By: Jordan Taylor
Da Boot Sports!
T.J. Finley was impressive in his first start as a LSU Tiger and the defense took a step in the right direction, playing inspiring football all night long as LSU would defeat the South Carolina Gamecocks 52-24. The Tigers would dominate in all three phases of the game. Offensively the offensive line simply punished the Gamecocks in the trenches helping LSU rush for 276 yards while protecting T.J. Finley allowing him to play an outstanding game. Finley would finish the game going, 17-21, 265 yards passing, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception. He would also rush for 24 yards and scoring on a 1 yard quarterback sneak. Ty Davis-Price would lead the team in rushing with 135 yards on 22 carries and a score. Terrace Marshall Jr. had another big game, grabbing six passes for 88 yards, catching two more touchdowns.
The defense did show some improvement as they played with much more confidence and intensity. Jacoby Stevens and Jabril Cox both lead the defense with seven tackles each. Derek Stingley had a solid game. B.J. Ojulari was a nightmare all game long with four tackles and three sacks. The Tigers sacked South Carolina quarterback Collin Hill five times and made several big plays including Eki Ricks returning an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.
Special teams were great. Cade York continued to connect on all of his attempts. Kickoff coverage was solid, and Trey Palmer returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown which was the first kickoff return by a LSU player in Tiger Stadium since Eric Martin did it in 1981. LSU went the entire game without needing to punt,
It was a fun victory on a nice cool evening in Death Valley where South Carolina showed up to have their dream of victory destroyed... TIGERS WIN, 52-24....
LSU would receive the opening kickoff and sprinting on the field for his first career start as a true freshman would be #11 TJ Finley. The game plan was simple. Let's establish the run and let Finley get comfortable.
Tigers goes out and have a heck of an opening drive going 75 yards in 16 plays, capped off by a one yard quarterback sneak into the end zone. On the drive, the Tigers would call 13 runs & 3 passes to march down the field to take an early lead. The extra point was good by York and with 7:43 left in first, the Tigers were up 7-0.
South Carolina didn't push the panic button. After receiving the kickoff, if you blinked you would of missed the Gamecocks striking back, taking only three plays for 75 yards in 54 seconds off the game clock as Kevin Harris would break lose for a 45 yard touchdown run. The PAT would be converted and things were tied up at 7-7 with 6;45 to go.
After the impressive first drive, the Tigers they would get their second crack at it and once again the true freshman did an impressive drive to get his team down the field to score again. The 10 play drive went for 66 yards, taking 4:35 off the clock, as LSU would send out the field goal unit and Cade York would knock it through to regain the lead for Tigers, 10-7.
On South Carolina's next possession, the LSU defense would force a three and out sending the punting unit onto the field for the first time to boom it away.
The first quarter would end with the Tigers starting their nest possession taking a 10-7 lead into the second quarter.
The Tigers would start the second quarter with another nice drive to extended their lead. T.J. Finley would find his red hot wide receiver Terrance Marshall in the back corner of the end zone to go up 17-7. The drive covered 65 yards in nine plays.
With 11:14 to go in the first half, the Gamecocks would march right down the field but blow a golden opportunity to get points as their kicker, Parker White would miss a 54 yard field goal attempt.
T.J. Finley would make his first bad decision of the game, three plays into LSU's next possession when he would under throw his receiver for his first career interception.
South Carolina would take advantage of the turnover and snag points on their drive after drilling a 45 yard field goal to cut into the Tigers' lead.
With 5:22 left to go in the half, it would only take the LSU offense five plays to find the end zone. Finley would connect with Marshall across the middle and Marshall would outrun the defense for a 51 yard touchdown. Cade York would push through the extra point and the Tigers go up by two scores, 24-10.
When a offense tries to attack LSU, they usually stay away from Derek Stingley's side and that sets up others to be successful. Eli Ricks would step in front of a quick slant for an interception, returning it 45 yards for the score to put the Tigers up 31-10 with 2:43 left in the half.
South Carolina would blow an opportunity to get points before the half as Parker White would miss his second field goal of the game. LSU would run out the clock to end the half with a nice 31-10 lead.
The Gamecocks moved the ball with authority to start the second half showing they wouldn't just go away, driving 74 yard in nine plays scoring on a 1 yard touchdown by Kevin Harris.
Trey Palmer would muff the Gamecocks kickoff at the LSU five yard line, pick it up at the
seven, then show why he's one of the fastest players on the team as he would go 93 yards untouched for a huge special teams score to put the Tigers right back up by 21 points,
Disaster would strike again for the Gamecocks after another opportunity to put up points failed as White would miss his third field goal of the game leaving the score at 38-17.
LSU's final possession of the third quarter was very impressive as the work load on the ground would continue. Davis-Price would punch in a 4 yard touchdown run to extend the Tigers lead to 45-17. LSU would head into the 4th quarter holding all the momentum.
South Carolina's struggles would continue as they would give the ball right back to the
Tigers after a outstanding job by the defense forcing a turnover on downs.
LSU would pick up where they left off with their running attack as they would drive 58 yards in ten plays ending with a John Emery 3 yard touchdown to put the Tigers up 52-17.
South Carolina would manage to drive down and find the end zone on their final drive as Collin Hill would find Josh Vann from five yards out for the score.
LSU would insert Max Johnson for the final drive of the game. However, Ty Davis-Price would be the work horse on the drive with eight carries as the Tigers 62 yards in 11 plays. Max Johnson would take a knee out of victory formation at the Gamecocks 27 yard line...
Final Score: LSU - 52, South Carolina - 24
Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Auburn on Halloween night. The game will be televised by CBS with a 2:30pm kickoff..