SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (6-0)
at LSU TIGERS (5-1)
Kickoff: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Line: LSU -2½, Total: 39½
No. 3 South Carolina seeks its 11th straight victory when it travels to Baton Rouge Saturday night for a showdown with a No. 9 LSU team riding a long home win streak.
The Tigers have won 21 straight home games and are 16-2-1 SU all-time versus the Gamecocks, but one of those losses came in 1930. South Carolina has surpassed 20 points just once in these 19 meetings, the last of which occurred in 2008, a 24-17 Tigers win. The Gamecocks destroyed Georgia 35-7 last week, marking their fifth straight ATS win and putting them at 8-2 ATS during the current 10-game SU win streak. Connor Shaw threw for 162 yards on just six completions and scored 3 total TD against the Bulldogs. LSU is on a three-game ATS skid, committing eight turnovers during this stretch and gaining a paltry 200 total yards (42 rushing) in a 14-6 loss at Florida last week.
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Shaw has been unbelievably accurate in SEC play, completing 80% of his passes for 10.4 yards per attempt, 6 TD and just 1 INT in the four conference wins. Star RB Marcus Lattimore has also stepped up his game recently with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, showing that his knee is close to 100 percent after tearing his ACL last year. Lattimore has scored at least one touchdown in 12 of the 13 games he's played in the past two seasons. Sophomore DE Jadeveon Clowney continues to lead this excellent defense, posting 6½ sacks and 11½ Tackles For Loss so far this season. South Carolina has allowed just 278 total yards per game, including 83 rushing YPG.
LSU's offensive woes in SEC play begin with QB Zach Mettenberger who is just 26-of-52 for 327 yards, 0 TD and 1 INT in the two conference games. However, the paltry ground game is just as troubling for Tigers fans, as they have decreased their rushing yards in each of the past four games, going from 250 to 182 to 158 to just 42 rushing yards last week. Kenny Hilliard leads the team with 382 rushing yards and 6 TD, but he has gotten only 11 carries over the past two weeks, picking up 39 yards in this limited workload. Defensively, LSU has been outstanding, allowing 14 points or less in each of its five games versus FBS opponents this year. The Tigers rank second in the nation with 122.5 passing YPG allowed and third in total defense (221 total YPG). They have done a nice job getting into the opposing backfield as well, tallying 2.7 sacks per game and 8.3 Tackles For Loss per game. LB Kevin Minter racked up 20 tackles (3 solo, 17 assists) in last week's loss to Florida, one shy of the school record.