Baton Rouge, La. • Sloppy play by No. 13 LSU had its fans grumbling and feisty Furman believing until Odell Beckham Jr. and Terrence Magee added a few more big plays to their personal highlight collections.
Beckham caught six passes for 204 yards and two scores, Terrance Magee added two second-half touchdowns, including one from 39 yards out, and LSU turned a tenuous halftime lead into a 48-16 romp over Furman on Saturday night.
Jeremy Hill rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns for LSU (7-2), which led 20-16 at halftime before outscoring the Paladins (3-5) 28-0 in the second half.
Hill's first touchdown went for 55 yards and he finished with an average of 10.2 yards on 14 carries. Beckham's TDs went for 63 and 37 yards, he also had a 53-yard catch and run to set up Hill's 4-yard score in the first half. Magee finished with 108 yards on only seven carries, a whopping average of 15.4 yards per carry.
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger passed for 328 yards and three scores, but threw two interceptions, the first of which was returned 76 yards by Reggie Thomas to give Furman a 7-0 lead. Late in the third quarter, he found fullback Melvin Jones for a 7-yard TD.
Hank McCloud rushed for 78 yards for Furman, while quarterback Reese Hannon was 16 of 28 for 104 yards and was intercepted once.
Yet, as close as the Paladins stayed in the first half, they wound up being outgained by LSU 672-198 in total yards.
The Tigers, who played in each of the first nine weeks of the season, finally get a week off before visiting No. 1 and unbeaten Alabama on Nov. 9.
LSU was plagued by sloppiness in the first half, including Mettenberger's first interception, a personal foul penalty that led to a field goal, a missed field goal, missed extra point, and Beckham's fumble on a punt return that led to another field goal.
That allowed upstart Furman to stay within one possession until early in the third quarter.
After Furman took the first lead, the Tigers quickly tied it on Hill's long TD run. Furman, however, marched back into Tigers territory and took a 10-7 lead on Ray Early's 46-yard field goal.
LSU took the lead for good on its next possession on Hill's second TD, but kicker Colby Delahoussaye missed the point-after.
Beckham's 37-yard touchdown catch between two defenders made it 20-10, but Early's second field goal from 31 yards made it 20-13. Then the Paladins were given the ball within striking distance of a tying TD when Beckham muffed a knuckling punt late in the second quarter. A couple plays later, Furman had a first-and-goal on the 1 with 1:19 left in the quarter. But with no timeouts, the Paladins were stuffed on first down and then committed a false start, leaving only enough time for one incomplete pass before Early had to come on to for a field goal on third-and-goal.
That pulled the Paladins to 20-16 before a disgruntled Tiger Stadium crowd at halftime, but that was as close as it got.