Gamecocks fall short on the Bayou
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Tigers used a fake field goal to score one touchdown and piled up 288 rushing yards to defeat Steve Spurrier and No. 12 South Carolina 28-16.
Midway through the second quarter, the Tigers set up for a field goal attempt from 32 yards. However, the holder, quarterback Matt Flynn flipped the ball over his shoulder to kicker Colt David, who ran it in for a touchdown run and a 21-7 halftime lead.
Jacob Hester's power and Trindon Holliday's speed were key for LSU on the ground and its dominant defense did the rest with two interceptions and a pair of stops on fourth-and-short yardage situations. The defense unsettled Spurrier to the point he switched quarterbacks several times.
Holliday wound up with a career-high 73 yards rushing, including a 33-yard touchdown, while Hester finished with 89 yards and a score.
The Gamecocks' tandem of standout running backs, Cory Boyd and Mike Davis, combined for only 27 yards and one TD by Davis. Because of sacks, South Carolina's net rushing total was only 6 yards.
Backup quarterback Chris Smelley ended up with the best passing numbers for the Gamecocks, going 12-of-26 for 174 yards and a late 1-yard TD pass to Kenny McKinley.
He was intercepted by Chevis Jackson, while Danny McCray intercepted starter Blake Mitchell to set up a touchdown on a fake field goal late in the first half.
Spurrier came in 11-1 against LSU, and early on it looked as if he still might have the Tigers' number.
Mitchell bounced back from a couple of vicious sacks and, with the help of an LSU facemask penalty, he drove the Gamecocks for a 7-0 lead on their third series, capped by Davis' 1-yard run.
It was only the second score LSU had given up this season, and it was the first time the Tigers trailed in a game.
With the remnants of a tropical depression soaking Tiger Stadium, the field became sloppy and hindered the passing game.
Mitchell bobbled several snaps in shotgun formation and receivers for both teams slipped on cuts.
It was less of a problem for LSU, which subbed in powerful and mobile backup Ryan Perrilloux for designed quarterback runs. The Tigers wound up with 217 yards rushing in the first half, Holliday with 61 and Perrilloux with 54.
There was nothing Spurrier could do, and he watched with increasing frustration as LSU piled up the yards. During LSU's second scoring drive, he threw a note pad when Hester ran for 8 yards on third-and-3. When Keiland Williams bit off another 15 yards, Spurrier turned his back to the field, pulling off his headset as he paced anxiously and throwing his hands up.
Those rushes set up Flynn's 1-yard TD pass over the middle to Richard Dickson to make it 14-7.
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