Game Day Preview: What you need to know about South Carolina-LSU
South Carolina will host No. 7 LSU on Saturday at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. in what is actually a home game for the Gamecocks. Yes, really.
Here’s some information you need to get ready for game day:
No. 7 LSU (4-0, 2-0) vs. South Carolina (2-3, 0-2),
Kickoff: Sat., 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Weather: 84 degrees, 10 percent chance of rain, 10 mph winds ()
Line: LSU -19.5
Series record: LSU 19-2-1
By the numbers
864 – LSU running back Leonard Fournette leads the nation in rushing with 864 yards through four games. Fournette has scored 11 touchdowns — also tops in the nation — while averaging 8.7 yards per attempt. He faces a South Carolina rushing defense that ranks 76th in the nation, allowing 170.0 yards per game. (Source: CFBstats.com)
1– Junior quarterback Perry Orth will take over the South Carolina offense in place of Lorenzo Nunez. Orth started one game this season — against Georgia — and was relieved late by the true freshman Nunez. This season, Orth has completed 23-of-47 passes for one touchdown and two interceptions. (Source: SC)
Storylines to watch
Will LSU let Brandon Harris loose?
Last week, South Carolina allowed Missouri true freshman quarterback Drew Lock to complete 75 percent of his passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns in his very first collegiate start. LSU has navigated through the early part of its SEC schedule and defeated the likes of Auburn and Mississippi State, largely behind the heroics of Fournette. However, the road only gets tougher with Florida, Alabama and Ole Miss over the next five games. One of these formidable foes may figure out a way to slow down Fournette and make Harris win LSU the game. Harris needs a confidence booster against an SEC team, and there’s no better opportunity than the one at hand.
Will South Carolina stand by Orth?
Orth will start in place of Nunez, who suffered a shoulder sprain last week against Missouri. However, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Nunez is available to play, if healthy. If Orth plays as poorly against LSU as he did in his previous start against UGA, Spurrier may have no other choice than to turn back to the true freshman. However, further injuring the young quarterback is certainly a risk in this situation.
Matchup to watch Leonard Fournette vs. Skai Moore:
Last week Fournette became the first SEC player to rush for 200 yards or more in three consecutive games. The Gamecocks’ best shot at slowing down the Heisman Trophy hopeful comes in the form of Moore, the team’s standout junior linebacker who has led the Gamecocks in tackles each of the past two seasons. Not surprisingly, Moore also leads the defense in tackles through five games this season with 52. LSU’s offensive line has created generous holes for Fournette to burst through, so it will take a supreme effort on the part of Moore and the South Carolina linebacking corps to prevent Fournette from continuing the rewrite to record books Saturday.
My prediction: LSU 37, South Carolina 13