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Mettenberger, No. 9 LSU rout UAB

Sep 8, 2013 - 4:52 AM Baton Rouge, LA (Sports Network) - Zach Mettenberger threw a school-record five touchdown passes -- three of them to Odell Beckham -- and No. 9 LSU opened its home schedule with an easy 56-17 victory over UAB.

Mettenberger was an efficient 16-of-19 while amassing 282 yards through the air for the Tigers (2-0), winners of eight straight season-opening games at Tiger Stadium.

Jarvis Landry caught Mettenberger's two other TD passes, finishing with five catches for 71 yards. Beckham also had five receptions totaling 136 yards, and added a 100-yard scrimmage return touchdown off a missed field goal to his stat line.

"I prayed before the game just for a big game, and it finally came through," said Beckham. "I just have to give my hats off to my teammates."

Austin Brown ended 9-of-24 for 136 yards with a touchdown for UAB (0-2), which was shut out in the second half.

UAB battled back in the second quarter after a rough start to get within 35-17 at halftime, but LSU clamped down in the second half.

Mettenberger, who threw three touchdown passes in the first half, tacked on his last two by the end of the third quarter. Beckham made his third TD catch of the game on the Tigers' first series after halftime, and Mettenberger hooked up with Landry for a 14-yard score later on for a 49-17 cushion.

Before the period came to a close, Beckham reached the end zone one more time. UAB kicker Ty Long attempted a 59-yard kick, but it sailed well short and into the arms of the LSU wideout in the end zone. Beckham then broke towards the sideline and sprinted away from the competition for a 100-yard return.

"We think number 3 (Odell Beckham) is one of the most dangerous punt returners in the country," said UAB coach Garrick McGee. "We didn't want to give him a chance to impact the game like he did."

Practically by himself, Beckham opened a 21-0 first-quarter lead for LSU. He hauled in 29 and 22-yard touchdown passes from Mettenberger, then capped an impressive opening frame by returning a punt 60 yards following a second straight UAB three-and-out. Kenny Hilliard scored on a 1-yard rush as the first-period clock expired to put the Tigers in control early.

It was a four-touchdown spread four plays into the second quarter. Jonathan Perry fumbled for UAB on first down and the Tigers recovered on the opposing 19-yard line. Jeremy Hill, seeing his first action since being suspended by the team for three months, made it 28-0 with a 3-yard plunge up the middle. LSU suspended the running back after his July involvement in a bar fight.

The Blazers finally got on the board, going 75 yards down the field to score on an 11-yard Darrin Reaves scamper. Landry countered for LSU, making an acrobatic 24-yard touchdown catch, but then fumbled on the ensuing Tigers' possession.

Brown and Jamarcus Nelson took advantage for UAB, with the duo hooking up for a 41-yard touchdown with 5:10 left in the half.

After forcing LSU to go three-and-out, the Blazers then trekked all the way down to the Tigers' six, but settled for a 24-yard Long field goal to go into halftime down by a 35-17 count.

Game Notes

LSU has won 38 straight games at Tiger Stadium against non-conference opponents since losing its only other matchup with UAB in 2000, a 13-10 setback ... Beckham had 331 all-purpose yards, the third-highest total in school history ... The Tigers' FBS record non-conference regular-season winning streak moved to 43 games ... Reaves ran for 84 yards on 14 carries for UAB.