BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- Matt Mauck threw for three touchdowns and Michael Clayton caught six passes for a career-high 152 yards as 15th-ranked Louisiana State coasted to a 49-7 rout of Louisiana Monroe.
Mauck, who missed the final six games last season with a right foot injury, completed 13-of-28 passes and directed three scoring drives in the final 6:36 of the first half.
He became the first Tiger quarterback to start consecutive openers since Herb Tyler in 1997 and 1998 and opened the scoring with an eight-yard pass to Devery Henderson. After hooking up with running back Joseph Addai on a 17-yard TD, Mauck found Clayton up the middle for a 40-yard TD with 10 seconds remaining.
The big first half helped the Tigers improve to 30-0 against Sun Belt Conference opponents and spoiled Indians' coach Charlie Weatherbie's debut as UL Monroe coach.
In his first game since October 12, Mauck tied his school record for TDs in a quarter. He also threw three TDs in the opening quarter against Louisiana-Lafayette on October 5.
Mauck's big performance came after LSU struggled to run its offense in the rainy conditions in the first quarter. Just five minutes into the contest, play was delayed for 39 minutes due to a lightning storm and heavy rain.
"I thought we really came out slow and you know we can't do that next week or the following game," Mauck said. "I thought we let the conditions get to us. We really don't need to worry about the opponent or what the weather is like. We just need to play hard."
"I think Matt played just fine," LSU coach Nick Saban added. "I think we busted some (pass) protections. I think he played better as it went (along)."
Saban also felt the delay helped his team, especially on defense.
"I actually feel like (the delay) helped us in some ways," he said. "Defensively, it seemed like we had a little more intensity after we went back out there."
Steven Jyles completed 14-of-32 passes for 175 yards for the Indians, who lost their 16th straight game against a Southeastern Conference foe.
"I feel like we played pretty well in the first quarter, but about midway through the second quarter we gave up a couple of cheap ones," Weatherbie said. "We fumbled the snap from the snapped on the punt and that did not help us a whole lot."
The Tigers began Saban's fourth season by passing for 306 yards. It was the first time they reached 300 since getting 444 in the 2002 Sugar Bowl against Illinois. Clayton helped their passing attack by recording the fourth 100-yard effort of his career.
"We just came out there, the receivers, thinking we could make the big plays," Clayton said. "When Matt Mauck came in, he did a great job of getting us the ball. Matt did a great job finding the open guy when we had a chance to make some plays."
After the three quick scores, the Tigers built their lead to 28-0 midway through the third. Mauck set up Shyrone Casey's one-yard TD by scrambling for eight yards.
Just 16 seconds later, strong safety Jack Hunt, a converted wideout, picked off Jyles and raced in for a 31-yard TD with seven minutes remaining.
With LSU leading, 35-0, Saban replaced Mauck with Marcus Randall. Randall, who started the Tigers' Cotton Bowl loss to Texas, completed 5-of-7 passes for 153 yards, which featured a 66-yard TD strike to Clayton.
The Indians avoided the shutout when Kevin Payne scored from 12 yards out 50 seconds into the fourth. But freshman Alley Broussard provided the final margin with a one-yard TD run with 10:39 remaining.