David Cloninger

Cloninger’s pick: An upset is possible, but not likely

LSU running back Leonard Fournette
LSU running back Leonard Fournette AP

It would be a terrific story if South Carolina were to pull the upset.

All the Gamecocks – and Columbia – have gone through this week will never be forgotten, much less so soon after it happened. A rather trivial football contest could never hope to erase that.

It would make people smile for a brief time, though. It would bring a little joy into an area that really needs something to feel good about. We’ve all seen how sports can unite in times of crisis, how the result of the game is much easier to think about than what’s been lost.

And we’ve all seen every movie where the plucky underdog stuns the mighty favorite.

The funny thing is, I could see it happening. LSU is Leonard Fournette. If the Gamecocks do as expected and stack the box to try and stop him, who knows? It could certainly work better than the defensive alignment that briefly turned Greyson Lambert and Drew Lock into All-Americans.

Perhaps the Tigers’ defense would overlook Lorenzo Nunez (or his backups, if Nunez is still ailing). USC hits a couple of deep plays, gets a fourth-quarter score and holds on as Les Miles’ late-game magic finally runs out. The Gamecocks use it as a springboard to reverse this season and end up in a major bowl game.

That would make a fine fairy tale, a wonderful story.

Not every story has a happy ending.

LSU 30, SOUTH CAROLINA 14

 
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