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Hilliard leads LSU to comeback win over Badgers

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 31, 2014 at 1:19 am •  Published: August 31, 2014
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HOUSTON (AP) — Down 10 to Wisconsin already, LSU started the second half with a delay of game penalty on the opening kickoff. On the Badgers' first play from scrimmage, Melvin Gordon sprinted 63 yards up the middle to set up another touchdown.

Not a good start. But the Tigers still found the right way to finish.

Kenny Hilliard scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to cap a fourth-quarter rally for No. 13 LSU in a 28-24 win over No. 14 Wisconsin at NRG Stadium on Saturday night.

The Tigers trailed 24-21 when Jalen Mills intercepted Tanner McEvoy's pass at the LSU 47 with 11:04 left. Hilliard ran for 53 yards on the ensuing drive, sprinting through a hole on the right side to finish off the improbable comeback.

The Tigers extended the nation's longest regular-season nonconference winning streak to 46 games by overcoming a 24-7 deficit in the fourth quarter.

"We played sloppy, we did everything to the latest possible time before we decided to play best," LSU coach Les Miles said.

The Badgers seemed to have the game in hand after Corey Clement's 2-yard touchdown run after Gordon's run in the third quarter. At that point, Wisconsin had a 290-136 edge in yardage.

"I can't tell you the number of missed tackles, I can't tell you the number of missed assignments," Miles said. "And then we started playing better."

Colby Delahoussaye kicked two field goals and Anthony Jennings threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to John Diarse to start LSU's rally. Jennings hit Trey Quinn for a 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to three.

"They battled. They hung in there," Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said. "I thought both teams fought like crazy. They made one more play than we did and won the game in the end."

The Badgers had dominated the game before the sudden turn of events in the final quarter. Wisconsin outgained LSU 182-16 on the ground in the first half and Gordon's long run to start the third seemed to continue the momentum. Wisconsin mustered only 65 yards in the fourth quarter.

"They've got a great defense and we've got a great offense," McEvoy said, "but we've got to make some plays when they're there and we didn't."

Hilliard finished with 110 yards rushing after being held to 11 in the first half. Jennings went 7 for 18 for 176 yards. He threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Travin Dural in the first half and for most of the game, it seemed as if it might be the lone highlight for LSU.

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