The Tigers are coming off a much needed bye week, following the postponement of their matchup with Florida. But the purple and gold are set to face a South Carolina team that is riding into Baton Rouge full of confidence after knocking off top 25 Auburn 30-22.
It was a game dominated by the Gamecocks ability to force turnovers on Bo Nix and the Auburn offense, including two interceptions that led to touchdowns. The win Saturday afternoon was a defining moment for the program under Will Muschamp, who many believed to be on the hot seat entering the 2020 season.
It was the first time the Gamecocks had beaten Auburn since 1933, snapping an eight game losing streak in the process. So it's safe to say South Carolina will be riding a ton of momentum into its game with LSU this weekend.
"We haven’t beaten Auburn since we’ve been in the Southeastern Conference, which is important. Anytime you’re able to beat an opponent to show where you are, that’s always important. I think it is. It’s critical," Muschamp said.
The matchup between South Carolina and LSU isn't all that different as the purple and gold ride a six game win streak heading into Saturday's matchup dating back to 1994.
On offense, South Carolina will do most of its damage on the ground as the Gamecocks are in the upper echelon of carries (153) and yards (648) in the conference through four games. Of the 15 offensive touchdowns the Gamecocks have scored this season, 11 have come through the running attack headlined by sophomore Kevin Harris.
In his last three games, Harris has rushed for 100, 171 and 83 yards against Florida, Vanderbilt and Auburn. LSU has had a rough time stopping the run in its last two games, allowing the Commodores and Missouri to run for a total of 333 yards and two touchdowns.
"We're going to make some personnel changes, maybe get some bigger defensive linemen in there that we can play the run better," Orgeron said last week. "Obviously I think our pass rush is pretty good right now. But we gotta be able to stop the run. I think it's all about playing bigger guys up front and playing better technique."
LSU will be able to attack South Carolina on offense but it will have to be consistent in not turning the ball over. The Tigers have done a good job of holding onto the football, committing just three turnovers in three games in a year where turnovers have been a nasty trend across the rest of the conference.
In the win over Auburn, South Carolina forced some timely interceptions on its side of the field, giving the Gamecock offense a shorter field to work with. Myles Brennan and company have been tremendous on explosive plays to open up the game but need to capitalize on third down and the redzone.
Those will be the two big areas to monitor in terms of improvement on the offensive side of the ball.
Throughout the week, we'll provide more comprehensive backgrounds on what the LSU run defense needs to improve on as well as some strengths that South Carolina poses to the Tigers.