College football: Marshall scores two TDs as LSU shakes off early challenge from NSU in 65-14 victory

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Staff Reports

BATON ROUGE — Former Parkway star Terrace Marshall Jr. caught two touchdown passes as No. 4 LSU defeated Northwestern State 65-14 Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

LSU improved to 3-0. The Tigers open SEC play Saturday at 11 a.m. against Vanderbilt (0-2, 0-1 SEC) in Nashville, Tenn.

NSU (0-3) begins Southland Conference play at Houston Baptist (2-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday. 

The Demons more than held their own in the first half. They took a 7-3 lead on a 17-yard pass from Shane Eppler to Quan Shorts.

After the Tigers rallied for a 17-7 lead, Eppler hit a wide open David Fitzwater for a 26-yard TD to get the Demons within three in the second quarter.

Down 24-14, NSU had a chance to put more points on the board after Dylan Wilson intercepted a Joe Burrow pass and returned it to the LSU 17. But the Tigers forced a field-goal attempt that missed.

From there it was all LSU.

“We were focused on how this team would respond Sunday through Friday, and we showed what we can do when we prepare with the right mental focus,” said NSU coach Brad Laird, referencing how his Demons would rebound from a 33-7 home loss to Midwestern State this past week. “This team got better, and even though the scoreboard doesn’t reflect the outcome we wanted of going 1-0 this week, this team responded positively.

“We had a different focus tonight. We had a great Saturday night in Baton Rouge, and we owe a huge thanks to our fans, our band and the Natchitoches community.”

Marshall continued his strong start to the season. His first TD catch, a 14-yarder from Burrow, and Cade York’s PAT gave the Tigers the 17-7 lead with 8:50 left in the second quarter.

Burrow and Marshall connected again for a 6-yard score with 9:36 left in the third, giving the Tigers a 37-14 lead.

Marshall finished with six catches for 75 yards. In three games, he has 16 catches for 229 yards and a team-high six touchdowns.

Justin Jefferson, LSU’s leading receiver on the season, had five catches for 124 yards.

Burrow completed 21 of 24 passes for 373 yards and the two TDs to Marshall. Myles Brennan entered the game in the fourth quarter and completed 8 of 9 passes for 115 yards.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire and freshman Tyrion Davis-Price both scored two rushing touchdowns.

LSU amassed 610 total yards.

The Tigers’ 65 points are its most in a regulation game since 1991, when LSU scored 70 against Arkansas State. LSU has now scored 165 points in its first three games of the 2019 season, the program’s most in the SEC era and second-most in its history (232 points in first three games of 1930 season).

Eppler passed for 172 yards in the first half. He finished 21-of-38 for 225 yards.