RUSTON, La. – Ross Jenkins threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, and Louisiana Tech had 678 yards of offense in a 48-35 win over Idaho on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (3-4, 2-1 Western Athletic Conference) had their fifth-highest offensive total in school history and the Vandals (3-3, 0-1) totaled 526 offensive yards.
Tech trailed 14-10 midway through the second quarter. Jenkins then threw a 32-yard TD pass to Ahmad Paige, ran for a 4-yard score and threw a 7-yard touchdown to Paige for a 31-14 lead.
Jenkins was 31 of 44 for 417 yards, Rich Casey caught nine passes for 117 yards and Lennon Creer added 179 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries for the Bulldogs.
Nathan Enderle had 365 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-50 passing for the Vandals and Justin Veltung had six catches for 141 yards and four touchdowns.
“We didn’t play well. They did. Bottom line,” Idaho coach Robb Akey said. “Louisiana Tech played a better game today.”
Idaho failed on its first chance when Trey Farquhar’s 44-yard field-goal attempt went wide left.
The Bulldogs went up 7-0 when Creer went up the middle for 6 yards to cap an eight-play, 73-yard drive with 9 minutes, 5 seconds left in the first quarter.
Idaho responded when Veltung capped an 83-yard drive when Enderle found him with a 15-yard TD pass with 4:30 left in the first quarter for the 7-7 tie. The catch capped a drive that featured a 36-yard pass from Enderle to Kama Bailey and a 34-yarder from Enderle to Daniel Hardy.
Tech went ahead 10-7 when Matt Nelson connected on a 31-yard field goal just 9 seconds into the second quarter.
Safety Gary Walker gave the Vandals a boost with slightly less than 9 minutes left before halftime, recovering a Phillip Livas fumble at the Idaho 42 and returning it 54 yards to the Tech 11. On the next play, Enderle hit Veltung for the 11-yard score and a 14-10 lead with 8:45 to go in the half.
The momentum turned for good when the Bulldogs covered 75 yards in eight plays to score on Jenkins’ 32-yard pass to Paige for a 17-14 lead with 38 seconds left in the half.
“We didn’t play well enough on defense,” Akey said. “We didn’t wrap up; didn’t make tackles.”