LSU hosts South Carolina Saturday in Baton Rouge. A lot is riding on this clash of two top ten cross conference foes. One team has a No. 3 ranking. A punishing running game that showcases arguably the best running back in the country. The ninth ranked defense in the country that showcases arguably the best pass rusher in the country. Stomped No. 5 Georgia, 35-7 last week. And an A-list head coach. That team is obviously the LSU Tigers. Right? Wrong.
The script has been flipped. The South Carolina Gamecocks, a perrenial bottom feeder, used to be the laughing stock of the East. Add a wily old vet affectionately known as The Ol' Ball Coach, and this program has transformed into one of the premier programs in the country seemingly on the rise.
The LSU Tigers, on the other hand, have quite a different feel. They're coming off of a loss to Florida that was just plain ugly. Period. Their offense, at the halfway point of the season, is just outright pitiful. Zach Mettenberger has not lived up to the hype. But let's be honest. He's a redshirt freshman quarterback making his first trip through the SEC. It doesn't matter how many stars you had beside your name coming out of high school, this is the big boy league and it doesn't look kindly on fresh meat.
The LSU defense will keep them in this game, but South Carolina can match their physicalness on both sides of the ball. With a bruising running game led by one of the best running backs in the country, Marcus Lattimore and a stingy defense led by superstar defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney. And without Mettenberger being much of a passing threat, the Gamecock defense will load eight or nine men in the box and dare the Tigers to try and beat them with the passing game. If you put much stock in Mettenberger's first half, there is no indication that will be the case.
LSU will have to be efficient on offense, score on either defense or special teams at least once and set up the offense to score another. Then hope South Carolina self implodes and crumbles in the magnitude of the moment.
Crazier things have happened. Like South Carolina being ranked No. 3.787147