LSU/USC pre-game notes

LSU looks to get back on track when the No. 13-ranked Tigers travel to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks tonight at 7 p.m. CDT in a game televised by ESPN.

The Tigers are coming off a 51-21 setback to Florida last week, while South Carolina is coming off a 24-17 win over Kentucky where the Gamecocks overcame four turnovers and four missed field goals to win on the road.


Last year, LSU edged the Gamecocks 28-16 in a rain-soaked Tiger Stadium.


LSU holds a commanding 15-2-1 advantage in the all-time series with South Carolina. The Bayou Bengals hold a 4-1-1 lead in games played in Columbia.


The last time South Carolina defeated LSU was in 1994 when the Gamecocks went into Tiger Stadium and left with an 18-17 victory.


LSU comes into this week’s game ranked 13th in the Associated Press poll and 14th in the USA TODAY/Coaches’ poll. South Carolina is unranked in both polls.


LSU goes into the South Carolina game looking to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since 2002 when the Tigers dropped a 21-20 decision to Arkansas to close out the regular season and then fell to Texas by a 35-20 count in the Cotton Bowl.


The Tigers enter tonight’s matchup having won 36 of their last 37 games against unranked opponents. The only loss during that span came last year when Arkansas posted a 50-48 triple overtime win over LSU in Tiger Stadium.


According to LSU officials, the fumble that was charged to Charles Scott against Florida last week should have gone to quarterback Andrew Hatch, thus keeping LSU's streak of consecutive carries without a fumble by its tailbacks intact at 396.


Charles Scott's streak of four straight 100-yard games was snapped vs. Florida as he rushed for 35 yards on 12 carries.


Scott goes into the South Carolina game ranking No. 3 in the SEC in rushing with 114 yards per contest. In five games this year, he has rushed for 570 yards and six touchdowns.


Brandon LaFell is turning in quite a season as he's caught 29 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns. He currently leads the SEC in receptions per game (5.8) and receiving yards per game (81.4).


Richard Dickson had a career-high six receptions against Florida. His 52 career receptions tie Chris Hill for the sixth-highest total by a tight end in school history. Mitch Andrews holds the LSU career mark with 87.


Colt David goes into the South Carolina game ranked second in LSU history in career scoring with 309 points, just 12 points from moving past Kevin Faulk. In addition, David is third in school history in career field goals with 44 and field goal attempts with 58. He already holds the LSU career record for points by a kicker (307) and PATs (169).


Ricky Jean-Francois is expected to miss his second week in a row due to a groin injury.


Six true freshmen saw action in LSU's season-opening win over Appalachian State in Patrick Peterson, Brandon Taylor, Greg Shaw, DeAngelo Peterson, Ryan Baker and Karnell Hatcher. Jordan Jefferson added his name to the list against North Texas and then Derrick Bryant made the list by playing for the first time against Florida.


Les Miles has a 9-3 mark in games played in October as head coach of the Tigers.


The Gamecocks have put together four straight wins, defeating Wofford, UAB, Ole Miss and Kentucky, after suffering a pair of seven-point SEC losses at Vanderbilt and to Georgia.


A win over LSU would guarantee Carolina at least a .500 record and make them bowl eligible for the fifth consecutive season. The Gamecocks went 6-5 in 2004, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006 and 6-6 in 2007. It’s the first time they’ve gone four straight seasons with at least a .500 mark since 1987-90 (8-4, 8-4, 6-4-1, 6-5).


Steve Spurrier has started 23 different players on offense this season, while the Carolina defense has used just 14 different starters.


After spending one week as the nation’s top-ranked defense two weeks ago, the Gamecocks rank third in the country this week in total defense, allowing just 240.86 yards per game.


The Gamecocks ranked first in the SEC and fourth in the country in passing defense in 2007, allowing 168.75 yards per game through the air. They have picked up right where they left off, allowing 132 yards through the air this season which is second in the nation.


Kenny McKinley holds several school records including career receptions (173). He is also fifth in career receiving yards (2,345) and tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns (17). McKinley has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury but he is expected to play today.


Redshirt freshman quarterback Stephen Garcia is scheduled to make his first collegiate start this week after coming off the bench to lead Carolina to victory at Kentucky. Playing just one and a half quarters, Garcia completed 10 of 14 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed six times for 22 yards. His performance earned him SEC Freshman of the Week honors.


The following players are expected to be out for South Carolina: RB-Brian Maddox (knee); RB-Taylor Rank (shoulder); DT-Marque Hall (foot); OL-Heath Batchelor (disciplinary).


Jared Cook (foot) and Ryan Succop (abdominal) are expected to play for the Gamecocks.


The Gamecocks have had 11 different players carry the football this season and 14 players catch a pass.


South Carolina has 12 touchdowns passing this season to nine different receivers


Senior place-kicker Ryan Succop leads the nation in field goal attempts this season with 19, two more than any other kicker. He is one of seven kickers to record a dozen or more field goals this year.


South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is 11-2 all-time against LSU.

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