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Russell, Hester help 14th-ranked LSU blank Kentucky

Oct 15, 2006 - 3:36 AM BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- Louisiana State emphatically bounced back from a tough defeat.

JaMarcus Russell and Jacob Hester combined for four first-half touchdowns as the 14th-ranked Tigers coasted to a 49-0 triumph over Kentucky in a Southeastern Conference matchup.

LSU (5-2, 2-2 SEC West) was coming off a 23-10 loss at Florida in which it committed several miscues on special teams.

"We knew we had to come back and score points," said Hester, who ran for 44 yards. "We killed ourselves last week with mistakes. We know it's all about us. Nobody's really stopped us. We just have to eliminate the mistakes."

However, the Tigers were focused in this one, jumping out to a 28-0 advantage and never looking back.

"We started fast, the offense scored quickly and defense played well," Tigers coach Les Miles said. "We had the balance we were looking for running and passing. We played like we were supposed to. It's nice to be back on track."

A 260-pound quarterback, Russell completed 15-of-18 passes for 226 yards, including two TDs to Dwayne Bowe. Russell and Bowe are now just four touchdowns away from tying the school record of 21 for a tandom.

"We had to do some soul-searching this week," Russell said. "Coach (Miles) talked to us about fighting for every inch, because you never know when an inch is going to make a difference. We fought for every inch (Saturday)."

Bowe finished with six catches for 111 yards and three TDs for LSU, which recorded a whopping 545 yards of total offense. The Tigers have won four straight and six of the last eight in the series.

Hester opened the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown run just over six minutes into the contest and found the end zone once again on an four-yard score for a 21-0 lead with 12:55 to go in the half. LSU ran for a season-best 286 yards.

Andre' Woodson passed for 151 yards on 14-of-37 attempts with one interception for the Wildcats (3-4, 1-3 East), who were shut out for the first time this season.

"Tonight was about the worst offensive effort we've had all year," Woodson said. "Obviously, LSU's defense had something to do with it. It was very disappointing. They have the No. 1 defense in the nation, but we started moving the ball in the second half. It was frustrating not being able to score against them."

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