History in the making again? A pair of spicy individual matchups are keys to South Carolina-LSU game
From one tough SEC West team to another, it doesn’t get any easier for South Carolina.
The Gamecocks move on from the uplifting win over Auburn to a trip to LSU, which had a last-minute bye week last week after the Florida game was postponed.
Last week, South Carolina beat Auburn for the first time since 1933. This week, the Gamecocks will look to make some more history. South Carolina has only won once in Baton Rouge, 1994. The program’s only 2 wins against the Tigers were both 1-point victories. The other win came in 1930.
This time it’s a get-your-popcorn-ready pair of individual matchups between Shi Smith vs. Derek Stingley Jr., and Terrace Marshall Jr. vs. Jaycee Horn.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron called Shi Smith one of the best players in the conference.
“Their quick game with their quarterback and (Shi Smith) is phenomenal,” Orgeron said.
Marshall has been Myles Brennan’s top target and is coming off a monster game against Missouri in which he caught 11 passes for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Overall, Marshall has 21 catches for 424 yards and 7 touchdowns. The TDs are tied for the SEC lead, and the yards are 2nd in the conference. Smith, meanwhile, has 34 catches for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Myles Brennan to Terrace Marshall on throws of 20+ between the hashes, 2020: 4-of-4, 207 yards, 3 TDs
Mizzou played safeties tight (🟢).
LSU stacks Marshall (🔵) behind McMath (🔴) to prevent press. Free release, and he runs right past safety and corner.
Brennan drops a dime. pic.twitter.com/xJE5eu95JZ
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) October 12, 2020
At 6-3, 200 pounds, Marshall has a similar built to Auburn’s Seth Williams, and it’ll be worth watching whether Horn shadows Marshall like he did Williams. Horn is 6-1 and 205, and was all over the field last week with 2 interceptions, 3 tackles and a career-high with 4 pass breakups.
“I really feel I’ve been playing good football, but I haven’t had many opportunities to make plays on the ball,” Horn said after the game. “(I get) maybe one or two targets a game. Today, I got a lot of targets. I’m just blessed to be able to make plays on those balls.”
Orgeron is well aware of the potential matchup and said that Horn excels in press coverage but admitted that Marshall might be moved around the field.
“Marshall has an advantage against most guys, because of his athletic ability, his length,” Orgeron said at his regular Monday press conference. “I’m sure we’re going to find ways that Terrace is going to move around. He’ll not only be against Horn. There’ll some situations when he’s in the slot, some situations when he’s on the other side of the field. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Ladies & gentlemen, The best in the nation.
— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) October 18, 2020
Added South Carolina DL Jabari Ellis after the Auburn game, “I’m going to be honest, Jaycee is a guy who brings it. He brings it to practice and he brings it to games. When he got his interceptions, it really didn’t change much for him because he just brings it, he is consistent. He always has high energy, so it really didn’t change much but we were more happy I feel like than him.”
Orgeron said Horn comes from good genes, a reference to former New Orleans Saints star Joe Horn, his father.
“He’s a great press guy, he’s very handsy, in a competitive way, good way to say it,” Orgeron said. “… He’s one of the top corners, he’s played very well, he’s an open-field tackler, plays the ball very well. Outstanding player.”
A consensus All-American as a freshman, Derek Stingley Jr. is one of the rising stars around the country. He missed the first game this season against Mississippi State with a last-minute illness, and struggled 2 weeks ago against Missouri, something that ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit pointed out.
“I just look at guys like Stingley right now — who’s a great talent — he has zero interest in tackling, zero interest for being accountable in that regard. And if your best players are doing that, that’s going to filter down,” Herbstreit said.
Stingley’s father noted that his son had 5 tackles against Vanderbilt and 4 tackles against Missouri while playing on a bad ankle. All that came after Herbstreit in the preseason picked Stingley to win the Heisman Trophy.
This has been a slow start for Stingley after a breakout freshman campaign.
Stingley last season started all 15 games and led the SEC with six interceptions, and he was second nationally with 21 passes defended. He had 38 tackles and also served as LSU’s punt returner during the national championship season.