Jerry Claiborne wore that look coaches get when their teams commit nine turnovers in one football game. His face was scrunched up in such a frown that his cheeks nearly met his eyebrows.
Claiborne's frustration with his previously undefeated Kentucky Wildcats today was understandable. No. 10 Louisiana State used five interceptions and four recovered fumbles to beat 15th-ranked Kentucky, 36-10, here in Commonwealth Stadium.
LSU, which also got 164 yards rushing from Dalton Hilliard, remained undefeated at 5-0-1, with its Southeastern Conference record 2-0-1. Hilliard's four rushing touchdowns tied Charles Alexander's school record.
Still, it was not the type of precision and power football that defines play in the SEC. LSU committed six turnovers and the teams totaled 15 for the game.
The differences were Hilliard's running, LSU's superior defense and Kentucky's three end zone interceptions that caused Claiborne to say, "We just self-destructed."
LSU led, 3-0, toward the end of the first quarter when Kentucky's George Adams fumbled to stop a drive at the LSU 17.
The game was tied, 3-3, in the second quarter when Claiborne, former Maryland coach, got a little daring on third and five just inside the 10 and called a play in which Tim Jones, the third-string quarterback, was to line up at tailback, take a handoff, run, rise and throw a touchdown pass to quarterback Bill Ransdell.
Kentucky should have taken the lead on the play. But Jones' lob pass took forever to come down. Ransdell just stood there waiting for the ball to fall into his arms, but before it did Tigers cornerback James Pierson snatched it away.
"If we just get a little bit more on that pass," Claiborne said, torturing himself by reliving the play.
LSU used that possession to kick a 20-yard field goal for a 6-3 lead.
Kentucky's Gordon Jackson intercepted Jeff Wickersham with 29 seconds left in the half and Claiborne started to just run out the clock and go into intermission trailing by only a field goal.
Instead, halfback Mark Logan fumbled -- turnover No. 4 -- LSU recovered at the Kentucky 35 and kicked another field goal for a 9-3 lead just before halftime.
A 14-yard cutback run by Hilliard, without benefit of a Kentucky turnover, put LSU ahead, 15-3 (the two-point conversion failed).
But the Wildcats (5-1, 1-1) would help the Tigers score the next time, sure enough. Ransdell had a pass intercepted inside his own 20. And Hilliard went six yards, 11 yards, then one yard with a plunge for the touchdown which made it 22-3.
Two plays later, Logan fumbled again. And Hilliard needed only one try this time to score -- a 14-yard touchdown run -- to run the LSU lead to 29-3.
Kentucky did get a five-yard touchdown run from Adams to pull within 29-10. But a fumbled punt return led to the final Tigers score. And the Wildcats -- Ransdell and substitute Kevin Dooley -- would throw interceptions in the end zone to leave the score lopsided.
As sad as the day was for Claiborne, it was just the opposite for LSU's first-year Coach Bill Arnsparger, formerly the architect of the Miami Dolphins' defense.
"I had no anxiety today," Arnsparger said, adding that he was happy for his mother and cousin who live here, and can gloat for at least another year.