Josh Kendall

Kendall’s pick: USC can take a positive step even without victory

The State

South Carolina’s football players and coaches will turn their attention exclusively to football for a few hours Saturday afternoon.

The Gamecocks take on No. 7 LSU in Baton Rouge at 3:30 p.m. The game was moved from Williams-Brice Stadium because of the effects of devastating flooding in the state, and it could provide a welcome respite for a reeling state. Or not.

South Carolina is last in the SEC in scoring offense (20.5 points per game) and last in scoring defense (giving up 25.8 points per game). Head coach Steve Spurrier is not doing much to dress up his team’s struggles this season.

“We’ll talk about trying to play our best against LSU, that’s what we’ll talk about and hopefully if we play extremely well, we’ll have a chance to beat these guys,” he said this week. “That’s what we all hope for. We’re just trying to improve our team. That’s all coaches can do is get them as best prepared to play.”

The Gamecocks were not expected to win this game before it was moved off their home field. LSU was a 13-point favorite Tuesday. The line was taken off the board after the announcement that it would be moved. The Tigers are now 19.5-point favorites.

“We believe we can play better, but until we do it, it’s just hope,” Spurrier said. “But we need to go do it. We’re looking forward to this week.”

South Carolina can take a positive step this week even without a victory by competing hard enough to show it has the energy left to turn its season around.