If you would have told South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier that LSU running back Leonard Fournette would only have 158 rushing yards and a touchdown before Saturday’s game, he would have probably taken his chances.

Fournette was still the main attraction, but his fellow running backs Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams stole the show as LSU rushed for 396 yards and 4 scores in a punishing 45-24 victory.


The Gamecocks need to improve their rush defense: South Carolina was dominated in the trenches, plain and simple. More sustained possession from the offense would have been helpful, but South Carolina’s front seven was overmatched in this game.
Missing in action: South Carolina running backs had 13 carries for 51 yards. That put the game on Perry Orth’s shoulders and, although he made a few plays, that’s not exactly a recipe for success.
Containing No. 7: Fournette finished the day with his usual healthy stat line, but 87 of those yards came on one dazzling third-quarter run. Other than that, the Gamecocks held him to 71 yards on 19 attempts.
Finding Pharoh: South Carolina’s Pharoh Cooper had a big game, hauling in 7 passes for 105 yards and touchdown. Orth looked for him often, and that bodes well for South Carolina going forward.
Southern Hospitality: LSU bent over backwards to help South Carolina in the wake of the recent flooding. It was a classy response to a difficult situation. It did make for a subdued atmosphere, though.


Offense: C- — There was no rushing attack to speak of, and Orth was 14 of 28 for 200 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. The offense only put up 17 of the 24 points, and that isn’t enough for a better grade.

Defense: F — They didn’t get a ton of support from the offense, but the Gamecocks allowed 45 points, 624 yards of total offense, 29 first downs and nearly 40 minutes of possession for LSU.

Special Teams: A+ — Rashad Fenton broke loose for a 96-yard touchdown on a kickoff return, Sean Kelly had a 44.3-yard average on his punts, Elliott Fry made his lone field goal attempt and South Carolina limited the LSU return game. And only a dubious offsides penalty negated a nifty onside kick recovery in the third quarter.

Coaching: C- — It’s tempting to hand out a lower grade here, but with the injuries at the quarterback position, Spurrier and his staff aren’t exactly dealing with a full deck. The plan was to limit Fournette, and for the most part, that happened. It was everyone else for the Tigers that did them in.

Overall: C- — It was the end of a strange and trying week for South Carolina, and although the Gamecocks fought hard, they were worn down late by the Tigers. The quarterback carousel and the lack of productivity from the running backs are turning into season-long themes. Those two things lead to the defense facing way too many snaps to hold up consistently.


The plan on defense was clearly to try to limit Fournette and make Brandon Harris beat them throwing the football. Harris responded with the best game of his career, going 18 for 28 for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns. Eventually, LSU’s depth at running back took its toll on the South Carolina defense. On the other side of the ball, Orth ran hot and cold. But he got no help from the running game, which led to a huge time of possession edge for LSU.


CB Rashad Fenton: Fenton broke off his long kick return in the second quarter, putting the Gamecocks back into the game and cutting the LSU lead to 14-10.
WR Pharoh Cooper: Cooper was South Carolina’s most dangerous player, and LSU struggled at times to keep him in check.
DE Marquavius Lewis: Lewis had 9 tackles and a sack to pace an overworked Gamecocks defense.


  • South Carolina QB Lorenzo Nunez did not dress for this game (shoulder) and RB Brandon Wilds (ribs) dressed but did not play.
  • LSU FB J.D. Moore injured his knee in the first half and did not return.