Whatever was ailing LSU coming into Saturday night’s game with USC in Baton Rouge, the Tigers found the Gamecocks to be the right medicine. The defending national champions off to a 1-2 start and yielding 32 points per game, jumped on the Gamecocks from the start and rolled to a 52-24 win in Tiger Stadium.
The loss snaps the Gamecocks' two-game winning streak and drops their record to 2-3 at the halfway point of the season.
“We got outcoached and outplayed, call it like it is,” said USC coach Will Muschamp. “Knew coming in here they had a big offensive line, and we didn’t get off blocks, didn’t tackle and didn’t play the run very well at all. That created some things in the passing game.”
LSU took the opening kickoff and with freshman quarterback TJ Finley playing for the first time in his career, the Tigers went 75 yards in 16 plays using over seven minutes off the clock for a 7-0 lead. The Gamecocks responded with a 75 yard scoring drive on their first possession with Kevin Harris scoring on a 45 yard run to make it a 7-7 game.
From there, it was all LSU.
The Tigers outscored the Gamecocks 17-3 to build a 24-10 lead, and really put the game away on a 45 yard interception return by Eli Ricks late in the first half for a 31-10 lead at the break.
The Gamecocks did respond with a touchdown drive to open the second half, but LSU snuffed out any momentum USC might have felt with Trey Palmer taking the ensuing kickoff back 93 yards for a touchdown.
LSU tacked on two more touchdowns and finished with the most points they've ever scored against the Gamecocks in winning their seventh-in-a row in the series.
“We just didn’t play very well defensively,” Muschamp said. “When you give up 14 points when your defense isn’t on the field and they aren’t playing well, you’re going to have a hard time winning.”
The Tigers finished with 541 yards to 403 for the Gamecocks. Finley passed for 265 yards and Ty Davis-Price rushed for 135 yards. USC quarterback Colin Hill passed for 234 yards and Harris rushed for 126 yards.
Ernest Jones led the Gamecock defense with 19 tackles.
The Gamecocks are off next weekend and will host Texas A&M Nov. 7.