The essential details (and more) for South Carolina’s game against LSU on Saturday. The game moved from Columbia to Baton Rouge, La., because of devastating floods across the Palmetto State.
Who: USC (2-3, 0-3 SEC) vs. LSU (4-0, 2-0)
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.
Radio: 107.5 The Game
Satellite radio: Sirius 83/XM 190
Line: LSU by 19.5
Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high near 85
Uniform report: South Carolina will wear all white. LSU will wear purple.
Series History: LSU leads 17-2-1 (11-1 in Baton Rouge)
Steve Spurrier vs. LSU: 11-4 (11-1 at Florida and 0-3 at USC)
Les Miles vs. USC: 3-0
WHAT’S AT STAKE
LSU is looking to go 5-0 for the fifth time in coach Les Miles’ 11 seasons and the first time since 2012. South Carolina is hoping to avoid the first 0-4 start in SEC play in coach Steve Spurrier’s career. The Gamecocks opened 0-3 in Spurrier’s debut season in 2005, then won their final five league games.
LSU RB Leonard Fournette vs. South Carolina’s run defense. Fournette is the first SEC player to run for 200 or more yards in three straight games. The Gamecocks have done little this year to show they won’t be Fournette’s fourth straight such game. South Carolina is ninth in the 14-team league in yards allowed rushing at 170 a game this year. Three weeks ago, the Gamecocks gave up 253 yards and four rushing touchdowns in a 52-20 loss to Georgia.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
▪ LSU: LB Kendall Beckwith will be making sure South Carolina freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez does not get free on the outside in the zone-read schemes. Beckwith has 28 tackles this season.
▪ South Carolina: RB Brandon Wilds is a fifth-year senior who has missed the past two games because of bruised ribs. No surprise that the Gamecocks’ running attack was not effective in last week’s loss at Missouri. Wilds’ return should perk up the team’s offensive flow.
▪ 0: Number of players in SEC history who rushed for 200 yards or more in three consecutive games until Leonard Fournette did it over the last three games.
▪ 46: Yards per game Fournette is averaging above USC’s allowed rushing yards per game (216 to 170).
▪ 3: Consecutive LSU home games against USC from 2012 to 2020, since the Gamecocks will not receive a future home game in return for this week.
▪ 16: Years since USC began 0-4 in the SEC. That season (1999) was winless.
▪ 21: Years since the Gamecocks beat LSU. Brad Scott’s first team beat the Tigers 18-17 in Baton Rouge on their way to the school’s first bowl win. LSU tied USC in 1995 and won the next five.
1. BIG LEONARD
No secret what LSU is going to do. The Tigers will hand off to ol’ Stud Hoss in the backfield until he can’t run anymore – and the way he’s piling up yards, that day may never come. He’s going to get his yards. The Gamecocks have to make sure that yards don’t equal points.
2. THE SNAP-EE
Who’s playing quarterback this week? Lorenzo Nunez’s sprained shoulder kept him out of practice, so Steve Spurrier will go back to Perry Orth at USC’s starter. Without a running game or another receiver besides Pharoh Cooper, it probably won’t matter.
3. FULL BOX
If the Gamecocks don’t switch their defensive alignment to an eight-in-the box, safety-comes-up plan to try and limit Fournette, the Jon Hoke ship may have set sail with no hope for a safe port. There’s only one way to try and stop the guy, and more people equals more probability of success. There is no other option.
4. “HOME GAME”
LSU’s wearing its road jerseys and its band will play the USC fight song and alma mater. The Gamecocks pocket the ticket money. I daresay that’s where the home-field advantage ends.
5. THE FINER THINGS
No matter what happens Saturday, if you’re reading this, you’re alive. Hug your significant other, tell your kids you love them and realize that you made it through one of the worst disasters in our state’s history. Football is still just a game.
PROJECTED SOUTH CAROLINA DEPTH CHART
WR – BELTON (Neal, Jeffery)
WR – P. COOPER (Hurst)
WR – GOOGER (Heard)
LT – SHELL (Pellage)
LG – MATULIS (Park)
C – KNOTT (Bailey)
RG – SPORT (Stanley)
RT – ZANDI (Camper)
TE – ADAMS (August, Markway)
QB – ORTH (Scarnecchia, Nunez)
FB – BEDENBAUGH
TB – WILDS (Carson, Da. Williams, Talley)
DE – D. JOHNSON (Whitlow, Blackshear, Dixon)
DT – SAWYER (Stallworth, Griffin)
NT – DIXON JR. (Dukes, Lamin)
DE – LEWIS (C. Cooper, English)
MLB – HOLLOMAN (Allen-Williams)
WLB – MOORE (Walton)
SLB – BRYANT (Hawkins)
SPUR – GURLEY (Sasser)
LCB – HARRIS (Lammons, J. Smith)
FS – I. JOHNSON (Moody)
SS – DIGGS (D. Smith)
RCB – MCWILLIAMS (Fenton, Boyd)
KO – ARD (Fry)
PK – FRY (Ard)
P – KELLY (Almond)
KR – CARSON (Talley)
PR – P. COOPER
LSN – DR. WILLIAMS (McGriff)
H – KELLY (Ard)