): 5 catches for 39 yards, 1 TD
DL Neil Farrell Jr. (LSU): 3 tackles, 1 sack
LB David Woodward (USU): 16 tackles, 1 sack
DB Grant Delpit (LSU): 3 tackles, 1 INT
DB Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU): 2 tackles, 1 INT
DB Kary Vincent Jr. (LSU): 1 tackle, 1 INT
DB Cameron Haney (USU): 2 tackles, 1 INT
Burrow, Tigers Must Clean Up Mistakes After Sluggish Start
The Tigers offense, which looked virtually unstoppable at times during their 4-0 start, showed some rust coming out of the bye week.
After a touchdown pass from Burrow to Dillon on their opening drive, they turned the ball over on two straight possessions. LSU's standout quarterback threw just his third interception of the season on the second drive, and the unit turned the ball over on downs on its next possession.
A pair of field goals for Utah State kicker Dominik Eberle made it 7-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The Tigers bounced back strong with 14 unanswered points in the second quarter, a one-yard plunge by Burrow and a 25-yard pass to Chase for another score, and were pretty much on cruise control throughout the second half.
Yet, it was far from the type of crisp performance head coach Ed Orgeron probably wanted to see as LSU prepares to enter the SEC gauntlet in the coming weeks.
While Burrow's overall numbers were strong and for the most part his upward trajectory continued, he missed on a couple of easy pitch-and-catch opportunities that must be converted in future weeks. But it's a minor criticism given the type of progress he's already showed this year.
The throws the former Ohio State reserve did miss on were immediate routes, and the ball usually sailed high in those situations. But his deep ball was on target all day, particularly on a 39-yard touchdown toss to Jefferson late in the third quarter.
All told, it was another encouraging performance for Burrow, but there are still areas to tighten up with tougher opponents and better defenses on the horizon.
LSU begins a stretch that could feature three matchups with Top 10 opponents in a four-game span when it welcomes the No. 10 Florida Gators to Tiger Stadium on October 12 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Utah State returns home to Maverik Stadium for a Mountain West Conference clash with the Nevada Wolf Pack on Oct. 19 following its Week 7 bye.