What LSU can expect from the South Carolina offense

Quarterback injuries have plagued Steve Spurrier's struggling offense.

Steve Spurrier is far from the "fun n' gun" he made famous at Florida.

South Carolina's offense has failed to get off the ground in 2015, thanks in large part to injuries that have plagued the quarterback position. The Gamecocks have the third worst passing offense in the SEC, averaging just 163.2 yards-per-game.

They've relied heavily on the run game, which does rank sixth in the conference, but that hasn't been enough to lead to any success this season. SC is winless in its first three SEC games.

The Gamecocks will look to get conference win No. 1 this weekend, when they travel for a "home game" in LSU's Tiger Stadium. We'll break down what to expect from the SC offense after a look at the projected starters for Saturday's showdown.


QB: Perry Orth (Jr., 6-1, 203)

TB: Brandon Wilds (Sr., 6-2, 220) —OR— Shon Carson (Sr., 5-8, 206)

FB: Rivers Bedenbaugh (So., 6-2, 245)

WR: Pharoh Cooper (Jr., 5-11, 207)

WR: Matrick Belton (Jr., 6-4, 209)

WR: Carlton Heard (Sr., 6-0, 182)

TE: Jerell Adams (Sr., 6-6, 231)

LT: Brandon Shell (Sr., 6-6, 328)

LG: Mike Matulis (Sr., 6-5, 293)

C: Zack Bailey (Fr., 6-6, 320) —OR— Alan Knott (So., 6-4, 270)

RG: Will Sport (Sr., 6-5, 295)

RT: Mason Zandi (Jr., 6-9, 314)

Notable Backups: RB David Williams (So., 6-1, 222), TE Jacob August (Fr., 6-6, 258), WR Terry Googer (Fr., 6-4, 226)


South Carolina is down to its third quarterback. Freshman Lorenzo Nunez suffered a shoulder injury against Missouri last week, and though he did practice this week, SC will go with Perry Orth to start against LSU.

Orth, a former grocery store bag boy, enrolled at SC in 2013 after a semester at Florida State College, where he didn't play football. Orth saw action in two games through two seasons with the Gamecocks, but worked his way to No. 2 on the depth chart entering this season. When starter Connor Mitch went down with an injury in the second game of the season, Orth came in and threw for 179 yards and a touchdown.

Orth made his first career start the following week against Georgia, but struggled and eventually got pulled for freshman Lorenzo Nunez, more of a run-first quarterback. Nunez though would get injured two weeks later against Missouri, thrusting Orth back into starting duty.

Orth's main job will be getting the ball to Pharoah Cooper. 

SC's best offensive weapon accounts for 23 percent of the Gamecocks' offense this season, with more than 400 yards receiving and rushing. Look for SC to find a variety of ways to use him, lining him up in multiple wide receiver positions while also getting him involved in the run game.

A 5-foot-11 speedster, finding him on every play will be LSU's top priority defensively.

With the struggles through the air, SC will continue to rely heavily on its rushing attack. The Gamecocks should also see a boost there with the return of Brandon Wilds.

The senior had racked up 181 yards in two-plus games before injuring his ribs against Georgia. Wilds hasn't played since but practiced this week and is expected to be back in the starting lineup Saturday. He's SC's best between-the-tackles rusher, but it's still a question of just how effective he'll be until he tests those ribs.

SC will turn to both Shon Carson and David Williams to spell Wilds.

SC does utlize the tight ends in its passing game, and that should help Orth as a safety valve. Jerell Adams is the team's second leading receiver with 12 grabs for 164 yards. His No. 2, Jacob August, has four grabs of his own and a touchdown.

SC hasn't gotten much production out of the wide receivers though. Cooper accounts for 26 of the 43 receptions by players at that position. Carlton Heard has 5 receptions this season for 78 yards, but no other WR has more than 40 yards receiving this season.

Up front, the SC offensive line has allowed nine sacks this season. There is a question mark at center. The Gamecocks are hoping to get back Alan Knott, who injured his ankle a few weeks back. He returned to practice this week but was still limited, so his status for Saturday is questionable. 

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