It was a cold, rainy night in Death Valley, but LSU didn’t let the dreadful conditions get in the way of them handling business against UAB. The Tigers controlled the pace from start to finish, taking down the Blazers 41-10 after a masterful performance from starting quarterback Jayden Daniels.
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 reeled in seven passes for 129 yards, including a 47-yard reception on LSU's first touchdown drive.
''I was seeing the field. My feet and eyes were tied together,'' Daniels said. ''I feel like it was my most efficient game of the year. It was good for us to keep that rhythm going and keep good offensive flow.''
Allowing the Daniels-Nabers connection to steal the show can largely be due to the lack of running back depth Saturday night. The Tigers were without starting running back Josh Williams as he continues recovering after getting banged up last weekend along with sophomore back Armoni Goodwin.
Goodwin, who has missed multiple games this season with a hamstring injury, will be out for the season with a knee injury.
Along with the backfield tandem of Williams and Goodwin out, LSU was without starting wide receiver Kayshon Boutte who is battling the flu and offensive lineman Charles Turner.
Despite being short handed, this unit marched into Tiger Stadium on senior night and did what was expected and that was to defeat the Blazers in convincing fashion.
"I'm so proud of our mental toughness and (the players') ability to do it the right way against a team they're supposed to beat,'' Brian Kelly said following the victory.
The offense looked the part to get things rolling Saturday night, scoring touchdowns on four of its first five possessions and going 7-of-8 to open the game.
Daniels controlled the game through the air while Penn State transfer Noah Cain handled business on the ground, finishing with 76 yards and three touchdowns of his own.
It was an efficient offensive performance, but not perfect by any means. Senior running back John Emery continues to try to find his groove, unable to get into one against the Blazers. Emery fumbled the football twice in what became the only two mishaps this group put together all night with the football in their hands.
On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Matt House made immediate in-game adjustments. With struggles early in the first half, resulting in a touchdown on the Blazers’ opening drive, this unit came together in a big way.
Harold Perkins came alive, putting together another solid performance in which he finished with two tackles for loss and a pass breakup, while Ali Gaye held it down on senior night. The savvy veteran came up with a key third down sack while getting in the backfield at will on Saturday.
All in all, the Tigers did what they were supposed to do against an inferior opponent in UAB, and with Tennessee losing on Saturday, their College Football Playoff chances continue to become that much greater.
LSU heads to College Station next Saturday where they will face a depleted Texas A&M squad with the Tigers looking to end the regular season with another victory under their belt.