LSU Plays Best Game of Season In 52-24 Win Over South Carolina
Heading into Saturday night, many college football pundits questioned if a struggling LSU team could put together a winning performance against South Carolina.
The answer was a resounding "yes".
LSU scored on offense, defense, and special teams, en route to a thorough 52-24 win over the Gamecocks.
"We needed to get that nasty gut feeling out of us," explained Tigers running back John Emery Jr.
The nasty feeling of losing was washed away behind a terrific performance from LSU true freshmen quarterback T.J. Finley, a steady dose of the run game, a kickoff return for a touchdown, and a pick 6.
"He was not nervous at all," said Orgeron of Finley, who went 17-21 for 265 yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 rushing touchdown and an interception.
The Tigers offense has looked strong all season, and Saturday night was no exception.
"It felt amazing," said Finley of the opportunity to lead the offense.
LSU racked up 541 total yards (265 passing, 276 rushing).
Tyrion Davis-Price led the rushing attack with 135 yards on the ground and a score, while Emery ran for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Terrance Marshall Jr. was great, reeling in a game-high 6 receptions for 88 yards and 2 scores.
"I feel like we have our swagger back," noted Finley.
Playing with a comfortable lead for the majority of the game helps.
Cornerback Eli Ricks gave the Tigers a 21 point lead late in the first half when he intercepted a Colin Hill pass and returned it for a touchdown.
When the Gamecocks scored on the opening drive of the second half, the Tigers immediately answered with a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Trey Palmer.
From that point on, LSU was in cruise control.
"Were we perfect tonight? No," said Orgeron.
Defensively, the Tigers showed improvement from the first 3 games, generating a consistent pass rush, but still had issues at times in pass coverage.
"There's still a great deal in coverage to fix," added Orgeron.
LSU, now at 2-2, will look to carry their momentum on the road next week when they faced Auburn (3-2) on Halloween. Kickoff next Saturday is set for 2:30.