I have dreaded this week’s matchup since the schedule was released over six months ago. Not only do we have to play LSU a year after their dominant run through the SEC, but we also have to play them at LSU...and now at night. The Tigers are reeling from their demoralizing loss to Florida last week and the Gamecocks come in ranked #3 after dominating the Bulldogs last week. Two of the nation’s best defenses face off this week in what could be one of the biggest college football games of the year.
Reasons LSU May Win
LSU has not quite lived up to the hype that they started the year with, but they are still one of the best teams in the nation. Last week they suffered a tough loss at Florida, but a few less turnovers and the outcome of that game would have surely been in the Tigers' favor. Since Les Miles started coaching at LSU, the Tigers are 35-1 in night games at home. Those are not numbers you can easily ignore, particularly when considering the opponents they have faced in those games. LSU’s defense has a big strong front with experienced players at all levels. They are much like the Gamecocks’ defense: big, strong, athletic, and unrelenting. If the Tigers defense can force mistakes by the Gamecock offense or special teams, they have a strong chance of leaving Saturday night as still a one loss SEC team. The Mad Hatter, as many call Miles, always has a trick or two up his sleeve, so the Gamecocks must be prepared for the unexpected! A trick play call by LSU could be the difference in the game.
Reasons South Carolina May Win
I say it every week, and I will continue to say it every week because there is one thing I know to be certain in college football, the team that has the least turnovers is going to win the game the majority of the time. The Gamecocks have done a very good job of protecting the ball this season, and the limited turnovers often times give opposing offenses a short field and easy points. If Carolina can continue to protect the ball and make plays the defense will keep them in the game and give them a chance.
With every passing week Marcus Lattimore appears to get stronger and stronger and this can only mean good things for the Carolina offense. Ace Sanders has continued to impress on special teams making what used to be a weak spot for USC yet another greatly improved area. The most impressive of these improvements would have to be the play of the offensive line last week against a tough Georgia defense. They must have a repeat stellar outing this week if the Gamecocks have any chance at winning the game in Baton Rouge.
And don’t forget, while they may call Les Miles the Mad Hatter, the Ole Ball Coach always has a few tricks of his own!
Keys to the Game
LSU: The Tigers' offense must reduce turnovers and create short field opportunities for their offense.
USC: The defense needs to continue to play aggressively and the Gamecock offense must protect the ball while still making the big plays.
Final Score: USC 17, LSU 13
Post written by Gamecock Girl Sports Bloggess Lauren Hall.