The No. 9 LSU Tigers defeated No. 3 South Carolina, 23-21, on Oct. 13 at Tiger Stadium. LSU improved to 2-1 in SEC play with the win.
Fifth Time's The Charm?The Tigers used a different offensive line combination for the fifth time in seven games. LSU rolled up 406 yards of offense against the Gamecocks defense, which had looked stout coming into the game. LSU was able to reestablish the running attack (53 carries, 258 yards) thanks to the fifth offensive line combination and a breakout game from freshman Jeremy Hill. Hill had 124 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. The 258 yards on the ground was 58 more yards than the Tigers had put up against Florida and Towson combined on seven fewer carries. The Tigers even seemingly fixed their third down conversion problem, going 11-of-19 against the Gamecocks on third down.
LSU Defense Keeps Gamecocks In CheckSouth Carolina's offense was held to just 3.5 yards per play and star running back Marcus Lattimore was limited to 35 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Lattimore added 23 yards receiving on four catches but did not have a single play go for more than nine yards for the game. The first touchdown for South Carolina came on a really short field after a Zach Mettenberger interception was returned to the 1-yard line. Those types of miscues from the offense have put the defense in difficult situations all season, but LSU has not been able to prevent a score on any red zone possession. With South Carolina's three touchdowns in three red zone possessions, LSU is now 0-13 on red zone defense with 11 touchdowns conceded this season. Despite the red zone issues, the Tigers continued to force turnovers and play solid on third downs. Eric Reid's interception of Connor Shaw set up a field goal which gave LSU the lead for good in the fourth quarter. The Gamecocks converted just three of their 13 third down attempts.
Tigers Still Control DestinyWhile it won't be easy, LSU can still play their way back into the national title hunt with three straight games against ranked SEC opponents, including No. 1 Alabama. If LSU were to win out, it would be hard to imagine a 1-loss Tiger team left out of the championship game given the SEC's track record.
As an LSU fan, it's always good to see the Tigers defeat a Top 5 team in front of a packed house at Tiger Stadium.
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Stats from LSU Sports.net