LSU had its best offensive outing in two years in a 45-21 victory against South Carolina on Saturday.
The Tigers racked up 624 yards of total offense, including 396 on the ground. That’s the highest total since the Tigers had 672 against Furman in 2013. LSU fell just shy of its record against an SEC team, which has been set twice at 630 yards.
The Tigers also had a pair of running backs eclipse the 100-yard mark. Leonard Fournette got his seventh straight 100-yard game, totaling 158 without a fourth quarter carry. Derrius Guice contributed a team-best 161 in his first big game as a Tiger.
But LSU actually trailed in this game, the first time that’s happened all season.
SC took an early lead with a field goal on its opening drive. Pharoh Cooper was the primary weapon, reeling in 3 catches for 53 yards to help set up the Gamecocks inside the red zone.
The drive stalled though with three straight incompletions from the 3-yard line.
LSU responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive on its first possession. The Tigers ran for 48 of those yards, capped off by a 4-yard dive by Darrel Williams for the go-ahead touchdown.
LSU found the end zone again two drives later. Fournette ran the first five plays for 21 yards, and Harris chipped in with a 13-yard scamper. A facemask penalty on the next play, also a Harris run, moved LSU to the red zone.
Harris would eventually find Malachi Dupre on a 10-yard fade to make it 14-3.
LSU’s special teams issues proved costly on the ensuing kickoff though. Gamecock return man Rashad Fenton took it 96 yards to the house to cut the deficit to just four.
The LSU defense forced a turnover the next chance it had to take the field. Safety John Battle intercepted a pass broken up by Rickey Jefferson.
LSU took over with 1:19 remaining, and Harris led them down the field with completions of 15 and 28 yards to Fournette and Dupre, respectively. The drive stalled 12 yards from the end zone though, and LSU had to settle for a field goal, taking a 17-10 lead into halftime.
Fournette reenergized Tiger Stadium after the break. He took the second play of the second half 87 yards for his first touchdown of the game. That run pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season, becoming only the 10th player in FBS history to reach that in five games.
LSU got the next one through the air with a bit of fortune. Facing a 3rd-and-24, Harris overthrew Desean Smith. He tipped it though, and the ball fell to a wide-open Travin Dural, who took it the rest of the way for a 62-yard touchdown.
SC did score on a pair of long touchdown passes before the end of the third quarter.
The first was a 36-yarder on fourth down to TE Jerell Adams. The next drive ended with a 43-yard touchdown to Cooper.
Those sandwiched around a 1-yard touchdown run by Williams. Both he and Guice had runs of at least 25 yards on that drive.
LSU still led 38-24 after that touchdown to Cooper and took that score into the fourth.
Guice would get his first career score on the next LSU offensive possession. Dupre set it up with a 27-yard reception on a bubble screen, then Guice took the next play in from 4 yards to push LSU’s lead to the final 45-21.