BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU defenders had their hands in the air even before they started celebrating interception returns for touchdowns.
Tigers safety Ronald Martin and defensive end Lavar Edwards each snagged deflected passes and returned them for scores, helping No. 3 LSU pull away for a 63-14 victory over winless Idaho on Saturday night.
The victory gave LSU (3-0) an NCAA FBS record 40th-straight non-conference regular season victory, surpassing Kansas State's 39 from 1993-2003. LSU also set a Tiger Stadium mark with 20 straight home wins, while extending its nation-long regular-season winning streak to 16 games.
"Everybody can see that we can be a dominant football team," LSU coach Les Miles said.
While LSU extended winning streaks, No. 2 Southern Cal lost to Stanford 21-14, a result that could move the Tigers up a spot in the poll behind No. 1 Alabama, a 52-0 winner at Arkansas.
LSU intercepted Idaho's Dominique Blackman four times. Martin, a sophomore making his first start with Craig Loston getting the night off, had two, both off deflections by cornerback Jalen Collins. Both also resulted in touchdowns.
"The play by Collins really was the play," Miles said of Martin's interceptions. "That is pure textbook. ... It's that safety playing the eyes of the quarterback that can be late to the scene and make that interception. Those were big-time plays."
Martin's first interception was a diving catch at the Idaho 30, setting up a six-play drive of all runs and ended with Alfred Blue's 3-yard score.
Martin made his second interception while balancing along the sideline, then ran it back 45 yards for the score.
Martin said he intended to deliver a hit as he converged on the ball when he saw it pop up off Collins' hand.
"Once he tipped it and I saw daylight, after that, I was gone," Martin said. "It was the tip-drill just like you learn in practice."
Edwards' interception came when he tipped the ball to himself at the line of scrimmage, then lumbered to the outside, spinning away from one would-be tackler to the delight of the Tiger Stadium crowd before carrying another tackler across the goal line on a 23-yard return.
"Whenever I get the ball in my hands, especially being a defensive lineman, we don't get those opportunities too much," Edwards said. "So whenever I get it, you know I try my hardest to make sure I get" to the end zone.
The two defensive scores matched Idaho's point total for the night.
"You have to be right all the time when you play somebody like those guys," Idaho coach Robb Akey said of LSU. "When they made those plays against us we couldn't overcome those things in the ballgame and that's the bottom line."