LSU Athletic Communications
BATON ROUGE — Jayden Daniels accounted for more than 500 yards of offense and eight touchdowns Saturday night in Death Valley, as the 15th-ranked LSU Tigers continued to make history in a 56-14 victory over Georgia State.
“It was a great performance again by our offense,” Head Coach Brian Kelly said after the game. “Eight possessions, eight touchdowns; what more could you say? It’s been exciting to watch and I hope everyone enjoyed the efficiency in which they operated.”
The dual-threat Daniels was clicking on all cylinders Saturday, showing once again why he is one of the most exciting players in the nation being mentioned in the Heisman conversation.
Daniels finished the night 25-30 for 413 yards with six passing touchdowns to go along with 96 rushing yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns.
For the sixth time this season Daniels accounted for at least 410 yards of offense and he became the first player in LSU history with at least five passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the same game.
He tied Joe Burrow’s LSU record from the 2019 College Football Playoff semifinal with eight total touchdowns in a game. Daniels set the LSU record with his seventh game over 400 total yards in a season, passing Burrow who had six in 2019.
“I’m chasing to be great each and every week,” Daniels said. “I still have a long way to go. You can’t take games off because if you do you might get beat. You have to play up to that standard I set for myself and we set as a whole team because we’re still chasing something at the end of the day.”
Saturday marked Daniels’ 22nd game in his career with at least one passing and one rushing touchdown, tied with Bo Nix for the most among active QBs.
He also became the 11th player in FBS history with 3,000+ passing yards and 1,000+ rushing yards in a season. This is the 22nd time an LSU player has rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season and Daniels is the 16th individual player and the first quarterback to accomplish that feat.
“I think he’s the best player in college football and every opportunity I get I’m going to make sure people understand that,” Coach Kelly said. “His efficiency, the way he takes over the game. If you’re on the other sideline how do you defend him? They tried to blitz him and that didn’t work. They dropped eight in the fourth quarter and that didn’t work. We’ve seen virtually everything this year from trap coverages to every kind of configuration and it just hasn’t worked.”
LSU scored touchdowns on all eight of the possessions that Daniels was leading the offense.
For the second time in program history three receivers – Malik Nabers (140), Brian Thomas Jr. (103) and Kyren Lacy (101) – went over 100 yards joining the trio of Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall Jr. during the 2019 game at Texas, but Saturday was the first time three receivers had 100+ yards and all caught a touchdown pass.
For Nabers it was his eighth game with 100+ receiving yards this season, tied with Jefferson (2019) for the third most in LSU history. Nabers led LSU’s three-headed receiving monster with eight receptions and two touchdowns. Lacy also caught two touchdowns on five receptions while Thomas accounted for one touchdown on four catches.
“Without them I wouldn’t be able to do any of this,” Daniel said of his receivers. “For them to catch the ball and be explosive after the catch, that’s something not too many people have in the country. Just the relationship and the bond we have on and off the field, it just translates to Saturdays.”
LSU will return for its final regular season game of the year next Saturday at 11 a.m. CT against Texas A&M on ESPN in Tiger Stadium.
After Georgia State scored on the game’s opening possession, LSU’s offense took over. Daniels had back-to-back runs of nine and 29 yards before he found Lacy on an out route to get the Tigers in the red zone.
Daniels found Nabers on an 18-yard slant route that ended in the endzone to even the score. The reception put Nabers over 1,300 yards this season as he became just the fourth receiver in LSU history to surpass that mark.
Georgia State’s offense was driving again, but a holding call on third down near midfield set LSU up to get a stop. A short punt was received by Javen Nicholas who returned it 27-yards to set the Tigers up near midfield.
LSU converted two third-and-tens to get the Tigers right back in position to strike again. LSU fumbled twice on the possession but was able to remain in control of the ball, setting up a quarterback draw that Daniels weaved 14 yards into the endzone right before the end of the first quarter. Georgia State would respond with a 44-yard touchdown run by Marcus Carroll.
Daniels and Nabers connected again on a curl route completed at the 31-yardline of LSU that Nabers ran into Georgia State territory.
A couple more completions by Daniels and a Kaleb Jackson run got LSU near the red zone. Lacy found a seam on the right side of the defense and Daniels delivered a strike for a 27-yard touchdown, pushing Daniels past the 150-yard mark in the first half.
On fourth-and-seven from the LSU 30-yard line, Georgia State’s Darren Grainger overthrew an open Robert Lewis in the endzone as the Panthers turned it over on downs with 2:38 remaining in the half, giving the ball back to the potent LSU offense. The Tigers only needed one play to score as Daniels hit Brian Thomas Jr. in stride at the 25-yard line and Thomas took care of the rest for a 70-yard catch and run touchdown to push Daniels over 230 first half passing yards.
Georgia State was called for holding on the first play of its next position to help LSU force a three-and-out. With all of its timeouts remaining, LSU was able to use two of them and get the ball back to the offense at LSU’s 40-yard line with 1:03 left in the half.
Daniels attempted to air it out to Aaron Anderson who drew a pass interference call to get the Tigers in Panther territory.
Daniels and Lacy then connect again on a crossing route to get the ball down inside the 10. LSU was called for a false start and LSU used its final timeout to avoid a 10-second runoff with 26 seconds left in the half. Lacy was left all alone in the middle of the endzone, setting up an easy 13-yard touchdown completion for Daniels to put the Tigers ahead, 35-14, going into the half.
Daniels was nearly flawless in the first half. He was 15-19 for 282 yards, the seventh most passing yards in a half in LSU history, with four touchdown tosses. He completed passes to six receivers, led by Lacy and Nabers who both had four catches. He also added 47 yards on the ground on four carries with a score. LSU scored on all five of its drives
The Tigers got the ball to begin the second half and quickly went back to work. Daniels led the offense down the field near the red zone and then Noah Cain gained 20 on a run to the left to set LSU up inside the five-yard line.
On a play action call from under center, Daniels rolled out to his left and floated a pass to Mac Markway who was open in the back left corner of the endzone.
The LSU defense recorded its first sack of the game by Mason Smith and Ovie Oghoufo to set the Panthers up for a second-and-long.
After a 9-yard gain on third down, Georgia State went for and converted on fourth down to move past midfield. The defense of LSU buckled down to force an incompletion on third-and-six from its 34-yard line. Once again the Panthers went for it on fourth down, but Sai’vion Jones and Jacobian Guillory teamed up to drop Grainger for LSU’s second sack of the drive and get the ball back with the offense.
Daniels and the offense moved past midfield after a completion to Thomas and a designed quarterback run. Lacy then made a catch against the right sideline to get the Tigers down to Georgia State’s 25-yard line. LSU got inside the 10 after another Thomas reception and run by Jackson. On third-and-goal from the seven, Daniels dropped back and avoided a sack before scrambling and breaking another tackle down to the one.
The Tigers went for it on fourth down, the first play of the fourth quarter, on a quarterback bootleg run to the right. Daniels did not reach the endzone, but was brought down by the horse collar to give the Tigers a fresh set of downs. Daniels ran it in on a QB sneak the following play to give him seven total touchdowns on the evening.
Once again the defense for the Tigers forced a punt and once again Daniels began to move the offense towards another score. Jackson took a handoff up the middle and ran through a tackler down to the Panther’s 40-yard line. Nabers ran open on the following play down the middle seam and leaped to grab Daniels’ pass in the endzone for another touchdown.
Georgia State did march down the field into the red zone on its next possession, but failed to convert on fourth down which allowed Garrett Nussmeier to get onto the field as Daniels’ night was done with LSU holding a 56-14 lead with 3:54 left to play as the offense ran out the clock.