BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Jayden Daniels accounted for 418 yards and passed for three touchdowns, and No. 22 LSU raced to an early double-digit lead that it never relinquished in a 48-18 victory over Auburn on Saturday night.
LSU receiver Kyren Lacy had the most productive game of his career, catching four passes for 111 yards and touchdown. Daniels also threw touchdown passes to reciever Malik Nabers and running back Josh Williams.
John Emery Jr., Logan Diggs and Williams each rushed for short touchdowns as LSU (5-2, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) scored at least 48 points for a third straight week.
Daniels — whom Auburn coach Hugh Freeze declared should be a Heisman Trophy candidate — completed 20 of 27 passes for 325 yards and rushed for 93 yards.
Meanwhile, LSU’s defense turned in one of its better performances this season, highlighted by drive-stalling sacks by Mekhi Wingo and Harold Perkins.
Auburn (3-3, 0-3) finished with 293 total yards, representing a substantial improvement for an LSU defense that had given up 1,233 yards and 104 points in its previous two games. That also was the second-fewest yards against LSU this season.
But Auburn hasn’t had much scoring punch in its three SEC games, during which it has averaged 16 points.
Payton Thorne completed 12 of 23 passes for 102 yards and change-of-pace QB Robby Ashford passed for 52 yards, highlighted by his 3-yard scoring pass to Brandon Frazier.
Nabers’ 29-yard touchdown on a swing pass to the left side gave LSU a 7-0 lead on the game’s opening drive.
When Emery dove across the goal line to make it 17-0 late in the opening quarter, LSU had 216 total yards to Auburn’s minus-3.
Auburn finally put a drive together after that, going 75 yards in eight plays for Jarquez Hunter’s 2-yard touchdown run.
Damian Ramos’ second field goal of the night gave LSU a 20-7 halftime lead.
Auburn: Freeze’s team remains a work in progress but looks competitive in stretches during the coach’s first year leading the proud program from Alabama’s plains. When kicker Alex McPherson hit a 38-yard field goal, Auburn’s deficit was a seemingly surmountable 10 points in the third quarter before the home-side Tigers pulled away again.
LSU: The offense remains on pace to rank among the most prolific in program history. LSU has now scored more than 40 points in five of its seven games this season, with a high of 70 against Grambling State.
LSU could move up a few spots after losses by a couple teams ranked fewer than 10 spots ahead in the AP Top 25 Poll.
Auburn: Hosts Ole Miss on Saturday
LSU: Hosts Army on Saturday.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll