Guice, Fournette power LSU past Gamecocks in 45-24 win

Guice, Fournette power LSU past Gamecocks in 45-24 win
(Source: WIS)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WIS) - With heavy hearts and those impacted by the floods on their minds, South Carolina traveled to Baton Rouge for their "home game" against LSU.

While the Gamecocks were able to put up a fight in the first half against the Tigers, LSU's rushing attack would be more than enough to put USC away in a 45-24 win.

"LSU's too big, strong, tougher and smarter than us," USC head coach Steve Spurrier said. "They got us pretty good in the second half.

South Carolina got off to a good start on offense driving down the field with Orth orchestrating the drive.

But the Gamecocks' red zone woes continued on their first drive as they failed to score a touchdown inside the 5-yard line. After missing three straight passes, Elliott Fry would come on and boot a 21-yard field goal through to make it a 3-0 game.

LSU responded on their first drive of the night. In 13 plays, the Tigers drove down the field and capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run by Darrel Williams giving the road team a 7-3 lead with 11:07 to go.

On South Carolina's next drive, the Gamecocks managed to get to their own 44-yard line. However, the short-lived possession ended when Perry Orth couldn't connect on a pass to Pharoh Cooper. Fortunately, the Tigers were not able to capitalize.

LSU, however, would find a way to extend their lead in the second quarter. Another lengthy drive saw Brandon Harris find Malachi Dupre for a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap things off making it 14-3 for the Tigers.

Harris finished the first half 13-of-23 passing for 135 yards.

The Gamecocks wasted little time responding. Rashad Fenton returned the kick 96 yards to cut the Tigers lead to 14-10.

"Fenton is a young man that has some breakaway potential," Spurrier said. "I finally told them to put him in there. That was my best call of the game. He came off and said 'Thanks for putting me in, Coach.' I said, 'No, I'm the dummy that hadn't had you in all year.'"

As USC continued to make a game of it, LSU struggled to get Leonard Fournette going in the running game. At the half, the 230-pound sophomore had 15 carries for 49 yards and no touchdowns.

"We just stacked the line of scrimmage and everybody played their gaps well," Spurrier said. "We held him down pretty well."

However, the Gamecocks' offense had struggles of their own. At the half, USC only had 122 total yards with 42 on the ground on eight carries.

The second half got off to a rocky start for the Gamecocks. After bottling up Fournette early, the Heisman hopeful returned to form. On the second play from scrimmage, Fournette dashed 87 yards for the score pushing LSU ahead 24-10 with 14:01 left in the half.

LSU would add another score eight minutes later when Travin Dural came up with a pass that was tipped before taking it 62 yards for the score.

USC wouldn't fold, however. Perry Orth completed his first touchdown pass of the day to Jerell Adams. The 36-yard pass capped a five-play drive to make it 31-17.

"Perry made a lot of good plays," Spurrier said. "He did. He made a lot of good plays for a walk-on kid. He made some good passes in the second half.

Both teams traded scores late in the third quarter, but LSU would add more touchdown for good measure. Derrius Guice's 4-yard run early in the fourth put LSU up 45-24.

The Tigers finished with 396 yards rushing on a day where they amassed a total of 624 yards on offense. Meanwhile, South Carolina finished Saturday's contest with 283 yards. Of those, 216 yards came through the air.

The loss now gives USC four straight SEC losses as they head into next week's contest with Vanderbilt.

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