By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – One team that staged an upset and another team that was the victim of an upset last week will face one another in a top-10 matchup this weekend as No. 3 South Carolina travels to Baton Rouge, La., to take on No. 9 LSU in Tiger Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET and the game will be televised by ESPN.
The game will be the second consecutive that features a top-10 opponent for both teams. LSU enters the game with the nation’s longest home field winning streak, as it has captured a school-record 21 consecutive games in Tiger Stadium.
LSU (5-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) is coming off a 14-6 loss to then-No. 10 Florida last weekend in Gainesville, which snapped the Tigers 18-game regular-season winning streak. This Saturday’s game marks the 100th for Les Miles as the head coach of the Tigers, who won 12-10 at Auburn on Sept. 22.
“Our football team is certainly stunned a little about the outcome,” Miles said. “I think that they are looking forward to playing well in front of their friends and family in Tiger Stadium. We are going to play a very good football team. Our football team is going through some changes; we need to play better in a number of ways. It is not an effort thing; I enjoyed my team’s effort.”
South Carolina (6-0, 4-0 SEC) is boasting its highest national ranking since the 1984 season and have won a school-record 10 consecutive games dating back to last season. The Gamecocks are 6-0 for the first time since 1988 and just the third time in school history. South Carolina defeated then-No. 5 Georgia 35-7 in Columbia last weekend.
“Another TV and a top-10 matchup like last week,” South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said. “I guess we have an opportunity with two top-10 teams in a row. We’ve never won one on the road. Maybe we have another shot at something that’s never happened here. We’re looking forward to going to Baton Rouge. It’s a tough place to play. We won’t be able to audible like last week. Hopefully we can get the right one called and go from there.”
The two teams are facing one another for the first time since 2008.
The Tigers and Gamecocks are meeting for the 20th time in the history of the two programs with LSU holding a 16-2-1 advantage in the all-time series … Saturday’s match-up is the first between the two squads since the 2008 campaign … Including a tie in 1995, South Carolina hasn’t beaten LSU since an 18-17 win in 1994 … LSU is 10-1 all-time vs. the Gamecocks when the game is played in Baton Rouge … The Tigers have won four consecutive meetings in the all-time series … South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier is 11-3 all-time vs. LSU … The two teams first met in 1930.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
2008 – LSU 24, South Carolina 17 (Columbia, S.C.)
2007 – LSU 28, South Carolina 16 (Baton Rouge, La.)
2003 – LSU 33, South Carolina 7 (Columbia, S.C.)
2002 – LSU 38, South Carolina 14 (Baton Rouge, La.)
1995 – LSU 20, South Carolina 20 (Columbia, S.C.)
A LOOK AT THE LAST MEETING
Jarrett Lee passed for 189 yards and No. 13 LSU defeated South Carolina 24-17 in Columbia, S.C., in 2008. The Tigers took the lead for good with 4:16 to go on a two-yard touchdown run by Charles Scott, capping an 83-yard drive that lasted more than six minutes. The Tigers limited the Gamecocks to 42 total yards in the second half, including a negative seven yards in the fourth quarter. LSU trailed 17-10 at intermission before out-scoring South Carolina 14-0 in the second half.
PLAYMAKERS – OFFENSE
LSU – Kenny Hilliard, So., Running Back
Hilliard leads the Tigers and ranks 12th in the SEC in rushing, having totaled 382 total yards on 58 carries (6.6 avg) with six touchdowns. Hilliard has played in only 19 career games, but has produced 14 rushing touchdowns during that span. He tallied a career-high 141 yards vs. North Texas earlier this season and had a career-long 71-yard run against Idaho. Hilliard is one of three talented LSU running backs in the Tigers’ potent rushing attack.
South Carolina – Marcus Lattimore, Jr., Tailback
Lattimore currently leads his team and ranks sixth in the SEC, averaging 91.5 rushing yards per game. He owns 11 career 100-yard rushing games and has scored a school-record 39 touchdowns for his career. Lattimore ranks seventh in school history with 2,564 career rushing yards and needs 203 more to move into the school’s all-time top-five. With nine touchdowns this season, he currently ranks second in the SEC with 9.0 points per game.
PLAYMAKERS – DEFENSE
LSU – Kevin Minter, Jr., Linebacker
Minter leads LSU and ranks among the top-five in the SEC in tackles with 54 (9.0 tackles per game). This past week, he was named the SEC co-Defensive Player of the Week after setting the school record with 17 solo tackles in his team’s loss to Florida. He also finished with 20 total tackles, the second-most of any player in the nation this season. Minter also posted back-to-back sacks in the first half at Florida.
South Carolina – Jadeveon Clowney, So., Defensive End
Clowney currently ranks second in the SEC in both sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (11.5). He ranks ninth nationally in tackles for loss. Over his career, Clowney has tallied 14.5 career sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in just 19 career games. With one-and-a-half more sacks, he would move into the top-five all-time in South Carolina school history.
• South Carolina is off to a 6-0 start for the first time since 1988 and for just the third time in school history. The Gamecocks have been 7-0 just once in program history, with that feat coming in 1984.
• LSU head coach Les Miles is 17-1 in games following a loss, including a 6-0 record when a road loss is followed by a home game in Tiger Stadium.
• South Carolina’s 10-game winning streak is the longest current streak among FBS teams, one ahead of Alabama, Oregon and West Virginia.
• In its last 12 games vs. SEC teams, LSU has allowed just 10 touchdowns and 16 field goals during that span.
• Saturday’s game marks just the sixth time in South Carolina school history that the Gamecocks have entered a game ranked in the top-10 and playing another top-10 opponent, though it is the second such occurrence in as many weeks. South Carolina is 1-4 in those situations.
• LSU’s last loss in Tiger Stadium came on Oct. 10, 2009 to No. 1 Florida. Since that time, the Tigers have posted a nation-leading 21 consecutive home victories.